Indiana’s Great Southwest Ready to ‘Explode’

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EVANSVILLE -

As southwest Indiana prepares to play host this week to the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, economic development officials are looking to use the professional golf tournament as a vehicle to tell the region’s growth story. Ads touting growth, workforce and quality of life will air on the Golf Channel’s coverage of the event, which will air in more than 160 countries. Greg Wathen, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, says the ads are aimed at attracting interest, and talent to the region. "We’ve been rediscovered as a region, as a downtown area, but in particular, if you look at the potential of the new Ohio River bridge that will be coming across, I think our region has the ability to explode and be a positive part of Indiana’s resurgence," said Wathen.

Wathen talked about nearly $1 billion in projects that he says can help redefine southwest Indiana on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Wathen says the time is right to let the world now of southwest Indiana’s 

The Evansville region is home to major corporate players, including Berry Global, a $13 billion plastic packaging company with more than 45,000 employees worldwide; pharmaceutical powerhouse AstraZenica employs more than 700 in southwest Indiana and employment at Toyota’s manufacturing operation in Princeton now tops 5,000.

And the city’s downtown is undergoing a transformation that includes new hotels, residential and business development. 

The recently-opened Stone Family Center for Health Sciences is a unique collaboration among Indiana University, the University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and four regional health systems. Wathen calls it a game changer that has brought talent and renewed vibrancy development downtown.  "It’s helped change the culture, it lets people know that this will be a school of medicine for all of southern Indiana and it has the opportunity for us to leverage that asset, which is a very unique asset, indeed."

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