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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.

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.

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