Thursday, January 05, 2006

Daniels' Administration Doubles Economic Development Successes

Figures released by the Daniels’ administration today indicate that the State’s economic development efforts in the first year of Gov. Daniels’ term more than doubled the efforts of the previous 2 years of the O’Bannon-Kernan administrations. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation reports that successful opportunities during 2005 will result in the creation of 18,500 new jobs and the retention of 47,000 more jobs, which is more than double the number of projects closed by the state in 2003 and 2004 combined.

The IEDC cites success from 142 competitive economic development projects (i.e. a project where the state was in competition with another state for the investment) and 162 job training and expansion projects (i.e. a grant based on planned capital investment and job growth). IEDC investment incentives are leverage by private capital investments of $3.8 billion.

"The word is getting out already to the rest of the country and the world that Indiana is serious about economic growth and opportunity," said Governor Daniels. "With the IEDC we are able to compete much more effectively for job-creating business expansions and attractions, and we are moving much faster to go after each and every job creating opportunity."

IEDC President Mickey Maurey reports that the economic development efforts are reaching all parts of the state. “It is the IEDC's goal to encourage economic growth in every corner of our state, however, in the end, it is a combination of company specific criteria and local factors which determine where businesses choose to locate and invest in our state, not the IEDC," said Maurer. "We are particularly proud of the fact that, in every region of the state, we have successfully closed more competitive deals than in either 2003 or 2004.”

The release included a map of the state showing just where all the projects were landed. Indeed, they do reach all corners of the state; however, there are notable clusters in the Indianapolis metropolitan area and northern Indiana. There doesn’t seem to be a lot going on in the far western and far eastern counties of the central part of the state, or in Lake County, the state’s second largest county.

It looks very good on paper. Let’s hope it translates into real, long-term economic growth for the state. The IEDC did not release specifics on the wages the new jobs will pay, but it did say that “adjustments [had been made] to all economic development incentive programs to ensure that they encourage the creation of high paying jobs and are available to both small and large businesses.”

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