CICP Formally Launches Conexus Indiana

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Central Indiana Corporate Partnership formally launches
Conexus Indiana advanced manufacturing/logistics initiative

New effort follows BioCrossroads in focusing on two critical industries;
Cummins President Joe Loughrey and Carol D’Amico to lead initiative

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 27, 2007) The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an alliance of the CEOs of major regional employers and university presidents, has formally launched Conexus Indiana, a new initiative focused on the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. In 2002, CICP co-founded the BioCrossroads life sciences initiative; Conexus Indiana will follow a similar approach in promoting manufacturing and logistics growth. The two industries already account for nearly a third of the state’s economic output and more than a quarter of its jobs.

Conexus Indiana will be chaired by Cummins Inc. President and COO Joe Loughrey. It will be led at the staff level by President & CEO Carol D’Amico, former Executive Vice-President and Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College, and Executive Vice-President Lisa Laughner, former Vice-President of Corporate Ventures for Rolls-Royce North America.

“Manufacturing and logistics are evolving, becoming more high-tech, and we’ve put together an allstar team to maximize our potential in these industries,” said Mark Miles, CICP’s President & CEO. “Conexus Indiana will focus on building a world-class workforce, creating partnerships to explore promising markets, and aggressively marketing Indiana as a manufacturing and logistics leader.

“As the name implies, Conexus Indiana is about making connections – with potential workers, with new business opportunities, with educational and public institutions, with strategic alliances and supply chain partners.”

The initiative will be governed by an Executive Committee that includes, in addition to Loughrey: Steve Dwyer, COO of Rolls Royce; Denny Oklak, Chairman and CEO of Duke Realty; Bob Palmer, Vice-President of FedEx; Martin Jischke, President of Purdue University; Tom Snyder, President-elect of Ivy Tech Community College; Andrew Penca, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development; and Mark Miles of CICP. Additional appointments to this group are planned.

Conexus Indiana will address three key priorities – developing a highly-skilled manufacturing workforce; creating industry collaborations to explore new business opportunities; and aggressively marketing Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics strengths to the business community, potential workers and the public at large. The initiative is already moving forward on all of these fronts; planned and ongoing activities include:

  • Working with higher education and training providers, tailoring programs to create educational opportunities aligned with manufacturing and logistics; for example, exploring the need for a logistics bachelor’s degree program and other curricula to match the needs expressed by industry leaders.
  • Launching an educational career awareness program modeled on the “Dream It, Do It” campaign of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute to attract more young people to the industries; this effort includes career fairs, mentoring and internship programs as well as broader marketing efforts to reach potential workers.
  • Researching new markets – Conexus Indiana is currently partnering with the State of Indiana on an initiative to attract more federal contracts in defense and aerospace, and it is evaluating other potential growth areas and potential business start-up and spin-offs based on patent and R&D activity.
  • Creating “connectivity” programs such as a statewide database linking large manufacturers to potential Indiana suppliers and supply chain networking events.
  • Marketing Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics strengths, to attract new economic opportunities and raise public awareness. These awareness-building efforts would also reach policymakers and the business community with research and analysis related to the industries in Indiana.

These efforts will be funded by a $6.5M+ budget through 2009. This includes a grant to the CICP Foundation of more than $3M awarded last week by the Lilly Endowment Inc. for research, educational and career awareness activities, as well as pledges from leading companies and other institutions with interests in these industries.

“Indiana has a manufacturing and logistics sector that’s incredibly diverse, with a strong industry base, natural geographic advantages and bright prospects for growth,” said Joe Loughrey, President & COO of Cummins Inc. and Chairman of Conexus Indiana.

“But we have challenges to tackle – the need for skilled workers, to streamline supply chains and look ahead to new market opportunities. The industry has stepped forward to support these priorities through Conexus Indiana.”

Governor Mitch Daniels, who also participated in the Conexus Indiana announcement, noted that the initiative’s priorities dovetail with the State’s economic development strategy.

“Conexus Indiana is about making connections, and we look forward to building a strong bond with this group,” said Governor Daniels. “We’re attracting record levels of investment to Indiana’s manufacturing sector, and we welcome a partner like Conexus Indiana to help us think strategically about what’s next in advanced  manufacturing and logistics.”

For Conexus Indiana President & CEO Carol D’Amico, much of the initiative’s early success will hinge on developing a strong workforce while correcting public misconceptions about manufacturing and logistics.

“We sometimes come up against the attitude that manufacturing is yesterday’s news, or that logistics is just warehouses and forklifts,” she said. “But the truth is, manufacturing and logistics are creating good jobs, jobs that pay more than 33% more than the average Indiana wage.

“If you work in manufacturing today, you’re more likely to be working at a computer station than standing on an assembly line. If we’re going to train a workforce that can compete for these opportunities, first we have to get rid of outdated thinking.”

Conexus Indiana is also reaching out to business and industry groups, economic development agencies and other potential partners in a collaborative approach to helping the manufacturing and logistics sectors grow.

“We welcome Conexus Indiana, and look forward to working with the new initiative just as we have with CICP,” said Pat Kiely, President of the Indiana Manufacturers Association. “There has been a need to look at manufacturing and logistics as a whole, and the issues that Conexus Indiana wants to address are a good complement to the IMA agenda. I see many partnership opportunities ahead of us.”

Development of Conexus Indiana was led by Snyder, Oklak, and Jischke as members of the CICP Board of Directors; all are continuing their involvement on the Conexus Indiana Executive Committee. Lisa Laughner spearheaded the development of the Conexus Indiana business plan as CICP’s Vice-President of Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics before assuming her current position as Executive Vice-President of the initiative.

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About CICP
The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership is a coalition of Indiana corporate and university leaders
who share a common goal – promoting long-term economic growth for the region. CICP’s mission
is to transform the economy of Indiana in order to create sustainable prosperity and quality of life
for our citizens and future generations. CICP Foundation supports the charitable and educational
programs and activities of CICP.