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Coolest Thing Made in Indiana competition kicks off

Coolest Thing Made in Indiana competition kicks off

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Coolest Thing Made in Indiana competition kicks off

Licorice ropes role up an assembly line to go get coated with a sour tasting mix at the American Licorice Co. plant in LaPorte. 

Though perhaps not the first state that would come to mind in terms of coolness, Indiana gave the world James Dean and Steve McQueen.

As one of the nation's leading manufacturing states that produces everything from steel to candy to cars, the Hoosier State makes a ton of cool stuff, too.

The Coolest Thing Made in Indiana contest is kicking off to recognize what Hoosier workers make every day on assembly lines and in factories across the state.

Manufacturers from across the Hoosier State are encouraged to submit an entry to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's new competition, which will be conducted in a Hoosier Hysteria-style single-elimination format. The goal is to showcase the variety of products made in Indiana, which is the nation's most manufacturing-intensive state in terms of the percentage of the workforce employed by the sector.

“We’ve been hearing from manufacturers from every corner of the state since we announced this contest earlier in the year,” Indiana Chamber president and CEO Kevin Brinegar said. “A handful of other states have had contests similar to this, but due to Indiana’s long manufacturing history and the feedback we’ve gotten so far, we think this could be the biggest, most competitive tournament of them all."

Manufacturing companies from across the state are invited to participate. They do not need to be headquartered in Indiana but must produce the product in the state.

Only one product per company can be nominated.

"If you make something unique, interesting or ingenious, we certainly want to hear from you,” Brinegar said.

It's free to enter. Public voting will kick off in January with the highest vote-getter in each matchup advancing through a bracket.

A statewide champion will be crowned in February. The winner will get a trophy, a feature article in the Indiana Chamber's magazine and the opportunity to appear on the chamber's podcast.

“We believe this contest will feature some of the coolest, most incredible things made anywhere,” Brinegar said. “We’re confident this competition could even uncover some never-before-told stories of the state’s great manufacturers. And we can’t wait to shine a spotlight on them.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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