A local tech company that fell far short of its job-creation goal after reaching incentive agreements with the state and city two years ago is ready to try it again.Both Daniels and Ballard put out press releases on the announcement made this week, but when Olson tried to track someone down who would talk about them, he had trouble getting someone to return his call. He finally reached someone at IEDC who told him the company received more than $70,000 in training grant money from the state but not the full $200,000 it originally had been qualified to receive, even though the company's CEO had already told Olson the company had received $200,000 in training grants.
Indianapolis-based Fusion Alliance Inc. announced Tuesday morning that it plans to create up to 107 jobs by 2014 by investing more than $2.2 million to lease and equip additional space at its northwest-side headquarters in Park 100. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering the company up to $1.5 million in performance-based tax credits based on the job-creation plans. The city of Indianapolis will consider property-tax abatement at the request of Develop Indy.
The Web site and software developer currently has 175 employees in Indianapolis and 50 in Cincinnati.
However, the company claimed to have 190 local employees and 30 in Cincinnati in January 2008 when it promised to spend $2 million and create 110 local jobs by 2010 in exchange for $250,000 in training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corp, as well as property-tax abatement from the city.
Fusion CEO Douglas Brown said Tuesday morning that the company actually only had 157 employees when it applied for the earlier incentives. He acknowledged the company fell far short of its job-creation target, but did create 18 jobs. He said the firm received $145,000 in work force training grants from the state for existing staff and another $55,000 in grants for new staff. He said the company did not receive a tax abatement.
I may be a life-long Republican, but I will not have any part of supporting politicians who deliberately set out to deceive the public. Increasingly, politicians' public pronouncements are carefully crafted by campaign consultants with an eye towards the next election. The veracity of the pronouncements are irrelevant as long as it fits the campaign meme. Too often the media fails to pick apart their statements. Ballard's public statements on his plan to transfer the utilities to Citizens Energy and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on pork barrel projects ahead of next year's election have been replete with falsehoods, but the media won't take him to task on any of them because they've been led to believe it's the right thing to do. Olson needs to be applauded for doing what a reporter is suppose to do: check it out.
UPDATE: These people really can't keep their stories straight. I just ran across a separate story in today's Star. "The IEDC had offered the company up to $250,000 in training grants for new and existing workers, but Fusion used only $50,000 of that money, Brown said, and added 18 jobs, the Star reports. Which is it? $200,000, $70,000 or $50,000? Although the company insists the jobs will pay above average for the IT field, Brown would not disclose to the Star the salary range of the jobs. "This is a good day for the brain gain in Indiana," the story quotes Gov. Mitch Daniels as saying. It sounds more like the brain drain to me.