Governor Mike Pence is reaching across party lines to fill an open seat in his administration. Pence announced on Wednesday Democrat Jim Schellinger will head the state’s economic development agency.
Schellinger, who’s served on the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors since Pence took office, will take a leave of absence from his role as CEO of the Indianapolis company CSO Architects. The Hoosier Democrat ran for governor in 2008, losing in the primary.
Indiana took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday criticizing Connecticut’s $1.5 billion tax increase and touting Indiana’s business friendly policies.
The ad that was placed in the Connecticut, New Jersey and New York versions of the Wall Street journal bears this message: “Friends don’t let friends pay higher taxes.”
The ad specifically names General Electric, whose executives have been threatening to leave Connecticut because of tax increases. But Indiana University tax law professor Ajay Mehrotra says that’s not likely to happen.
General Motors will invest $1.2 billion to expand its Fort Wayne truck assembly plant. The company says it’s among their largest manufacturing investments ever in the U.S.
The automotive company will expand and upgrade the existing facility which builds Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The investment will add 1.5 million square feet to the plant, including a new paint shop and expanded body shop. The plant currently employs around 3,800 workers.
The company says the upgrades will improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
Fort Wayne’s unified economic development organization is getting new leadership.
Greater Fort Wayne Inc. named Eric Doden its new chief executive officer this week, replacing former CEO Mark Becker, who resigned in January.
Doden is the outgoing president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state agency that works to attract new business to Indiana. Governor Mike Pence appointed him to the position in 2013.
The 42nd annual Fort Wayne Home and Garden show starts Thursday. The expected high turnout this year could be a sign of economic recovery.
Nationwide, the recovery in the housing market has been slow the last few years, but spending on home improvement and repair has fared a bit better. That’s according a report released by Harvard last month, which also projects that type of spending to slow down this year.
The City of Fort Wayne has been awarded $33 million in federal funding for future development projects. Mayor Tom Henry made the announcement Wednesday.
The City of Fort Wayne is the only entity in Indiana to receive funds from the New Markets Tax Credit Program this year. It grants tax credits to investors for development projects in low-income communities.
In 2008 Fort Wayne received approximately $15 million from the program, which went towards completing the Harrison project downtown.
Governor Mike Pence announced Wednesday the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has secured job commitments with a record 261 companies this year. But Pence says there’s still more work to be done.
The job commitments made in 2013, worth more than $2 billion to Indiana’s economy, are expected to create more than 21,000 jobs in the state over the next several years. The expected jobs will pay a higher wage, nearly 22 dollars an hour, than the state average, which is 20 dollars an hour.