For the fourth straight year, Indiana has a delegation at one of the largest aerospace events in the world. Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger says attending the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom connects the state to global leaders in aerospace, defense and aviation. He says the growing industries are targets for Indiana in part because those jobs pay well above Indiana’s average wage. Schellinger is also meeting with several UK companies this week before traveling to Ireland to meet with partners there.
The annual air show rotates between Farnborough and Paris. Governor Eric Holcomb attended last year’s event in Paris as part of his first international trade mission. During his time there, he met with dozens of companies.
Schellinger says, since 2014, aerospace firms have announced more than $900 million in investment and 1,200 new job commitments in Indiana. Among the biggest investors is GE Aviation, which has a $100 million plant in Lafayette and a $36 million research and testing facility in South Bend. Another is Rolls-Royce, which continues work on its $600 million expansion at its Indianapolis manufacturing campus.
He says the companies have a lot to like about Indiana, including a strong university system and the governor’s Next Level Fund, showing a commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.
In addition to this week’s air show, Schellinger is meeting with companies including Rolls-Royce and BP. He travels to Ireland Thursday and Friday to meet with additional businesses and follow up on "hot leads."
Schellinger says face-to-face meetings with European partners are critical.