IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Hicks says jobs report paints 'grim picture'

2013-04-05T14:55:00Z IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Hicks says jobs report paints 'grim picture'Gerry Dick Inside Indiana Business nwitimes.com
April 05, 2013 2:55 pm  • 

A Ball State University economist says the March unemployment report points to a "very long stretch of joblessness." Center for Business and Economic Research Director Mike Hicks says nearly half a million workers leaving the labor force led to a drop in the jobless rate to 7.6 percent.

 

Habitat For Humanity Adapting to Market

The chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis says a recent gift is an illustration of a trend in charitable donations. Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has awarded a $250,000 grant to the organization to help revitalize the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood in Indianapolis. Jim Morris believes more individual and corporate donors want the assurance of specific outcomes as a result of their gifts. He says the organization is "responding to the market" by expanding services.

 

Pence, Legislators Getting on 'Same Page' With Budget

Governor Mike Pence says a two-year state budget proposal approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee is "a good start." It offers a smaller individual income tax cut than the 10 percent proposed by Pence. It would also eliminate the inheritance tax at the beginning of 2013 and increase K-12 funding by more than $330 million. Funding for road and infrastructure projects would be increased by $600 million.

 

Coats: Medical Device Tax Will Be Repealed

Indiana Senator Dan Coats believes bi-partisan support is building to repeal a $30 billion tax on medical device manufacturers. Last month, the Senate voted 79-20 for a non-binding amendment to repeal the 2.3 percent tax, which is part of the health care reform law. The tax hits Indiana hard. The Indiana Business Research Center estimates the sector employs approximately 20,000 workers, more than 40 percent of all life sciences jobs in the state. In a Studio(i) interview, Senator Coats says the Senate vote was more than symbolic.

 

National Publication Ranks Hoosier Hospitals

Consumer Reports has released its annual list of "safety scores" for thousands of hospitals from throughout the country. Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie was rated fifth nationally among hospitals with residency programs. Facilities in Seymour, Fort Wayne and Mishawaka received the top overall safety scores in the state.

 

Committee Halts Mass Transit Bill

A bill that calls for a referendum on funding expanded mass transit in central Indiana has hit a snag. The Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee moved the issue to a summer study committee.

 

Northern Indiana Groups to Fund Transit Study

Two northern Indiana organizations have selected California-based URS Corp. to develop a strategic plan for mass transit. The more than $500,000 initiative will aim to find ways to enhance the region's connectivity to Chicago. The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority joined the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District in funding the plan.

 

Connersville Mayor: Visteon Plant Back on Market

The mayor of Connersville says the former Visteon plant is once again for sale. Leonard Urban says a $4 million offer to buy the plant failed to close by Monday at midnight. He tells Inside Indiana Business, he feels like a basketball coach who lost in the Final Four.

 

Lilly to Double Diabetes Investment

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is looking to more than double a previously-announced, large-scale investment to expand its insulin manufacturing operations in Indianapolis. The pharmaceutical maker is proposing more than $180 million in additional funding to add a second cartridge-filling line and boost insulin production. The company says the move would create 100 construction jobs and eventually employ approximately 175 highly skilled, full-time workers. Spokesman Ed Sagebiel says the state possesses "a wealth" of support for the life sciences sector.

 

Automotive Parts Maker Expanding

PMG Indiana Corp. has announced plans to expand its operations in Columbus. The automotive parts manufacturer, which is a subsidiary of Germany-based PMG Group, says the move could result in up to 50 new jobs by 2014. The company will invest nearly $23 million to construct and equip a second manufacturing facility on its 40-acre campus in Columbus.

 

Nano-Brewery Open in Porter County

The Duneland Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon Thursday on Chesterton's newest brewery. Hunter's Brewing specializes in small-batch, "boutique" beers.

 

Purdue VP Submits Resignation

Purdue University Vice President For Development Lisa Calvert has resigned, effective immediately. Associate Vice President For Development Amy Noah will take over on an interim basis. Calvert came to Purdue in September 2010.

 

Scotty's Brewhouse Closes Indianapolis Location

Scotty's Brewhouse has closed a restaurant in the Indianapolis metro area approximately nine months after it opened. The company says the move was a "mutual decision" with the location's owner, MSCB Group LLC, which has announced plans to replace it with a different franchise. Scotty's plans to open a restaurant in Mishawaka in the next few weeks. Scotty's Brewhouse Indianapolis South was the third and final location under the management agreement with MSCB Group, LLC.

 

GM Plans to Pump Millions Into Hoosier Plant

General Motors Co. is planning to upgrade a southern Indiana operation. As part of a regional initiative, the manufacturer intends to invest $29 million in the castings plant in Bedford to support small gas engine and transmission component production. The Lawrence County facility currently employs more than 600.

 

Buchanan Group Partners on Baseball-Themed Funeral Products

Two units of Indianapolis-based The Buchanan Group will be involved in a new line of caskets, urns and monuments officially licensed by Major League Baseball Properties. The partnership with Michigan-based Eternal Image Group LLC involves Fewell Enterprises Inc. in Scottsburg and Buchanan Private Label in Indianapolis.

 

For more Inside Indiana Business, visit www.insideindianabusiness.com.

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