IIB WEEK IN REVIEW

2013-05-25T14:40:00Z IIB WEEK IN REVIEWGerry Dick Inside Indiana Business nwitimes.com
May 25, 2013 2:40 pm  • 

New Aviation Program to Take Flight

Ivy Tech Community College is taking part in a national effort designed to bridge the skills gap in the aviation industry. The school is one of five to receive money from a U.S. Department of Labor grant, and will create a 12-16 week program to train workers in the areas of sheet metal and electrical assembly. The National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturing Institute estimates the aviation industry will lose nearly 40 percent of its employees by 2014, and the school says the new program will train the next generation of workers. Project Coordinator Chris Garrett says this type of program has been successful in other areas.

 

Wayne County Survey Details Skills Gap

More than half the respondents to a Wayne County employer survey say they are experiencing a shortage of skilled applicants. Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County President Valerie Shaffer says the survey shows companies are hiring, but many say the available workers need additional training.

 

Former IU Kokomo Leader Lands in Tennessee

Former Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris has a new job. He has been named dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University. Harris resigned from the IU Kokomo post last year.

 

Chamber Report Card Reveals Mixed Bag

A new report from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce suggests the state's business climate is improving, but serious concerns remain about work force issues. The chamber's Indiana Vision 2025 Report Card highlights key challenges including educational attainment and the ability to attract and retain talent. In a Studio (i) interview, President Kevin Brinegar says college degree attainment and addressing the skills gap will be important areas of focus moving forward.

 

Indianapolis Drops in Largest City Rankings

Indianapolis has been passed by Austin, Texas in the U.S. Census Bureau's list of the nation's most populous cities. The change means the state's biggest city is now the 13th largest in the country, down from 12th. Fort Wayne is 74th, Evansville ranks 218th and South Bend places 287th overall.

 

Hot Debate on Cold Beer Continues

The owner of Anderson-based Ricker Oil Co. Inc. believes a lawsuit over the regulation of cold beer sales in Indiana will go on for at least a year. Jay Ricker is part of a suit filed by a group of convenience stores challenging the constitutionality of a law banning them from selling cold beer. On the most recent edition of Inside INdiana Business Television, Ricker says the lawsuit was filed "out of frustration" because he believes current law creates a non-level playing field.

 

Zionsville Closes on Major Land Acquisition

Zionsville Community Schools and the Town of Zionsville have finalized an agreement on a more than $3 million deal to purchase land aimed at boosting economic development. The deal with Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) involves more than 90 acres.

 

Last Original Holiday World Ride Closes

The last original attraction at Holiday World and Splashin' Safari has given its final ride. The Santa Claus-based park says maintenance issues have led to the decision to replace the Freedom Train. The train first appeared as the Santa Claus Land Railroad when the park opened in the 1940's as Santa Claus Land.

 

Local Brewers Look to Boost Craft Beer Business

The founder of a new craft brewery in Indianapolis says there is a "joint effort" by local artisans to expose more people to the emerging industry. Indiana City Brewing Co. owner Ray Kamstra says craft beer accounts for 3-7 percent of the market in Indiana, which puts the state at "just the beginning" of an international trend. Indiana City Brewing Co. is holding its grand opening this weekend in Fountain Square in Indianapolis. The brewery is located in the bottling house of the former Home Brewing Company, which went out of business during Prohibition.

 

'Most Advanced' Simulator Aims to Lift Motorsports Sector

The state is investing in a major project to establish an industry-leading vehicle simulator at the Dallara plant in Speedway. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the $1.15 million investment will advance the state's already thriving motorsports sector and boost related economic development activities. The partnership also involves IUPUI which will pump $200,000 into the project to complete and operate what is being described as "the world's most advanced vehicle dynamic simulator."

 

Education Effort Targets 'Near Completers'

Two Indiana schools are collaborating to help an estimated 740,000 Hoosier who have some college credit complete a degree or certification. WGU Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College are part of an effort to develop a virtual college re-engagement center in central Indiana to help simplify the process for adults returning to school. WGU Chancellor Allison Barber says thousands of people in Indiana have some college credit, but not enough for a degree or certification. She says an increasing percentage of new jobs coming to Indiana require some sort of secondary education, and Hoosiers will need that training to compete.

 

Huntington County Winery Opens

The state's stable of agri-tourism businesses is about to grow. TWO-EEʼs Winery opens this weekend in Huntington County and will begin offering seven different wines.

 

Developer Breathing New Life Into Lake Resort

An abandoned tourist attraction on the shores of the largest natural lake in Indiana is set to re-open next month thanks to a nearly $7 million investment. Oakwood Resort, which closed in 2008, sits on seven acres along Lake Wawasee in Kosciusko County and the project has been under what the developers call a "crazy" schedule over the last four months. Chief Executive Officer Jeremiah Heierman says there are plans to employ around 125 full and part-time workers during the summer, fall and Christmas seasons. Fort Wayne-based Yellow Retirement Communities is the project's developer and has set up Oakwood Resort LLC to manage its affairs.

 

Major Youth Football Study Highlights Injuries

Indianapolis-based USA Football is releasing preliminary findings of a wide-ranging, two-year study examining player health and safety in youth football. The research involving nearly 2,000 players on more than 100 teams suggests more than 90 percent did not suffer an injury that restricted participation. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, USA Football Senior Manager of Research Meg Moyer and The Datalys Center President Tom Dompier detail some of the key early results, which include less than four percent of the players suffered concussions.

 

Hoosiers Receive High Marks in Science Olympiad

Two Indiana school teams finished among the best at a national competition. The schools placed in the top 20 during last weekend's Science Olympiad National Tournament in Ohio. Munster High School finished 18th overall out of 60 high schools, while Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Valparaiso was 19th best of 60 middle schools. Bloomington High School North was 27th in their division and The Stanley Clark School in South Bend finished 37th among middle schools.

 

City Employees Accused of Fraud

Five people, including two Indianapolis city employees, are facing federal bribery and fraud charges. A two-month federal investigation focused on suspects including the head of the Indianapolis Land Bank and a department of metropolitan development senior project manager. Details of the alleged scheme were announced by U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett's office following an FBI raid.

 

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

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