Southwest Indiana Fuels Automotive Sector Growth
As other Midwest communities struggle with changes in the economic landscape, Southwest Indiana's automotive sector is growing. Leading the way is Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, one of the most highly advanced auto assembly facilities in the world. It is the new home of the Highlander, Toyota's fuel-efficient, midsize SUV, as well as the Sienna and Sequoia.
Area Development Research Desk (Automotive Site Guide 2008)

Southwest Indiana is also home to many other world-class automotive and transportation companies: Accuride, Guardian Automotive, PPG Automotive Glass, Red Spot Coatings, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Toyota Boshoku, United Components, and Vuteq.

The region provides unique advantages for business and industry. The available skilled work force, low overall operating costs, and favorable business climate of Southwest Indiana make it an ideal location for new economic investment.

Southwest Indiana is located near the median center of the U.S. population, the point where latitude and longitude intersect and the population is the same on all sides. That strategic location means low transportation costs and easy access to nearly every U.S. market. Southwest Indiana is within three-and-a-half hours of five cities with metro populations of over one million.

With a metropolitan population of 350,000 and a regional population exceeding 750,000, Southwest Indiana offers the charm of a smaller community and the progressive attitude, dedicated work force, and sophisticated infrastructure of a larger, urban area.

A Diversified Economy
In addition to the breadth and depth of its automotive sector, Southwest Indiana is also home to businesses in other industries.

It is the global center of excellence for plastics and plastics derivatives, including SABIC Innovative Plastics, Berry Plastics Group, and others. And the region is a center of activity for bio and life sciences, including the headquarters and research and development facilities for Mead Johnson Nutritionals, the most sophisticated nutritional center in the world and home to Bristol-Myers Squibb's World Medicines.

This economic diversification contributes to the growth and quality of place of the region, making it especially attractive to new business.

A Work Force Revved Up to Do the Unexpected: Work
Southwest Indiana has a strong reputation for its highly skilled, educated, and productive work force. The value-added productivity of Southwest Indiana is consistently ranked among the highest in the nation, and the region continues to create unique education and training programs to meet the changing needs of business.

The Southwest Indiana labor shed from which companies can select experienced employees is robust compared with other regions of the country. The work ethic of the labor force is shaped by generations of craftsmanship, innovation, and old-fashioned hard work.

The region's roots run deep in manufacturing, and the work force is highly skilled in that area. Unlike many communities, manufacturing continues to be the engine that drives our regional economy.

A Region Committed to Worker Development
Southwest Indiana understands the need for building the labor skills of its work force, and the importance of retraining for workers. In the global marketplace, a company's most valuable asset is a tightly knit team of dedicated, skilled employees. Here, we focus on developing exactly the kind of work force you need.

Southwest Indiana is one of a select few regions in the country receiving the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to train the next generation of workers.

The region is also home to world-class education institutions like the University of Evansville, Oakland City University, Ivy Tech Community College, and the University of Southern Indiana - Indiana's fastest-growing public university. In addition, Vincennes University will unveil its newest manufacturing center in 2009.

These educational institutions work in cooperation with the business sector in Southwest Indiana to provide customized - not canned - training programs based on employers' specific needs. Training courses are conducted on site at workplaces or at various campuses throughout the region. These innovative work force training programs offer companies the flexibility to rapidly improve employees' skills in response to ever-changing customer needs.

A Business-Friendly State Government
The state's commitment to business is strong. Indiana holds workforce development as one of its highest priorities, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development provides assistance to businesses in nearly every facet of hiring and training.

State officials also work closely with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to accelerate assistance to companies.

An Ideal Business Climate
Public and private leaders across Indiana work together to create an extremely favorable business climate. The result of this shared vision includes innovative business assistance programs, a tax system that keeps overall costs competitive, and a regulatory environment that promotes growth.

One important part of the business climate of the state is the variety of economic incentives. They include state tax credits like the Hoosier Business Investment Tax Credit, based on a company's proposed capital investment and the economic benefits of the investment; the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit, available for companies investing in facilities requiring significant remodeling; the Headquarters Relocation Tax Credit for eligible corporations relocating their headquarters to Indiana; and the Venture Capital Investment Tax Credit for investors providing qualified capital to fast-growing companies in the state.

These incentives are just an example of the fertile conditions for business growth that the region has worked hard to create. Southwest Indiana provides an ideal business climate for your company to flourish.

An Infrastructure That Works for You
Southwest Indiana offers excellent transportation infrastructure, efficient and affordable utilities, rich natural resources, and available developed and undeveloped sites for business.

The transportation infrastructure provides easy access and distribution to every major U.S. market by Interstate highway, rail, air, or water routes.

New transportation infrastructure includes the Southwest Indiana portion of Interstate 69. The highway will link the U.S. with Canada and Mexico, connecting North America. Construction on the Southwest Indiana leg of the interstate highway began in July 2008.

Southwest Indiana is served by two Class I railroads: the CSX and the Norfolk Southern. They provide access to every major eastern and Midwestern market. Rail routes include the main line of the CSX from Chicago to the southeast U.S.; CSX rail service between Evansville and Chicago; and northbound and southbound train service to Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, and Jacksonville, Florida. The CSX Howell Yard in Evansville sorts and makes up trains, and has intermodal facilities to handle 3,000 cargo containers and piggyback trailers per month. The Norfolk Southern main line connects Southwest Indiana to the West via St. Louis, and to the entire eastern seaboard; it provides critical service to the region's automotive and metal manufacturing sectors.

Gas and electric power are competitively priced, and the region's utility companies are strongly committed to business development. Both Vectren and Duke Energy-Indiana are consistently ranked among the best run and most competitively-priced utility companies in North America. Vectren is Indiana's largest natural gas utility, and Duke Energy-Indiana is the state's largest electric utility. Together the assure consistent and reliable sources of energy.

The region offers an abundance of water and other natural resources for manufacturing processes. Southwest Indiana is strategically bordered by the Ohio River to the south and the Wabash River to the west. The region sits atop one of the largest aquifers in North America, which promises companies a clean, dependable source of water for manufacturing and cooling.

The infrastructure of Southwest Indiana also includes ideal industrial sites, manufacturing sites, development sites, and buildings.

A True Public-Private Partnership

The active partnership between top government officials and key corporate leaders illustrates the pro-business mindset of Southwest Indiana.

Within the region, the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana acts as the umbrella economic development organization for Gibson County, Posey County, Vanderburgh County, and Warrick County in Southwest Indiana.

The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana offers a proactive program of free and confidential services to assist with facility relocation, business expansion, and the retention of existing industry. The coalition staff specializes in location studies, building and site searches, and feasibility studies.

The coalition's coordinated approach saves businesses time and effort. The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana maintains databases of industrial sites and buildings, regional workforce data, incentives and assistance programs, and other information key to site selection.

Southwest Indiana's public and private partners also work closely with state and federal government agencies, local economic development groups, and railroad and utility economic development offices for continuous improvement of the region's infrastructure. These successful efforts include the construction of the Southwest Indiana portion of Interstate 69, the nation's newest automotive corridor.

Southwest Indiana: Make It Yours
With a booming automotive industry, a highly-trained work force, an ideal business climate, solid infrastructure, and effective public and private partners, Southwest Indiana is one of the most accessible communities in the world. We invite you to make Southwest Indiana yours.

To find out more, contact the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana through our website. All services are free of charge, and information related to facility location projects is kept strictly confidential.

Greg Wathen, President and CEO
Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana
100 N.W. Second St., Suite 208
Evansville, IN 47708
Phone: 812-423-2020
Fax: 812-423-2080

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