Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana President Sue Ellspermann Joins Conexus Indiana Board of Directors

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Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, is the newest member of the board of directors of Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative. Steven Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana, announced Ellspermann’s appointment today, noting that she brings significant higher education, economic development and high-tech industry experience to the board.

“Dr. Ellspermann brings more than 30 years of experience and public service to our board,” Dwyer said. “Having the president of Ivy Tech Community College serve on our board is invaluable given the important role community college plays in today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. In addition to her significant higher education success, Sue led many initiatives to strengthen Indiana’s advantage as the ‘Crossroads of America ’while serving as Indiana’s 50th Lieutenant Governor.”

During her tenure with the State of Indiana, Ellspermann served with Conexus Indiana board member Catherine A. Langham, president and owner of Langham Logistics, Inc., as co-chair of Governor Mike Pence’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure, and led trade missions to Japan, South Korea Taiwan and China. She also served as president of the Senate and Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and oversaw six agencies including the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Office of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Housing and Community Development Authority, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and Office of Defense Development.

Prior to her term as lieutenant governor, Ellspermann was founding director of the Center of Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) and taught at USI, the University of Evansville and University of Louisville.

“Dr. Ellspermann’s extensive workforce development efforts will be a distinct asset for our board,” said Conexus Indiana Board Chair Chip Edgington, executive vice president of Operations at FULLBEAUTY Brands. “Among other leadership positions, Dr. Ellspermann served while she was Lt. Governor as vice chair of the Indiana Career Council, an organization charged with aligning Indiana’s education and workforce development system to meet employer needs. The Council’s charge is similar to the work Conexus Indiana has been promoting to meet advanced manufacturing and logistics workforce needs. Her expertise and commitment to developing a ready talent base is invaluable.”

“It is an honor to have been invited to join the Conexus Indiana board,” Ellspermann said. “Preparing the next generation of Hoosier workers to achieve career success is vital to the economic future of our state, as well as quality of life for all Indiana residents. I look forward to working with the dedicated members of the Conexus board of directors and staff.”

Ellspermann is closely engaged with other community and private sector organizations, including serving on the OneAmerica board of directors, Indiana honorary chair of the Million Women Mentors, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) board of directors and the advisory board of the Indiana Conference for Women.

Ellspermann earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Louisville.

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Valparaiso University Wins First Place, $5,000 Cash Prize in First-ever Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition

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Valparaiso University walked away today with a $5,000 cash award and a 3-day experience with Indiana’s top logistics industry executives committed to developing talent to fuel Indiana’s position as the “Crossroads of America” and a global logistics leader.

The team from Valparaiso University was among the more than 65 Indiana students from 17 colleges and universities who gathered in Indianapolis Oct. 12-14 for the first-ever Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition. The goal of the event was to increase awareness of logistics career opportunities and build the pipeline of students seeking logistics careers. The awards for first, second and third place, totaling $8,000 in cash, were presented by U.S. Representative Todd Rokita.

"This event, hosted by Conexus and leaders of Indiana's logistics industry, is a positive and proactive way to showcase the talent at Indiana's colleges and universities,” said U.S. Representative Todd Rokita. “The insight and resourcefulness of these students is indicative of the innovative programs offered at the institutions they attend.  These future industry leaders will help ensure Indiana continues to be a premier destination for companies looking for excellence in logistics service."

Purdue Polytechnic Institute placed second and won $2,000 and the University of Evansville placed third and won $1,000.

As the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana is a global logistics leader thanks to its central location and excellent business environment. Logistics career opportunities, which pay a median salary of $74,000, are only expected to increase as the business of moving products from manufacturing floor to store shelf is projected to double by 2035. The logistics sector employs approximately 300,000 Hoosiers and an estimated 75,000 more are employed in logistics positions by the state’s manufacturers.

“The Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition couldn’t have come at a more opportune time,” said Mark DeFabis, CEO of Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) and chairman of the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council. “In the last few months alone, Indiana has announced significant investments by a handful of logistics companies in Central Indiana and in communities around the state. The need for a skilled talent base continues to increase as more companies locate and grow in Indiana because of its ideal business environment.”

Students worked in teams of four to develop a solution to a real-world logistics business case that replicated the kinds of issues today’s industry leaders face in the high-tech logistics environments, said Nick Hoagland, COO/CPO of Backhaul Direct, vice chair of the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council and chair for the council’s Workforce Development Task Force. “Perhaps just as important,” he added, “these students had access to many of the state’s highest-ranking logistics executives to discuss career opportunities, learn more about the logistics industry and solidify their educational pathways for future success.”

Conexus Indiana has worked closely with Indiana’s universities to encourage the best and brightest students pursue the skills and education to succeed in the logistics industry. In addition to the Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition, Conexus Indiana sponsors multiple opportunities for students to meet with logistics executives on campus and at Hoosier logistics company sites.

Competing Schools:

Ancilla College

Ball State University

Butler University

Indiana State University

Indiana University (Kelley)

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis)

Ivy Tech Community College (Lafayette/Fort Wayne)

Manchester College

Marian University

Purdue University (Krannert)

Purdue University (Polytechnic)

University of Southern Indiana

University of Evansville

University of Indianapolis

Vincennes University

Valparaiso University

 

Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition Supporting Logistics Companies:

Backhaul Direct

FULLBEAUTY Brands

UPS

Duke Realty

Frost Brown Todd

Rolls-Royce

IDS

Roche

Allison Transmission

Red Gold

Colliers International

MD Logistics

Cummins

Buchanan Hauling and Rigging

Merchandise Warehouse Co.

Langham Logistics

Martin Riley

Geodis

First Merchants Bank

Cushman & Wakefield

Safe Culture Consulting Group


 

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Conexus Indiana Launches Conexus Icon

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Next Generation Supplier Database Connects Hoosier-based Suppliers with Local and Global Procurement Opportunities

Conexus Indiana announced the launch of Conexus Icon (www.conexusicon.com), a fully optimized supplier database connecting more than 6,000 Hoosier-based original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), state agencies, universities, and small- to medium-sized businesses with procurement opportunities.

The free database simplifies matchmaking, and connects Indiana suppliers with buyers from throughout the state and from around the world through its robust search capabilities and GIS mapping tool that pinpoints company locations and industry clusters.

“The benefits of this new database are enormous,” said Rich Murphy, program manager for Conexus Indiana. “Global buyers have a window into the world of Hoosier suppliers through this database, providing untapped opportunities for business growth and development. In comparison to supplier databases in other states, Conexus Icon sets a new standard and further differentiates Indiana’s business environment.”

Conexus Icon replaces Indiana Supplier INsight, a supplier database that was launched six years ago and grew 500 percent through 2015. The additional functionality provided by Conexus Icon takes the database to the next level, providing search capabilities by keyword, industry sector, business type, and quality and diversity certifications. Companies can post procurement opportunities, and businesses that match the requirements will receive notifications.

Conexus Icon is possible through the Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD) and a Federal grant intended to assist businesses and communities that are impacted by reductions in DOD spending. Additional support is provided by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Ivy Tech Community College, two organizations that also helped launch and provided continued support for Supplier INsight.

“The IODD is excited to be a strategic partner in the development of this new Hoosier-based supplier database,” said Duane Embree, executive director of the IODD. “This new tool will allow us to quickly identify defense-related companies in Indiana and assist with business development efforts.”

In addition to its matchmaking functionality, Conexus Icon gives users access to a community forum for topics including federal contracting, teaming interests and general business topics. It also includes a suggestion box for database improvements.

“Indiana has added 32,000 manufacturing jobs in just the last three years and now employs one in five Hoosiers,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “Advanced manufacturing is driving economic growth in Indiana, and it’s crucial that momentum continues. Paired with our business-friendly climate, Conexus Icon will be a key asset in helping to attract and grow manufacturing in the state.”

To view the database, go to www.conexusicon.com.

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New Data: Indiana Ranks as National Leader in Share of Advanced Manufacturing Employment

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Indiana has the largest state share of advanced manufacturing employment in the nation, with one out of every 12 workers employed in the advanced manufacturing sector, according a data released today by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Conexus Indiana. The data confirms that Indiana not only has the largest concentration of manufacturing in the nation, but also leads with nearly 53 percent of its manufacturing employment in companies deemed advanced manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing is defined by the Brookings Institution as an industry sector with high levels of STEM-related occupations and research and development investment. Using Brookings Institution’s definition, CBER looked at each state’s advanced manufacturing employment as a share of total manufacturing employment in 2013.

Conexus and CBER data also shows that Indiana’s advanced manufacturing share is growing. Between 2010 and 2013, Indiana experienced a 1.8 percentage point growth in advanced manufacturing employment, placing it in the top 25 percent nationally.

Education is an important driver of advanced manufacturing growth; researchers identified a strong correlation between educational attainment and advanced manufacturing growth in Indiana. From 2010 through 2013, the growth in the number of Indiana adults with Associate degrees or higher was positively related to growth in the advanced manufacturing sector, indicating that a well-educated and ready workforce matters more than any other single factor in the health of advanced manufacturing firms.

Additional data shows that nationally STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and white-collar jobs are growing in the advanced manufacturing sector, while blue-collar occupations have declined. Of Indiana’s 243,597 advanced manufacturing jobs, 17.4 percent are STEM-related, 24.7 percent are white-collar and 57.8 percent are blue-collar.

“These data underscore the importance of talent development efforts with a focus on educational attainment,” said Michael Hicks, Ph.D., director of CBER. “Programs such as Hire Tech, where students are exposed early on to the concepts of advanced manufacturing, are needed now more than ever as Indiana continues to grow its advanced manufacturing industry. Transitioning students into potential employees is urgent, given the fact that advanced manufacturing growth has likely provided a bulk of manufacturing employment growth in Indiana over the past decade.”

“With a direct correlation between educational attainment and the health of our advanced manufacturing sector, it’s vitally important that we focus the right resources on preparing talent to succeed in the advanced manufacturing sector,” added Steven Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. “While the State of Indiana has many programs in place to address this talent need, we need to continue our focus on attainment, which today ranks no better than average for advanced manufacturing skills.”

In the accompanying study 2016 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card for Indiana, CBER reports that Indiana maintained its “A” grade in Manufacturing Health, with 2015 again being a record year for manufacturing production. Indiana maintained its grade levels in seven of the nine categories from 2015 to 2016. Indiana’s grade for Logistics dropped from an “A” grade in 2015 to an “A-”, which was caused, in part, by the absence of a long-term infrastructure funding solution.  Indiana’s grade in Productivity and Innovation increased from a B- in 2015 to a B+ in 2016.

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.

Other grades for Indiana include:

Human Capital: C

Worker Benefit Costs: D+

Tax Climate: A

Expected Fiscal Liability Gap: B-

Global Reach: A

Sector Diversification: C

Indiana, compared to its midwestern neighbors, ranks high in Manufacturing Industry Health, Tax Climate, Fiscal Liability Gap, and Productivity and Innovation and Logistics. Indiana lags neighboring states in Worker Benefit Costs, which is caused by health care expenditures through relative higher premiums.

Full Reports:

The full Indiana report, national report, and Advanced Manufacturing in the United States: The Shift Toward Diversified Industries and an Educated Workforce 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. The 2016 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card for Indiana, 2016 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card for the United States and Advanced Manufacturing in the United States: The Shift Toward Diversified Industries and an Educated Workforce were written by Michael Hicks, Ph.D., George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of Economics, Miller College of Business, and Srikant Devaraj, Ph.D., research assistant professor with CBER.

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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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