The pandemic has created enormous issues for all industries, but according to the latest Site Selectors Guild survey, investment in megaprojects remains strong. Megaprojects are those with an investment of more than $1 billion, more than 1 million square feet of space and hundreds to thousands of jobs.
“We’re seeing more and more companies invest heavily in technology and automation, and because of that and our manufacturing component of our economy being very strong, this is a place where we should be very well positioned,” said Ginovus Executive Managing Director Larry Gigerich.
Gigerich talked about the megaproject landscape in Indiana and across the country in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“I think the biggest thing where we continue to have work to do is on the talent side,” he said. “And I think in particular, and the state leadership realizes this, we need to be doing more with our adults already in the workforce to continue to upskill them and help them in terms of what they’re able to do, credentials, certifications and those things. That’s typically where we have more work to do.”
Indiana recently landed two megaprojects with Stellantis’ $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery plan planned for Kokomo with 1,400 jobs, as well as Eli Lilly and Co.’s (NYSE: LLY) $2.1 billion investment in two manufacturing plans in Lebanon.
But the Hoosier State has also missed out on other major opportunities, such as Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) in January selecting Ohio for a $20 billion investment to build two chip manufacturing plants.
“That was a project obviously Indiana competed very hard on but came up a little bit short at the end,” Gigerich said. “And one of the things that really helped Ohio was having a site ready to go, a very large site under control ready for development and also having incentive tools in place that were really helpful.”
With the Stellantis and Lilly announcements, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the state has secured close to $14 billion in planned investment so far this year, and Gigerich says the numbers continue to trend positively.
“I think there’s really good momentum in Indiana and frankly, in the Midwest pretty much as a whole, which is I think great for Indiana to see the Midwest do well,” he said. “I think the other thing is we’re just going to have to watch with inflation and interest rates a year from now does that have some effect on capital investment? I think that’s our big unknown.”