IEDC

Lisa Ryan/WBOI News

Walmart announced Friday it plans to build a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne. It will bring about 200 jobs to the area by the end of 2017.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

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.

Legislative leaders say an aggressive push by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation likely won’t influence final negotiations over how much money to put into the governor’s Regional Cities Initiative.  The initiative is meant to help foster greater collaboration in economic development between communities around the state.

The governor’s proposed budget puts $42 million a year towards the IEDC project.  The House and Senate scaled that back to $10 million a year. 

Brandon Smith

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.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is deploying a new marketing campaign aimed at reducing the state’s unemployment rate.

Governor Mike Pence often said on the campaign trail he wanted to make Indiana the state that works.  The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is borrowing that slogan for its new marketing campaign. 

State Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith says the campaign will use a broad-based approach that incorporates its new website.

With a month still to go this year, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Wednesday announced 2012 will set a record for commitments from companies to locate or expand operations in the state.  But IEDC CEO Dan Hasler says he’d still like to see more of the commitments turn into actual jobs.