Bryce Carpenter Joins Conexus Indiana as Director of Community, Industry Outreach

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Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, today announced the appointment of Bryce Carpenter as director of community and industry outreach. In the position, he will work with David Holt, Conexus vice president, operations and business development, to strengthen Conexus Indiana’s Regional Logistics Councils through outreach to business and community leaders across Indiana.

Carpenter comes to Conexus from the Marion County Republican Central Committee where he was executive director, creating and executing individually tailored campaign platforms and grassroots strategies, and partnering with the Indianapolis City-County Council, the Indiana General Assembly, and the Indianapolis mayor’s office to advance issues and legislation. Prior to ascending to that role, he served as the Central Committee’s communications and political director, developing and executing press conferences and media relations. He also managed efforts to recruit, develop and mobilize volunteers.

Prior to joining the Central Committee, Carpenter was deputy political director for the Friends of Governor Fletcher gubernatorial campaign in Frankfort, Ky., and worked in the administration in administration planning and education policy.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Bryce to our team,” said Holt. “His experience creating working partnerships with centers of influence and business and community leaders will expand our community and industry relationships. As an initiative that relies on the volunteer efforts of executives throughout the Hoosier state, we also appreciate Bryce’s background in recruiting and mobilizing dedicated volunteers.”

Carpenter earned a bachelor of arts degree from Centre College in Danville, Ky., with a major in government and a minor in history.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics.  Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

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Chip Edgington Named Chairman of the Conexus Indiana Board of Directors

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Conexus Indiana CEO Steven Dwyer announced today that Chip Edgington, executive vice president of Operations for FULLBEAUTY Brands, has been named chairman of the Conexus Indiana Board of Directors. Edgington succeeds David Parish who served as Conexus board chairman for three years and recently retired from Allison Transmission as senior vice president, Operations and Purchasing.

“Chip and David have both been long-time advocates of the Conexus Indiana mission as board members and as global industry leaders, and they have committed generous time and talent to shaping and delivering important Conexus programs for students, Indiana businesses and the community,” said Dwyer. “David brought a great deal of energy to the board and helped advance many Conexus Indiana programs that are building the next generation of advanced manufacturing and logistics workers and creating opportunities for Indiana’s continued leadership as the ‘Crossroads of America.’”

Edgington has been a member of the Conexus Indiana board of directors since 2012. He has chaired the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council since 2011, and was instrumental in 2015 in creating and launching six regional logistics plans that outlined infrastructure, public policy and education needs in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. He also led the development and implementation of logistics events at Indiana colleges to encourage students to consider logistics careers and network with Indiana executives to learn about internship and job opportunities.

“Chip has brought a lot of great ideas to Conexus and has personally invested significant time making sure we have the best programs and resources to reach students of all grade levels,” Dwyer said. “He displays his passion for Conexus, its programs and for the advanced manufacturing and logistics industry in everything he does.”

In addition to his work with Conexus Indiana, Edgington serves on the board of directors for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), a coalition of Indiana executives and university presidents focused on long-term growth and prosperity for the state through initiatives based on manufacturing, life science, logistics, energy and information technology. He is heavily engaged with early childhood development in central Indiana and has led numerous initiatives within FULLBEAUTY Brands to support inner city preschools from weekly reading programs to renovation projects to the company’s annual fund raiser.

 

About FULLBEAUTY Brands

FULLBEAUTY Brands is the most trusted, comprehensive resource for curvy women and big and tall men seeking fashion inspiration, style advice and clothing tailored to their individual needs.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

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Conexus Indiana Adds New Board Member

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Conexus Indiana CEO Steven Dwyer announced today that Michael A. Dick, senior vice president, Operations and Purchasing at Allison Transmission, has been named a member of the Conexus Indiana board of directors.

“We are excited Mike is joining our board and welcome his expertise in leveraging the advanced manufacturing and logistics strengths of our state,” said Dwyer. “Allison Transmission has been a long-time, valuable partner in Conexus Indiana’s work to move Indiana forward, and Mike’s appointment builds on that commitment.”

Dick joined Allison Transmission in 2006 and was named vice president of Purchasing, Supplier Quality and Manufacturing Engineering in 2012. Previously, he was executive director of operations and plant manager for the 1000/2000 Series manufacturing plant in Indianapolis and executive director of the Manufacturing Engineering team, which was responsible for the successful launch of the Chennai, India, Phase II assembly plant and the relocation of the 3000/4000 Series assembly operations in Szentgotthard, Hungary.

Before joining Allison Transmission, Dick worked for the New Venture Gear Corporation – a joint venture for General Motors and Chrysler – where he served as the vice president and division manager.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from Purdue University.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

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Indiana Automotive Industry to be Highlighted at International Auto Show

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DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2016) – Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) will spotlight the state’s automotive industry, which ranks No. 2 in the nation by gross domestic product, this week at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
 
On Wednesday, Smith will address industry leaders, elected officials and executives from the nation’s top automotive companies, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota, to share Indiana’s story as a state that works for business and for the automotive industry. NAIAS is one of the largest automotive trade shows in the world, with more than 35,000 industry professionals and analysts from 2,000 companies around the world expected to attend.
 
“Home to the iconic Indianapolis 500, Indiana has a rich history of auto racing and automotive innovation,” said Smith. “That legacy has played an integral role in shaping today’s Hoosier economy and has led to a booming automotive industry in Indiana, which today contributes more than $15 billion to our economy each year. And with our work to build a business friendly climate, this legacy of success will advance as companies like Allison Transmission, Chrysler, Faurecia, General Motors, Honda, NTN Driveshaft, Subaru and Toyota continue to choose Indiana for growth.”
 
Indiana is home to more than 500 automotive companies, including five OEM (original equipment manufacturer) assembly plants, which together support more than 100,000 Hoosier jobs. Indiana ranks third in the United States for car and truck production, with more than 5.1 million vehicles produced here since 2010.
 
In the last five years, the IEDC has announced more than $7 billion in investments in the state’s transportation equipment manufacturing industry. Just last year, General Motors announced plans to invest more than $1.2 billion in its Fort Wayne Assembly plant, Subaru of Indiana Automotive announced plans to invest $140.2 million in Lafayette and create up to 1,204 new jobs, and NTN Driveshaft announced plans to establish a new facility in Anderson that will ultimately create more than 500 new jobs.
 
Visit www.auto-indiana.com for a complete look at the state of the automotive industry in Indiana. This report was compiled by the IEDC and the Indiana Automotive Council.


About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, focusing on helping companies grow in and locate to the state. Governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov

About IAC
The Indiana Automotive Council (IAC) is a collaboration between industry, government and higher education.  The IAC is led by senior executives from the automotive industry with the shared vision of growing the automotive industry within the State of Indiana.  These executives represent some of the most influential, most innovative and fastest growing automotive companies.  With broad representation from Indiana’s automotive industry, the IAC works proactively to develop assets throughout the State of Indiana.

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Ball State University Students Participate in Innovative Immersive Learning Program

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(Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 5, 2015) More than 200 Ball State University undergraduates participated in the second Executive Connections program delivered by a partnership between the Post-Secondary Workforce Development Task Force of Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, and Ball State University’s Miller College of Business. The students were among the hundreds to take part in the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council’s (CILC) newest program to provide insight to students about career opportunities in logistics with Hoosier companies. 

Executive Connections was designed by approximately 20 executives at Indiana companies with the support of CILC to educate students about logistics careers and give them face-to-face contact with logistics executives. The networking sessions also demonstrate leadership and personal and interpersonal skills to students, who hear from logistics executives about career opportunities and about how logistics plays a role in the everyday lives of Hoosiers. Before attending, many business students are unaware of logistics as a good career path, and this program introduces them to the opportunities.

“Through this and similar events at Purdue University, students have come in contact with some very engaged, top-level executives,” explained Nicholas Hoagland, COO and CPO of Backhaul Direct LLC and a member of the Task Force. “Those executives find this a unique and worthwhile opportunity to leverage the existing programs offered by the universities and drive new approaches to promote careers in logistics to students.”

Working with Ball State’s Information Systems and Operations Management Department, CILC brought top logistics executives to the campus to provide an immersive learning experience in supply chain optimization. Ball State University professor Brad Anderson joined the executives in presenting the practicalities of working in logistics and supply chain operations management, including entry-level opportunities, resume preparation, and the challenges and rewards the industry offers. The role of information technologies and systems in planning, managing and evaluating information services were discussed, along with computer modeling tools such as linear and integer programming, regression, heuristic methods and other techniques. Software, computer modeling and simulation, and even business ethics were explored as the students were provided opportunities to question and learn directly from the executives.

“Our goal is to introduce these students to careers they may never have considered, and encourage them on the path to a well-paid professional life right here at home in Indiana,” said Hoagland. “Logistics is an essential piece of Indiana’s future, and building and maintaining our position as the Crossroads of America and a hub in the global supply chain will grow our economy. We’d like to see the best and the brightest of these students preparing today for the real jobs they’ll want at graduation. And we want to keep talent here in Indiana to help our logistics companies continue to grow.”

The Post-Secondary Workforce Development Task Force also is working with Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and Purdue Polytechnic Institute on a similar program and will host an event for students on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, at the Purdue Memorial Union from 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

 

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Southeast Regional Logistics Council Strategic Plan Released

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Southeast Regional Logistics Council Strategic Plan Released

Council identifies, prioritizes key Infrastructure improvements,
and talent development and public policy issues

 

(Jeffersonville, Ind., Oct. 13, 2015) The Conexus Indiana Southeast Regional Logistics Council (SERLC) today released its regional logistics strategic plan detailing long-term infrastructure, public policy and talent development priorities to grow the logistics industry and the economy in the 15-county region.*

SERLC, created by Conexus Indiana, brought together 32 logistics executives and thought leaders from Southeast Indiana in partnership with One Southern Indiana, regional economic development organizations and local chambers of commerce to develop strategies, goals and tactics to maximize short- and long-term success for the logistics sector in the region.

“Our strategic plan – titled Regional Links: Global Connections – provides a detailed map of the region’s infrastructure assets and outlines goals to ensure our positon as the ‘Crossroads of America,’” said Doug Prather, president of Ranger Enterprises LLC in Seymour and chair of the SERLC. “With enviable access to all four modes of transportation, Southeast Indiana is a gateway to global markets and we are smart to maximize both short- and long-term success for the business community and residents in Southeast Indiana.”

By identifying 63 infrastructure projects, as well as public policy and workforce development needs, and establishing priorities for implementation, the plan provides a comprehensive blueprint of the region’s logistics resources. Infrastructure projects include road, rail, air and waterborne transportation, and projected costs for each. Priorities were determined based on the potential for each to decrease transportation bottlenecks, increase direct rail service, increase use of regional air facilities for freight, and improve mode-to-mode connectivity within the region.

 

Priority projects include:

·         Adding lanes to I-64, I-65; US 421 and US 50;

·         Connecting Madison to I-65;

·         Re-engineering, reconfiguring and redesigning SR 46/SR 11 interchange and building and designing a rail grade separation;

·         Building and designing a rail grade separation at US 50/Tipton Street in Seymour; and

·         Creating a West Lawrenceburg truck corridor from SR 56/US 50 at Aurora to US 50/SR 1 East of Lawrenceburg.

“The I-65 project is an example of a regional project that will create economic development by providing connection to industries in the region, aiding in truck traffic flow for the movement of cargo,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president & CEO of One Southern Indiana in New Albany. “The plan calls for additional lanes on I-65 from Indianapolis to Jeffersonville – all of which combine to impact the transportation of goods and people throughout our region.”

The plan also stresses the critical importance of these issues to residents of the region. “By creating public policy goals to ensure federal, state and local governments do not regulate barriers to the safe, efficient and innovative movement of goods and resources through the region, and by ensuring adequate funding to support infrastructure priorities, we demonstrate that we are serious about working together for the good of the entire regional economy,” said Prather. “A healthy business environment translates to increased job opportunities for Southeast Indiana residents. And, of course, developing and maintaining infrastructure not only increases transportation opportunities for cargo, but provides for safe and efficient travel for residents as well.”

Educational opportunities to meet the next generation of business needs for skilled workers in the regional logistics industry are identified to respond to the shortages of air cargo pilots, truck drivers, barge captains, locomotive engineers, warehouse/logistics maintenance technicians and 4-year degree supervisors and supply chain graduates.

“Proactively addressing workforce development to provide the skills businesses need is an essential function of Regional Links: Global Connections,” Prather said. “Helping businesses achieve success directly relates to increased opportunities for employees today and in the future.”

The SERLC is one of six regional councils developed by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC) at the request of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Ports of Indiana to identify state, regional and local logistics needs in each area of the state.

Regional Links: Global Connections is the final regional strategic plan to be released,” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development at Conexus Indiana. “Like the others, the SERLC plan is the product of many hours of hard work by volunteers from among logistics executives, and public and nonprofit organizations that share our concern for the future of Indiana’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America.’”

A summary of strategies, goals and tactics identified in Regional Links: Global Connections is attached, and the entire plan can be downloaded at www.Conexusindiana.com.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council:

Conexus Indiana created the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council for executives in the industry to explore short- and long-term issues, opportunities and obstacles to growth in their businesses, and to develop strategies to ensure Indiana remains a logistics leader. The Council and its six regional councils are an unprecedented collaboration of logistics executives and thought leaders from throughout the state representing all sectors of the logistics user community.

*The Indiana counties within the Southeast Region are Bartholomew, Clark, Dearborn, Decatur, Floyd, Franklin, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Scott, Switzerland and Washington.


 

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Central Regional Logistics Council Strategic Plan Released

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The Conexus Indiana Central Regional Logistics Council (CRLC) today released its regional logistics strategic plan detailing long-term infrastructure, public policy and talent development priorities to grow the logistics industry and the economy in the 28-county region.*

CRLC, created by Conexus Indiana, brought together 76 logistics executives and thought leaders from Central Indiana into a partnership with regional economic groups and chambers of commerce to develop strategies, goals and tactics to maximize short- and long-term success for the logistics sector in the region.

Strengthening the Crossroads: Driving Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry is a complete, detailed map of the region’s infrastructure assets, developed from countless hours of volunteer effort by local logistics executives,” said Mark DeFabis, president and CEO of Integrated Distribution Services Inc. and chair of the CRLC. “It establishes priorities in infrastructure, public policy and workforce development issues that we believe will maximize both short- and long-term success for the business community and residents of Central Indiana.”

The plan identifies 74 infrastructure projects, as well as public policy and workforce development opportunities, and establishes priorities for implementation. Infrastructure projects include road, rail, air and waterborne transportation, and projected costs are outlined for each. Priorities were determined based on the potential for each to decrease transportation bottlenecks, increase direct rail service, increase use of regional air facilities for freight, and improve mode-to-mode connectivity within the region.

Priority projects include:

  • Completing I-69 from Bloomington to Indianapolis;
  • Adding lanes on I-65, I-70 and I-69;
  • Finishing the rural segments of US 31;
  • Connecting I-69 to I-65 with an outer loop connecting Madison, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Hendricks and Boone counties;
  • Converting US 36 to freeway-like access from I-465 to Danville;
  • Widening the existing 2-lane segment of US 231 to a 4-lane segment from Lafayette to I-74 in Crawfordsville; and
  • Improving and widening US 27 to a “Super-2” from Monroe to I-70 in Richmond.

These projects will  relieve the bottleneck of combined truck and passenger car congestion on both interstates and US highways.

“These and other regional projects address ‘big-picture’ issues,” said Betsy McCaw, chief operating officer at Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. “But the smaller local projects are equally important to the region and the state. We create opportunities to grow our economy when we maintain and increase our logistics assets. That also translates into more high-paying logistics careers for Hoosiers.”

Strengthening the Crossroads is a huge asset for the region,” said DeFabis. “The plan addresses the importance of ensuring federal, state and local governments do not regulate barriers to the safe, efficient and innovative movement of goods and resources through the region and to ensure adequate funding to support the infrastructure priorities. When businesses consider relocating or expanding in the region, those kinds of efforts demonstrate our commitment to maintaining and growing our infrastructure assets. And an attractive environment for business translates to increased mobility and job opportunity for Central Indiana residents.”

Educational opportunities to meet the next generation of business needs for skilled workers in the regional logistics industry are identified to respond to the shortages of air cargo pilots, truck drivers, barge captains, locomotive engineers, warehouse/logistics maintenance technicians and 4-year degree supervisors and supply chain graduates.

“Logistics excellence can maximize our economic strength in so many ways,” said DeFabis. “Proactively addressing workforce development to provide the skills businesses need is an essential function of Strengthening the Crossroads to achieve increased opportunities for employees today and in the future.”

The CRLC is one of six regional councils developed by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC) at the request of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Ports of Indiana to identify state, regional and local logistics needs in each area of the state.

Strengthening the Crossroads: Driving Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry is the fifth regional strategic plan to be released,” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development at Conexus Indiana. “Like the others, the CRLC plan is the product of many hours of hard work by volunteers from among logistics executives, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and both public and nonprofit organizations that share our concern for the future of Indiana’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America.’”

A summary of strategies, goals and tactics identified in Strengthening the Crossroads: Driving Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry is attached, and the entire Plan can be downloaded at www.Conexusindiana.com.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council:

Conexus Indiana created the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council for executives in the industry to explore short- and long-term issues, opportunities and obstacles to growth in their businesses, and to develop strategies to ensure Indiana remains a logistics leader. The Council and its six regional councils are an unprecedented collaboration of logistics executives and thought leaders from throughout the state representing all sectors of the logistics user community.

*The Indiana counties within the Central Region are Boone, Brown, Clinton, Delaware, Fayette, Fountain, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vermillion and Wayne.


 

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Northwest Regional Logistics Council Unveils Strategic Plan to Strengthen Northwest Indiana’s Logistics Industry

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(Portage, Ind., September 15, 2015) The Conexus Indiana Northwest Regional Logistics Council (NWRLC) today released its regional logistics strategic plan that details long-term infrastructure, public policy and talent development priorities to grow the logistics industry and the economy in the 11-county region.*

NWRLC, created by Conexus Indiana, brought together 32 logistics executives and thought leaders from Northwest Indiana into a partnership with the Northwest Indiana Forum, regional economic groups and chambers of commerce to develop strategies, goals and tactics to maximize short- and long-term success for the logistics sector in the region.

“Our all-volunteer group dedicated countless hours to developing this plan, which we titled Advancing Northwest Indiana’s Logistics as the Gateway to the World in recognition of both our location in the population center of the United States and the significant logistics assets already in place in the region,” said Kevin Lhotak, chair of the NWRLC and president of Reliable Transportation Specialists in Chesterton. “Working from a common agenda, we achieved alignment of priorities in infrastructure, public policy and workforce development issues to maximize short- and long-term success for the business community and the residents of Northwest Indiana.”

Advancing Northwest Indiana’s Logistics as the Gateway to the World identifies 54 infrastructure projects, as well as public policy and workforce development opportunities, and establishes priorities for implementation. Infrastructure projects include road, rail, air and waterborne transportation, and projected costs are outlined for each. Priorities were determined based on the potential for each to decrease transportation bottlenecks, increase direct rail service, increase use of regional air facilities for freight, and improve mode-to-mode connectivity within the region.

Northwest Indiana must address the severe bottlenecks on its regional highways and its limited rail access, both of which slow the transportation of goods and passenger vehicles. Priority projects to meet these goals include converting the existing 4-lane US 30 highway to a full access-controlled freeway with interchanges at major intersections to relieve congestion and provide better traffic flow; designing and building the Illiana Expressway, an 8-lane connector from US 30 in Lake County to SR 49 in Porter County to relieve the combined bottleneck truck and car congestion on I-65, I-80/90 and I-94; constructing a new lock at Soo to ease the passage of large vessels between Lake Superior that feed the steel mills and power plants of Northwest Indiana; and designing and building rail lines into Kingsbury Industrial Park to provide a niche multimodal rail service yard for the distribution of cold storage commodities to and from Tampa Bay, Fla, via CSX rail providing direct rail access.

“The plan includes major regional projects, as well as smaller – but important – local projects,” said Heather Ennis, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum. “Maintaining and increasing our logistics assets at both the regional and the local level creates opportunities to grow our economy and ensure more high-paying logistics jobs for Hoosiers.”

“This is a detailed asset map of Northwest Indiana’s logistics resources, and that is a huge asset in itself,” added Don Babcock, director of economic development for NIPSCO in Merrillville. “With it we can increase funding, public policy and workforce development initiatives through public/private partnerships. All of that makes our region more attractive to logistics businesses considering relocating or expanding in the region, and that provides increased mobility and job opportunities for residents of the region.”

To that end, the plan addresses the importance of ensuring federal, state and local governments do not regulate barriers to the safe, efficient and innovative movement of goods and resources through the region and to ensure adequate funding to support the infrastructure priorities.

Educational opportunities to meet the next generation of business needs for skilled workers in the regional logistics industry are identified to respond to the shortages of air cargo pilots, truck drivers, barge captains, locomotive engineers, warehouse/logistics maintenance technicians and 4-year degree supervisors and supply chain graduates.

“Increasing the job prospects and upward mobility of workers in Northwest Indiana is an essential function of Advancing Northwest Indiana’s Logistics as the Gateway to the World,” said Lhotak. “Addressing workforce development to proactively provide the skills businesses need achieves increased opportunities for employees today and in the future. Logistics excellence can maximize our economic strength in so many ways.”

The NWRLC is one of six regional councils developed by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC) at the request of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Ports of Indiana to identify state, regional and local logistics needs in each area of the state.

“Like those of the other five regional logistics councils, Advancing Northwest Indiana’s Logistics as the Gateway to the World is the product of the hard work of volunteer logistics executives, the Northwest Indiana Forum and both public and nonprofit organizations that share our commitment to the future of Indiana’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America,’” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development at Conexus Indiana.

The entire Plan can be downloaded at www.Conexusindiana.com.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council:

Conexus Indiana created the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council for executives in the industry to explore short- and long-term issues, opportunities and obstacles to growth in their businesses, and to develop strategies to ensure Indiana remains a logistics leader. The Council and its six regional councils are an unprecedented collaboration of logistics executives and thought leaders from throughout the state representing all sectors of the logistics user community.

*The Indiana counties within the Northwest region are Benton, Carroll, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, Starke, Warren and White.





 

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North Central Regional Logistics Council Unveils First-ever Plan to Strengthen North Central Indiana’s Logistics Industry

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(South Bend, Ind., Aug. 4, 2015) The Conexus Indiana North Central Regional Logistics Council (NCRLC) today released its regional logistics strategic plan that details long-term infrastructure, public policy and talent development priorities to grow the logistics industry and the economy in the 7-county region.*

NCRLC, created by Conexus Indiana in the spring of 2013, brought together 31 logistics executives and thought leaders from North Central Indiana into a partnership with regional economic groups and chambers of commerce to develop strategies, goals and tactics to maximize short- and long-term success for the logistics sector in the region.

“We titled this document Ensuring Connection to the World because the North Central region has a significant advantage with its central location, and with that comes opportunities to grow our economy and provide world-class freight movement,” said John T. Phair, president and CEO of Holladay Properties and chair of the NCRLC. “Ensuring Connection to the World focuses on our strengths and identifies our long-term infrastructure needs – the most important being the completion of US 31 so we can maximize freight movement north and south. We believe following this plan will increase the number of logistics businesses choosing to relocate or expand in our region.”

In developing Ensuring Connection to the World, council members identified 27 infrastructure projects, as well as public policy and workforce development opportunities.

The plan identifies road, rail, air and waterborne infrastructure projects at the regional and local levels, prioritizes those projects and outlines projected costs. The infrastructure projects, once implemented, will decrease transportation bottlenecks, increase direct rail service, increase use of regional air facilities for freight, and improve mode-to-mode connectivity.

Priority projects include the completion of the north and south bound lanes of US 31, converting US 30 to a 4-lane full access controlled freeway with interchanges at major intersections, transforming the Kingsbury Intermodal into a niche multimodal rail service yard for the distribution of cold storage commodities, completion of the Soo Locks to ease transportation of goods between Lake Superior and the steel mills and power plants that support businesses in North Central Indiana, connecting the toll road to US 30 via SR15 or CR 17 and ensuring construction of the Illiana Expressway giving better access freight access to Chicago.

“Having a detailed asset map of the region’s logistics resources, and a plan to expand and improve those assets is enormously beneficial,” said Jeff Rea, president and CEO of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. “With it we can target and increase funding, public policy and workforce development initiatives through public/private partnerships. But it’s not just for business. Our residents, too, will benefit from improved mobility and job opportunities.”

“We want to ensure we remain a leader in the nation in freight movement efficiency and productivity,” said Kyle Hannon, president & CEO of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. “Excellence in logistics will help grow our economy and create new opportunities.”

In addition to identifying infrastructure priorities, the Council tackled talent development and public policy opportunities to keep Indiana at the forefront of the global supply chain. The plan addresses the importance of ensuring federal, state and local governments do not regulate barriers to the safe, efficient and innovative movement of goods and resources through the region and, equally important, ensure adequate funding to support those infrastructure priorities.

The plan also calls for improved educational opportunities to meet the next generation of business needs for skilled workers in the regional logistics industry and increase the job prospects and upward mobility of those workers.

“While the Conexus Indiana HIRE Tech high-school curriculum is offered in six schools and there are nine businesses partnering with these schools to offer hands-on experience, there is room for growth,” said George Robertson, president of the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation. “Responding to the shortages of warehouse/logistics maintenance technicians and 4-year degree supervisors is also recognized as an essential function of workforce development in the region.”

The NCRLC is one of six regional councils developed by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC) at the request of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and the Ports of Indiana to identify regional and local logistics needs in each area of the state.

“Like those of the other regional logistics councils, Ensuring Connection to the World is the product of the hard work of volunteer logistics executives, local chambers of commerce, economic development groups and both public and private organizations that share our concern for the future of Indiana’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America,’” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development at Conexus Indiana.

A summary of strategies, goals and tactics identified in Ensuring Connection to the World is attached, and the entire Plan can be downloaded at www.Conexusindiana.com.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus Indiana is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council:

Conexus Indiana created the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council for executives in the industry to explore short- and long-term issues, opportunities and obstacles to growth in their businesses, and to develop strategies to ensure Indiana remains a logistics leader. The Council and its six regional councils are an unprecedented collaboration of logistics executives and thought leaders from throughout the state representing all sectors of the logistics user community.

*The Indiana counties within the North Central region are Cass, Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, Miami and St. Joseph.


 

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Indiana Retains A-Level Performance in Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics – And Why That Matters

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The 2015 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card issued by Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, and Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), places Indiana among the nation’s elite in four important categories: manufacturing health, logistics health, tax climate and global reach. A companion study, The Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America, explains why that bodes well for Hoosier workers and the Indiana economy.

“There are major misunderstandings among the public and the media about the manufacturing sector,” said Michael J. Hicks, PhD, director of CBER and an economics professor at Ball State. “The U.S. manufacturing base is not in decline, and we have recovered from the recession. Nor are jobs being outsourced because American manufacturing can’t compete internationally.  Moreover new jobs in manufacturing pay well above the average wage.”

Manufacturing, The Myth and the Reality explains, is a large, resilient and growing sector of the U.S. economy, and production remains robust. And, as the 2015 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card makes clear, both industries continue to flourish in Indiana, leading the state’s growing economy in the post-Great Recession era.

The study clarifies that national manufacturing production in the U.S. has seen long-term growth since before the Great Depression.  And the Great Recession – painful as it was – had completely lost its stranglehold by 2014, when U.S. manufacturers attained record levels of production. The report also demonstrates that one of the most important changes in the past decade has been the impact of an 87% increase in employee productivity, which has resulted in enormous changes to today’s workforce – both in the employment levels and in the skills needed to succeed in a changing environment.

“Overall, only 13 percent of lost jobs over the past decade, which are less than 4 percent of all manufacturing jobs, can be linked to international trade,” Hicks said, “and most of trade-related job losses are in low productivity sectors.

“Changes in productivity, domestic demand and foreign trade all impact manufacturing employment in the U.S., and it’s important to clarify those impacts in order to understand what is happening in the manufacturing and logistics industries,” Hicks continued.

For the seventh consecutive year, Indiana’s manufacturing health has earned an ‘A’, and for five consecutive years, the state has rated an ‘A’ in logistics health. Both Indiana’s global reach and its tax climate maintained ‘A’ grades for the seventh consecutive year. All four categories are key components for businesses seeking to relocate or expand.

“Indiana benefits from business operations and employment in a diverse range of sectors, from biosciences to communications,” said Steven Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. “The data convincingly demonstrate our competitive edge, both in the Midwest and nationally.

“Conexus Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, along with our industry and education partners recognize that the workforce component is an essential piece of Indiana’s continued success in advanced manufacturing and logistics,” he continued. “Our innovative programming at the high school and post-secondary levels are achieving positive results teaching the middle skills necessary to succeed in advanced manufacturing careers.”

Graduates are already emerging from these targeted programs armed with industry-recognized credentials that enable them to move directly into skilled positions with some of the state’s most sought-after employers in automotives, aerospace, biosciences, pharmaceuticals and other high-tech sectors.

That’s good news, since baby boom generation retirees are leaving behind good, well-paying jobs in those sectors, and younger workers are filling those jobs at an unprecedented rate. Recent new hire salaries averaged $20.06 per hour – almost $42,000 a year. As millennials move into the workforce, wage gaps between new and existing jobs are primarily age- and tenure-related.

“The Myth and the Reality points out that sustainable manufacturing employment growth requires high levels of human capital with the appropriate educational skills,” said Dwyer. “Our programs such as Hire Tech are preparing students by focusing on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills that are needed in the advanced manufacturing environment. Indiana’s second year of improvement (‘C-‘ to ‘C’) in the Human Capital category indicates that those initiatives in workforce development are the right approach to growing a job-ready talent pool required by Indiana’s booming advanced manufacturing and logistics companies.”

The nine categories in the national report card are those considered most likely to be among the issues site selection experts for manufacturing and logistics firms scrutinize, and Indiana maintained or improved its scores in all but one. Worker benefit costs are slightly lower and remain higher than the national average. Both benefits and human capital categories are likely topics for debate and policy development in the next General Assembly.

Indiana’s scores in both Expected Fiscal Gap and Productivity & Innovation continued their three-year improvement, with slightly better than average ‘B-‘ grades in each. Still, the state outscored its Midwest neighbors Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin in the fiscal category, and only Michigan managed to reach the ‘A’ category in Productivity & Innovation.

“We are proud that Indiana continues to lead the Midwest and most of the nation in the 21st century manufacturing and logistics sectors,” Dwyer said. “Conexus Indiana’s vision of Indiana as the recognized global leader in advanced manufacturing and logistics grows closer each year, as we catalyze the efforts of industry partners and promote better understanding of these sectors to the state’s economic future.”

Full Reports:

The full Indiana report, national report, and the companion study, The Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America, are available at www.conexus.cberdata.org.

About Conexus Indiana

Conexus is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities such as workforce development, creating new industry partnerships, and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research

The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) is an economic policy and forecasting research center at Ball State University. CBER research includes public finance, regional economics, manufacturing, transportation, and energy sector studies. The Center produces the CBER Data Center – a suite of web-based data tools – and the Indiana Business Bulletin – a weekly newsletter with commentary on current issues and regularly updated data on dozens of economic indicators. In addition to research and data delivery, CBER serves as a business forecasting authority in Indiana’s east-central region, holding the annual Indiana Economic Outlook luncheon and quarterly meetings of the Ball State University Business Roundtable.

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