Central Indiana leaders behind an effort to attract Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) second U.S. headquarters say they are having to squeeze three-to-six months of work into a few weeks. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Fishers Mayor Monday announced a "coordinated, unified regional effort" to attract the $5 billion project that could eventually result in 50,000 new jobs. The mayors say a team of tech, business and community leaders will work to develop a comprehensive proposal, which is due by October 19. Fishers-based Ginovus Executive Managing Director Larry Gigerich is part of the group creating the proposal, and says Indiana has a lot to offer, including a "giant talent pool" coming from the state's colleges and universities.

Purdue research could unlock domestic energy resource: Purdue University President Mitch Daniels calls $20 million plans for a shale gas engineering research hub unveiled Tuesday "a prestigious and important moment" in the school's history. The Center for Innovative Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources or CISTAR will be located at Discovery Park in West Lafayette. It will pull in researchers from Purdue and schools including the University of Notre Dame, University of New Mexico and University of Texas, as well as national and international laboratories and organizations. During an on-campus event, leaders including Daniels hailed the promise of contributing to advances that could tap a domestically-available resource.

Amid Worldwide Cuts, Harman to close Elkhart Crown facility: A Connecticut-based audio technology manufacturer has confirmed plans to lay off 650 workers and close several facilities throughout the world, including its Crown Audio plant in Elkhart. A spokesperson for Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR) tells Inside INdiana Business the closures will take place over the next year.

Big grant boosts TechPoint talent hunt: The state's tech growth initiative has secured a $5.7 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support talent attraction and retention efforts. TechPoint, part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, says the funds will boost its Xtern program, billed as "The Ultimate Tech Internship," and Xtern Bootcamp, which was launched last year. The TechPointX programs, which also include the two-year Indy Tech Fellowship and five-week Sales Bootcamp, were created in 2013 with a $1.3 million grant from the endowment. The organization followed up its support two years later with another $1.4 million. TechPoint Chief Executive Officer Mike Langellier says "the most critical ingredient" for growing Indiana's tech ecosystem is additional talent.

BrightVolt details BIC expansion: An ultra-thin film battery company is providing more detail on its growth at the Battery Innovation Center in Greene County. BrightVolt Inc. says it plans to add up to 30 jobs at its Newberry operation by 2020. In August, Inside INdiana Business reported on BrightVolt's partnership with the BIC, becoming the first company to set up dedicated space in the hub near Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Insurance leaders attempt to woo industry prospects: In an effort to draw young talent to the insurance industry, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership will host some 70 college students this weekend to showcase job opportunities and quality-of-life in the region. Organizers of the pilot program are attempting to develop "a replicable and scalable" model for future attraction and retention.

Mining simulation center celebrated: Vincennes University hosted a grand opening ceremony this week for the school's Underground Mining Simulation Center in Gibson County. The $2 million facility is patterned after a facility at West Virginia University.

Techshot selected for major NASA contract: A Greenville-based company is one of 16 to receive a share of up to $500 million as part of a NASA Research, Engineering, and Mission Integration Services contract. Techshot Inc. says the funding will be used to assist with research and engineering efforts on the International Space Station.

Del Monte to close Plymouth plant: California-based Del Monte Foods Inc. says it will close its tomato processing facility in Plymouth next year. In a notice to the state, the company says more than 100 full-time employees will be affected, beginning in November.

Construction to begin at former Elkhart Foundry: Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties will today break ground on a $32 million mixed-use development in Elkhart. The project, known as Stonewater at The Riverwalk, will be located at the former Elkhart Foundry site and will include more than 200 luxury apartments and retail space.

California manufacturer to Onshore jobs in Cass County: A California company says it will relocate some manufacturing functions from China to Logansport. Lytx Inc. plans to invest $50 million into moving event recorder manufacturing to the Cal-Comp USA plant in Cass County, creating 70 jobs. It says initial work in Logansport will begin next month and full production is expected to ramp up in March.

IPS board set to vote on fate of schools: The Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners has scheduled a special meeting for Monday to vote on a recommendation that involves closing and selling Broad Ripple High School, transitioning Arlington and Northwest from high schools to middle schools and closing John Marshall Middle School. Arlington would offer evening high school classes following the proposed transition.

Ball State board endorses residence project designs: The Ball State University Board of Trustees has endorsed architectural renderings of the first phase of the new North Residential Neighborhood. The $90 million project, which includes a new residence hall and stand-alone dining facility, is expected to be complete in 2020.

'Sports Legends' to be immortalized: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has announced who will be honored in a series of 16 bronze statues to be part of the $35 million Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience. They include modern stars, such as the Pacers' Reggie Miller and the Fever's Tamika Catchings, as well as big names from Indiana's past such as NBA Hall of Famer Bobby "Slick" Leonard and members of the Indianapolis Clowns Negro League baseball team. The 7.5-acre experience is set to open in the spring. In interviews with Inside INdiana Business, Catchings and Leonard talk about what the honor means.

Purdue touts record enrollment: Purdue University has a new record for overall enrollment on the West Lafayette campus. The university says the 41,573 students enrolled in the 2017-2018 academic year is an increase of more than 1,100 from the previous year.

Indianapolis prize nominees unveiled: The Indianapolis Zoological Society has unveiled the list of nominees for the 2018 Indianapolis Prize. The group includes 32 animal conservationists from throughout the world, one of whom will be chosen to receive what is considered to be the world's leading award for animal conservation.

Indiana Landmarks remembers Reid Williamson: A man who served more than 30 years as president of Indiana Landmarks has died. The organization credits Reid Williamson with turning it into "a national leader in preservation." He retired from the role in 2005 and Indiana Landmarks' annual prize for outstanding leadership is named in his honor. Williamson was 82.

Go Electric tapped for another military project: Anderson-based Go Electric Inc. has announced it will take part in a demonstration microgrid project at the Fort Custer Training Center in Michigan. Electricore Inc., a California-based nonprofit consortium, has awarded Go Electric a nearly $500,000 contract to provide a battery energy storage system for the project.

Student-run record label launches in Fort Wayne: The University of Saint Francis is bringing together its Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts and Music Technology programs to create a student-run music label. The partnership marks a first for the school: an interdisciplinary venture owned by USF and run by students. The label's business foundations will be set this semester and the first album will be produced and promoted in the spring. Music Department Chair Miles Fulwider tells Inside INdiana Business "we're going a little rogue" with the launch.

Indy among 'Best Cities for Jobs': A new list touts Indianapolis as of the top cities in the U.S. when it comes to employment. California-based job and recruiting website Glassdoor ranks Indy among the "Best Cities For Jobs."  

Buttigieg to break ground at rec center: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will this afternoon help break ground on renovations to the Charles Black Recreation Center. The approximately $4 million project, which is part of the "My SB Parks and Trails" initiative, will increase the facility's square footage by 50 percent.

Riley Children's Health growing Fort Wayne presence: Riley Children's Health is expanding its Fort Wayne footprint. The system plans to open an additional office in the city next year that will offer specialties including pediatric urology and cardiology.

Tech competitors to spotlight 'Dynamic sense of possibility': The Indianapolis finalists vying for a $100,000 investment from AOL co-founder Steve Case are in. Revolution LLC, a Washington D.C.-based venture capital firm co-founded by Case, will host the Indy leg of its five-city Rise of the Rest tour and 10-company pitch competition. On October 12, Case and co-founder J.D. Vance will tour the startups, host a "fireside chat" at The Union 525 with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, then listen to the pitches. During an interview in June with Inside INdiana Business, Case discussed why Indianapolis is in the mix with central Pennsylvania, Ann Arbor, Green Bay and Columbus, Ohio for the competition.

Patachou founder among 'Most Innovative': The founder of Indianapolis-based Patachou Inc. is receiving national attention. Fortune, along with sister publication Food & Wine, includes Martha Hoover in its list of the 20 "Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink."

I&M unveils power grid upgrade plans: Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power has announced plans to invest $48 million in improvements to its power grid in Delaware and Madison counties. The utility will rebuild 21 miles of electric transmission line and retire seven miles of existing line.