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Indiana Secretary of Commerce joins U.S. Investment Advisory Council

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger talks last year about the Indiana business climate during Centier Bank's Breakthrough Speaker Series event in Merrillville.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger, who leads the Hoosier state's economic development efforts, will serve on the United States Investment Advisory Council, a role in which he will advise the U.S. Department of Commerce on how to lure more foreign direct investment.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross appointed Schellinger, an architect from Indianapolis who mounted an unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in the Democratic primary in 2008. Founded in 2016, the council has made recommendations to the federal government on workforce initiatives, digital tools and infrastructure investment as it looks to attract investment from foreign companies in the United States.

“The world is more connected than ever before, and ... we’re working daily to increase our connectivity to the world,” Schellinger said. “With 950 foreign-owned business establishments as well as international, Indiana-based companies like Cummins, Lilly and Hillenbrand, our state serves as a model, uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of the 21st-century global economy. I’m honored to serve on this council and proud to support national efforts to further strengthen our global business opportunities.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp., formerly the U.S. Department of Commerce, said foreign direct investment commitments have increased by 300% in over the past three years. Between 2016 and 2018, companies from 22 countries have made 123 commitments saying they will invest $5.8 billion in the state and create more than 15,500 new jobs.

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Businesses like Cormo USA, Indiana Wheel Corp., Multimatic, OSR Inc., Saab, Saturn Petcare and Greenleaf Foods have pledged to establish facilities in Indiana.

The state already is home to more than 950 foreign-owned business establishments that employ 193,000 workers.

“As a state, we are committed to taking Indiana to the world and bringing the world back to Indiana,” Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. “International companies like BWI, Daifuku Wynright, Infosys, Greenleaf Foods and Saab continue to expand and locate here, putting Indiana and Secretary Schellinger in a pole position to contribute to our nation’s vision and strategy in bringing more foreign direct investment to our economy.”

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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.