CRANE - The technical director at Naval Support Activity Crane says shifting areas of focus in the middle of the last decade to boost value, technical expertise and national status have paid off. Brett Seidle says the labor force at the world's third-largest naval installation and second-largest army ammunition depot is comprised of about two-thirds scientists, engineers and technicians on the naval side. The number of PhDs in its ranks has jumped five-fold since 2005. NSA Crane currently employs more than 5,000 in southwest central Indiana.

In the first part of a series on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick focusing on the massive operation, Seidle was joined by Kim Rush, who works in human resources, and said Crane attracts high levels of talent. "(When) folks come here, they're excited about the workload," he said. "We have great reachback to our academic universities, our industry partners and because of that, (we're) just able to bring great subject matter expertise the solve the nation's and the Navy's technical problems."

Rush, a native of Washington state, says her passion for her career and the "great" benefits offered through the federal government have kept her at Crane. "I don't know if many other places -- maybe Amazon, maybe Google, some of those places -- where you have a gym on-base, you have our MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation services), which they run the marina, you can rent boats. I can do that all within kind of our Crane base," she said.

NSA Crane, which was established in 1941, is one of the state's largest employers and has a presence by both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army. It covers more than 60,000 acres and is the state's only federal laboratory site.