As economic development officials in southeast Indiana welcomed news last week of Louisville-based PharmaCord’s plans to invest $52 million and add up to 850 jobs at the River Ridge Commerce Center, they were quick to add there is more development on the horizon. River Ridge is a sprawling, 6,000 acre park located between Jeffersonville and Charlestown that was once home to the massive Indiana Army Ammunition plant and thousands of jobs. Today more than 50 companies call River Ridge home, including names like Amazon, GE Appliances and Tenneco. "It is really the hot spot of the Midwest," said One Southern Indiana Executive Vice President Matt Hall, who believes the jobs potential is just beginning to be realized. "The push behind developing River Ridge was to replace the jobs that had been lost there and I’m happy to report that we are well about 10,000 jobs at that facility and growing."
Hall and One Southern Indiana President Wendy Dant Chesser talked about River Ridge and the Pharmacord deal on this weekend’s edition of Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Healthcare solutions provider PharmaCord chose River Ridge as the site for an 80,000 sq. ft. facility to house what is described as a state-of-the-art call and operations center which could employ 850 workers in four years. One Southern Indiana President Wendy Dant Chesser says the jobs will pay about ten percent above the local average.
Dant Chesser also says the deal will be a boost to efforts aimed at marketing the area as a region, with collaboration on economic development and quality of life projects.
She credits collaborative efforts with officials in Louisville for helping to land the big project. "We’ve got this great ability to grow our region together," said Dant Chesser, who wants lawmakers in Indiana and Kentucky to take notice. "Let’s take that message out and let’s make sure that the folks in Frankfort and Indianapolis recognize that we have more to gain together if we are on the same page."
A coalition of economic development leaders in south central Indiana recently launched a new brand and website aimed at attracting business to the region. "The Fouridor," highlights the region’s attractiveness as a logistics hub, focusing the convergence of the “Four R’s”: roads, rail, runways and river access.
We’ve been sending mixed branding messages at times,” said Dant Chesser, who believes The Fouridor can help answer an important question. “Are we part of Louisville or are we part of Indiana? The reality is, we’re part of both and how do we sell those assets that we have?”