CROWN POINT | Two Northwest Indiana projects were among 10 cited statewide by Area Development magazine in presenting a 2012 Silver Shovel Award for excellence in economic development to Indiana in its summer 2012 issue.
The magazine named Canadian National's planned expansion of the Kirk Yard in Gary and Fronius USA's decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in Portage as two of the 10 "big projects" advancing the state's diverse economy. Combined, the two projects represent approximately $186 million in investment in the region and are projected to create more than 750 jobs, according to a news release.
The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority employed its Deal Closing Fund for the first time to provide a $4 matching grant for the CN rail yard project. The grant will go towards improvements such as installation of a new waste water treatment facility and a new storm water management system.
The RDA also worked with local and state economic development officials last year to provide $2 million in assistance to Modern Forge for its new facility in Merrillville. The company, which is moving to Indiana from Blue Island, Ill., is investing $17 million in a state–of–the–art forging facility expected to create 240 jobs.
"It's gratifying to see the region and the state being recognized for all its hard work and innovation in attracting new business. Here in Northwest Indiana, RDA–funded initiatives have made huge strides toward revitalizing our shoreline and creating signature communities with strong appeal to companies like Fronius and Modern Forge as great places to live, work and play," said Bill Hanna, president and CEO of the RDA. "We were pleased to be a part of bringing these projects to Northwest Indiana and look forward to working with local and state officials to attract even more jobs and investment to the region."