A year-end letter from Conexus Indiana President and CEO, Frederick Cartwright

Conexus friends and stakeholders –

As we close out 2023, I want to take a moment to thank you for your role in making Indiana a global leader in advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML). As I reflect on the collective impact that we have made this year, two themes come to mind:

– The growing synergies between schools and industry to build the talent pipeline, and

– The increased pace of collaboration among companies of all sizes to ensure Indiana leads in an Industry 4.0 economy.

Indiana schools and industry are collaborating and partnering at unprecedented levels to build the next generation of talent.

This year we saw industry engaging like never before while educational leaders met them with flexibility and creativity, as partners in preparing our next-gen workforce for successful careers and futures. For example, in partnership with the Indiana Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE), Conexus Indiana awarded nearly $500,000 in Education Readiness Grants to five high schools to prepare students for an Industry 4.0 workplace. In addition to funding curriculum and technology, these grants require schools to partner with a local employer to provide students with a work-based learning experience.

Industry also has supported our state’s many high school student-run manufacturing businesses and partnered with Indiana’s top universities to bridge the divide between university research and industry experience. Equally as critical, Conexus served more than 340 individuals considering careers in AML through its Catapult Indiana manufacturing career training program and our industry partners met the demand for jobs for graduates and gave them opportunities to advance once they were hired.

Indiana manufacturers are adopting digital technologies at a positive pace and local entrepreneurs and technology providers are delivering much-needed solutions.

Our efforts to connect technology integrators, entrepreneurs and Indiana manufacturers are paying off—helping to grow the AML ecosystem and helping Indiana companies find local technology solutions. Conexus has strategically brought industry and entrepreneurs together through events, such as the RALLY Innovation Conference and the gener8tor Manufacturing Conference, making connections where none existed before. Our state’s regional economic development partners are also essential to this work and its success. Another powerful program we helped launch was Hardtech Indiana—a convening organization designed to provide a space where hardtech innovators, investors and corporate customers connect and collaborate.

These communities came together in 2023 with an acknowledgment that working together only accelerates the innovation goals of all involved.

As an AML community member, you have helped us drive progress this year. As we head into 2024 – with a continued focus on affirming Indiana as the center for innovation and digital transformation – your commitment to building strategic partnerships within the industry, education and entrepreneurial spaces will be essential to achieving our mission.

Thank you for a dynamic 2023. Here’s to 2024!

Frederick Cartwright
President and CEO, Conexus Indiana