Two General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) suppliers are expanding their Allen County operations with plans to create more than 300 jobs by the end of 2018. Michigan-based Android Industries and sister company Avancez say they will invest a total of nearly $15 million in the project. Android Industries says the move will increase its capacity for making components including headliners, radiator modules and consoles. Android will expand its existing operation, while Avancez will establish a second facility less than one mile away.
'Right-Sizing' on deck for Vera Bradley: Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) Chief Executive Officer Rob Wallstrom is launching a "much more aggressive approach" to the company's continued turnaround efforts. In a call with investors this morning, Wallstrom said the Vision 20/20 strategic plan, which will be largely implemented in fiscal 2019, will include dialing back the availability of clearance items. The goal, executives say, is "resetting our customers' pricing perception and restoring our full-price business." Wallstrom says the changes, which will take place over the next three years and involve "right-sizing" the organization. Vera Bradley also announced multiple upper-management changes. Founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard will remain with the board, but no longer serve as chief creative officer. Wallstrom says Bradley Baekgaard "remains the heart and soul of the brand.”
Manufacturer to bring jobs to recently-vacant facility: A northeast Indiana factory will not spend much time idle. Ohio-based 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics LLC has announced plans to locate to the Bluffton facility that previously housed an operation of another Ohio company, Buckhorn Inc., creating up to 155 jobs by 2020. Buckhorn announced earlier this year it would pull out of the facility before the start of this month as part of a consolidation effort. 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics says it will pump over $27 million into the acquisition and outfitting of the 170,000 square-foot Well County facility.
Cummins shows off future tech: Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) says it continues to stake a claim as the global engine manufacturer best-positioned to "win" in the future. During a ceremony Tuesday at its Columbus technical center, executives unveiled a variety of natural gas and high-efficiency diesel engines, as well as debuting its fully-electric, class 7 hauler demonstration vehicle. Cummins also says it will introduce a new heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Director of External Communications Jon Mills said assets like the Columbus technical center are critical to Cummins' global success.
INDOT to discuss 'refined' option for I-69 Section 6: Indiana Department of Transportation officials will next month hold public meetings to update modifications made to the preferred path of the final section of the I-69 expansion. INDOT says the sessions in Martinsville, Indianapolis and Greenwood will cover a "refined preferred alternative" for Section 6.
Some former Marsh stores to carry Needler's banner: The 11 Indiana Marsh Supermarket locations acquired by Ohio-based Generative Growth II LLC will have a new name. Owners Michael Needler Jr. and Julie Anderson say the Needler's Fresh Market brand will be used for all of its stores in Indiana and three stores in Ohio.
Distillers seeking larger presence: An organization that supports the burgeoning craft distillery industry in the state has announced two steps forward in its advocacy efforts. The Indiana Distillers Guild has issued a Request for Proposals for lobbying services at the Indiana Statehouse and is launching its inaugural event: the Craft Distillers Festival September 30 at the Circle City Industrial Complex in Indianapolis. The guild currently includes 17 distilleries in 11 Hoosier communities. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, co-founder of Bloomington-based Cardinal Spirits and guild President Jeff Wuslich said the industry continues to develop.
ISU moving forward with Hulman Center upgrades: The Indiana State University Board of Trustees has approved plans to move forward with the first phase of renovations to the Hulman Center. The work, which could reach $50 million, includes upgrades to mechanical, electrical and safety systems.
David Broecker to step aside as IBRI CEO: The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute in Indianapolis has named its next chief executive officer. Rainer Fischer will continue to serve as chief scientific and innovation officer and succeed David Broecker as CEO October 1. Broecker, the IBRI's founding CEO, will stay on as an advisor to the institute. Fischer came to the IBRI last year and in an interview with Inside INdiana Business when he was hired, he said the IBRI demonstrated it is open to working "across borders."
$16M Applied Research Institute making strides: The Applied Research Institute, which connects the state's top military, industry and higher education assets and leaders, has taken its first major steps. The ARI board, comprised of big names like Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and Rolls-Royce North America Defense Aerospace President Phil Burkholder, has approved its first major project. Over the next two years, $3.5 million will go toward the development of so-called trusted microelectronics, found in most electronic devices and designed to be immune to hardware and software-based attacks. Energy Systems Network Chief Executive Officer Paul Mitchell, who is coordinated the ARI's formation, says the institute will focus on "key, underlying technologies."
Trine Family continues Angola investment: A fourth-generation manufacturer in northeast Indiana is growing again. Angola-based Vestil Manufacturing Corp. has announced plans to invest close to $15 million to expand its main facility, construct a new fulfillment center and add up to 100 jobs by 2021. The company, owned by the family that is the namesake of Trine University, is currently the second-largest employer in the Steuben County city.
Upper Hand adds funding, grows in massive market: A sports software company has secured a $1.1 million round of funding and its chief executive officer says Indianapolis continues to be the right place to grow. Upper Hand Inc. founder Kevin MacCauley, an Indiana University graduate who grew up in Evansville, says the company's sports business sales, marketing and intelligence technology will continue to tap into a $15 billion a year market that is only getting larger. The sports software industry, MacCauley tells Inside INdiana Business, has transformed in recent years.
South Bend breaks ground on $24M development: Officials have broken ground this week on the Village at Riverwalk Development, a nearly $24 million residential development in South Bend. The event will also mark the completion of more than $5 million in infrastructure upgrades that will support the new development. The house itself is listed at nearly $5 million.
Wind Farm progressing in Jay, Randolph counties: A $200 million wind farm in Jay and Randolph counties is taking shape. NextEra Energy Resources Inc. says the 57-turbine Bluff Point Wind Energy Center will be operational in November and could generate more than $30 million in local tax revenue over its lifetime.
Funding For The Bee Corp. could broaden focus: A high-tech company creating a name for itself in a traditionally low-tech space has received backing from some big names on the Indiana venture capital scene. Bloomington-based The Bee Corp., which develops software to help beekeepers monitor the inner workings for their hives, has secured a Series A round of funding led by Jane Martin, general partner at Village Ventures, who was joined by Indianapolis-based High Alpha Ventures Managing Partner Scott Dorsey and Elevate Ventures. The support, which is not being publicly disclosed, will allow the small startup to hire three employees. Chief Executive Officer Ellie Symes says the technology aims to stem colony loss, but has an opportunity to do more.
AM General scores bajor Army contract: South Bend-based AM General LLC has landed another major U.S. Department of Defense contract. The five-year, $2.2 billion deal calls for the company to manufacture nearly 12,000 Humvees for the U.S. Army.
RV boon squeezes Elkhart County job market: The cyclical recreational vehicle industry is on a roll and in Elkhart County, the RV Capital of the World, that means jobs and lots of them. Just last week, Jayco Inc. and Grand Design RV announced expansions plans that could mean 750 new jobs in Middlebury, the latest in a series of local jobs announcements this year. But with the county's unemployment rate hovering around 2 percent, the RV revival is squeezing an already tight job market. "Everyone's looking for workers," said Greater Elkhart County Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Kyle Hannon. "If you need a job, come to northern Indiana, you can find one." In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Hannon said quality of place efforts are key to addressing the worker shortage.
Hoosiers remembering Don Moreau: A U.S. Army veteran who later served three Indiana governors is being remembered. Funeral services for Don Moreau, whose military career started during World War II and continued through the Vietnam War, were held this week in Clay County. He was 89.
Cummins, VU detail training partnership: Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) is partnering with Vincennes University on a nationwide training initiative. Through the four-year Technician Apprentice Program, Cummins apprentices will spend the equivalent of two years at VU working toward an associate's degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology and a Cummins engine certification.
DeBrand Chocolates returning to Indy: Fort Wayne-based DeBrand Fine Chocolates will open an Indianapolis location this fall at The Shops at River Crossing. The company also has four locations in Fort Wayne.
Non-baseball milestone shows stadium a powerful draw: When Parkview Field opened downtown nine years ago, Fort Wayne TinCaps President Mike Nutter says executives thought non-baseball business at the $31 million stadium would have a significant impact. They didn't know how significant. During a Rotary Club of Fort Wayne meeting Monday, team officials announced they have welcomed one million special event guests since 2009. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Nutter says the milestone shows the venue is "about baseball, but about so much more."
Freight company expanding in Anderson: Anderson-based ALA Trucking Inc. has broken ground on a new headquarters in the Madison County city. The company is investing nearly $1.5 million to convert a former lumber yard into a facility that will also serve as a warehouse, truck service center and truck parts store.
Construction begins on Johnson Memorial project: City and county officials joined executives from Johnson Memorial Health this week to break ground on a $47 million medical facility in Franklin. The project will include a new emergency department and outpatient services facility as well as a new rehabilitation center.
Lilly to resubmit application for arthritis drug: Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Delaware-based Incyte Corp. (Nasdaq: INCY) have announced plans to resubmit the New Drug Application for a once-daily treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected an NDA for baricitinib, saying more clinical results were needed.
Ball State, ISU set enrollment records: Two Indiana colleges are reporting record enrollment for the 2017-2018 academic year. Ball State University and Indiana State University say growing freshman classes played a large part in all-time highs.
Closing set For Angie's List acquisition: Indianapolis-based Angie's List Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGI) says September 29 will be final shareholder vote on its proposed sale to the New York-based parent of HomeAdvisor. IAC (Nasdaq: IAC) is offering $8.50 per share or up to $130 million for the online home services website.
Allison Transmission names next CEO: The board of directors for Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) has selected David Graziosi as the company's next chief executive officer. Graziosi, who currently serves as president and chief financial officer at Allison, will succeed Larry Dewey, who will retire at the end of May.
Selfless.ly Seeks to be 'Google For Good': A veteran of the Indianapolis tech and philanthropic scenes has launched a new Software as a Community platform designed to connect volunteers, businesses and nonprofits. Josh Driver says he wants Selfless.ly to become "the Google for good." The goal is to simplify the process of finding opportunities for corporations, groups and individuals interested in giving back. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Driver said the technology differs from other philanthropy-focused platforms because of its scope.
Opening weekend for 'Columbus': A Hollywood movie featuring Columbus as the backdrop has opened in select cities throughout the country. "Columbus" will play in more than two dozen theaters, including the Yes Cinema in Columbus and the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Dow, Dupont close $130B merger: DuPont (NYSE: DD) and The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) have officially closed their $130 billion merger. The combined company, DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), will now begin work on spinning out into three, independently-traded entities. The first would be an agriculture company including DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences. It will be headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, and have operating centers in Indianapolis and Iowa.