Inside Indiana Business: FedEx targets $1.5B for Indy
Inside INdiana Business

Inside Indiana Business: FedEx targets $1.5B for Indy


Memphis-based FedEx Corp. says it plans to pump $1.5 billion into its Indianapolis hub in the coming years. The global shipping provider, which has detailed multiple large investments in Indianapolis in recent years, credits the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for paving the way for the latest announcement. 

CEO: Tariffs won't stop solar: The chief executive officer of South Bend-based Inovateus Solar LLC says the solar development and engineering company is being "very cautious" while it assesses the full impact of tariffs of up to 30 percent on imported solar products. Mike Pound says he thinks estimates suggesting the industry in the U.S. could shed 25,000-50,000 jobs within a year because of the tariffs are probably accurate. If costs in the industry re-stabilize, Pound believes job levels will bounce back. Pound tells Inside INdiana Business uncertainty in solar is nothing new.

First Merchants selects key office space: Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. has announced a major presence in a high-profile location in downtown Fort Wayne. The parent of First Merchants Bank will occupy the entire second floor of the $44 million Skyline Tower. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Mike Rechin said the newest First Merchants regional headquarters places it in the "nerve center" of the state's second-largest city. The announcement, Rechin says, gets the bank "to the goal line" on a vision that has been in motion for a while.

Manufacturer reopens Terre Haute plant: A Texas-based fiber cement siding manufacturer has reopened a massive facility in Terre Haute. Allura USA says the 438,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, which closed in 2014, will help the company provide much-needed product availability.

Tredegar to expand Terre Haute operation: Virginia-based Tredegar Film Products US LLC has detailed plans to expand its Terre Haute facility. The company says it will invest nearly $26 million to add to its production operations, creating nearly 35 jobs by next year.

The Bee Corp. lands 'milestone' funding: The National Science Foundation has awarded a $225,000 grant to Bloomington-based startup The Bee Corp. The company says the funding will allow for additional research to improve its beehive monitoring system.

Indiana takes on teacher shortage: Two new websites from the Indiana Department of Education are aimed at attracting and retaining teachers. Chief Talent Officer Scott Syverson says the effort creates a "one-stop shop" for jobs and resources for those currently in or considering entering the profession. The department says the sites will not only help with attraction and retention, it will also highlight how valued educators are in the state. The teacher shortage, Syverson says, is being felt statewide.

Intelenet adding 500 in Fort Wayne: India-based Intelenet Global Services has announced expansion plans at its Fort Wayne call center. The outsourcing and solutions company says it is doubling the size of its facility and looking to hire 500 additional workers.

Record year at Indy airport: Indianapolis International Airport is reporting record passenger traffic in 2017. Nearly 8.8 million passengers breaks a 12-year-old high mark and included record months in January, May, June, October and November. Last year also included the highest number of nonstop destinations out of Indianapolis since the Colonel Harvey Weir Cook Terminal opened in 2008.

Immigrant detention center plans pulled in Elkhart County: Plans for a $100 million center for detained immigrants awaiting deportation are off the table in Elkhart County. The Elkhart Truth reports Tennessee-based CoreCivic Inc. has withdrawn filings for a proposed 1,200-bed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center.

Springbuk draws $20M VC Infusion: Indianapolis-based Springbuk co-founder Rod Reasen says the Midwest provides a special environment that has supported the less-than-three-year-old employer health data business and its expansion plans boosted by a new $20 million investment round. He says the company's team-centered approach has laid the foundation for continued growth with more than 1,200 employers currently using the company's software. Reasen and co-founder Phil Daniels discussed the expansion plans, which could include up to 100 additional jobs over the next two years.

Software platform scores more funding: A software company spawned from Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha has landed a more than $9 million round of funding. Zylo, which bills itself as an online command center for cloud-based software, says the funding will allow it to "significantly grow" its team.

'Big, audacious project' attracts San Fran transplant to Fort Wayne: One of the goals of Fort Wayne's $440 million Electric Works project is to attract talent to northeast Indiana. Before the first shovel of dirt is turned for the public-private partnership, it appears to be working. The project, planned for the historic former General Electric campus near downtown, has hired its first full-time employee. "I love the big, audacious project," said Crystal Vann Walstrom, Electric Works' new Managing Director of Innovation, who is already at work developing a strategy to create public-private partnerships among industry, academia, nonprofits and startups that will fill more than 83,000 square-feet of space. 

Shutdown deal suspends device tax: The deal to reopen the federal government includes a two-year suspension of the medical device tax, which an executive with Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc. says will be "very, very helpful" for Indiana. Vice President of Federal and International Government Affairs Allison Giles says, while the company will still push for a full repeal, the suspension will allow Cook to "move forward on some projects and re-invest in others." She says the move comes at a crucial time, as the first payments were due January 29. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Giles said the tax has also had a significant impact on smaller and startup medical device companies.

Sun King Brewery to open at The Yard: Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. says it will build a new specialty production craft brewery and tap room at The Yard in Fishers. Co-founder Clay Robinson tells Inside INdiana Business the company is investing up to $2.5 million into the 13,000-square foot facility, which is expected to open in the summer of 2019. The company says the brewery will focus on experimenting with different ingredients, styles and brewing methods to develop distinctive specialty beers. Robinson says expansion in Fishers has "always been a continual idea for us."

Economic development groups join forces: Two neighboring groups in southwest Indiana have announced an agreement aimed at promoting economic development coordination in their regions. Bedford-based Radius Indiana and the Southwest Indiana Development Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to foster continued growth.

Donation to grow Huntington ag programs: Huntington University says a $1 million gift will provide a big boost to its agricultural studies programs. The school says the donation from Upland-based Avis Industrial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Leland Boren will support multiple initiatives in its Faith Forward 2022 strategic plan.

Report: 'Dramatic' boost in broadband access: The trade organization that represents some 150 broadband service providers and industry suppliers has debuted a report on the availability and speed of high-speed Internet in the state. The Indiana Report on Broadband Progress shows what the Indiana Broadband and Technology Association says is a "dramatic" improvement in recent years in broadband access throughout the state. High-speed Internet access, especially in rural areas, is the subject of much discussion and is part of Governor Eric Holcomb's 2018 legislative agenda. IBTA President John Koppin says expanding rural access presents challenges.

Innovation park panned for Angola: The city of Angola and the Steuben County Economic Development Corp. are partnering with private developers to create a new innovation park. The park will be situated on more than 100 acres near the Interstate 69 interchange at U.S. 20.

IU Med School sets record for NIH funding: The Indiana University School of Medicine set a record for research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2017. The school's $135 million in funding, a 13 percent increase over the previous year, makes it one of the top 33 NIH-funded medical schools in the nation.


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