INDIANAPOLIS | The state's commerce agency has finalized a record number of incentive deals with Hoosier companies planning to expand their existing operations and out-of-state companies promising to relocate to Indiana.
Gov. Mike Pence announced Wednesday in 2013 the Indiana Economic Development Corp. signed deals with 261 companies, a new record.
Those businesses plan to create 21,420 jobs for Hoosiers in the coming years and expect to invest $2.63 billion in their Indiana operations. Those are not records, but Pence said he's proud of the results.
"This economy still continues to struggle so the deals are not as large as they've been in years past," Pence said. "The deal flow ... lays a solid foundation for growth in the future; once this national economy really begins to grow, Indiana is poised for very, very significant opportunities."
The corporate headquarters move of Tec-Air, a manufacturer of plastic air movement components and systems, from Willow Springs, Ill., to Munster was among the biggest deals in the state, with 258 jobs and $12 million in new equipment and improvements coming to the Lake Business Center, 9200 Calumet Ave.
Munster also landed job and investment commitments from Carl Buddig and Co., a producer of sliced and packaged lunch meat; and MAC Medical Supply Co.
Horizon Financial Management, a medical billing company, is set to create 216 jobs in Merrillville.
In Porter County, Pratt Industries announced plans for a paper recycling facility in Valparaiso that will create 137 jobs by 2018. Falk PLI Engineering and Surveying will double its workforce by hiring 34 more people at its Portage headquarters.
Michigan City will gain 230 jobs by 2016 as four companies expand operations: Hearthside Food Solutions, a snack and baked goods manufacturer; Dwyer Instruments; Harrison Electric; and Calumet Pallet Co.
The American Licorice Company plans to bring 35 jobs to LaPorte.
"These business are proving what we've been saying all year – Indiana is open for business," Pence said. "Businesses that are looking for a place to grow and place to prosper need look no further than the good people of Indiana and the pro-business environment of the Hoosier State."
At the same time, House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said Hoosiers should be wary of the Republican governor's grandiose job creation claims and his focus on creating any jobs at the expense of good-paying jobs that can support a family.
"Our citizens believe Indiana can do a lot better, and they will cast their judgments based on outcomes and not promises," Pelath said.