The county, once described as “the white-hot center of the national recession,” was named the top destination for corporate expansion among metropolitan areas with populations of less than 200,000 in 2009. It also earned Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup for the year.
“The EDC is currently working in partnership with existing businesses, the state of Indiana and utility companies for new and diversified investment opportunities,” said EDC President Dorinda Heiden-Guss.
Secretary of State Mitch Roob, the CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., presented data about the state’s improving economic climate – with Elkhart County as a major contributor. The event was sponsored by Indiana Michigan Power and NIPSCO.
The honorees, the value of their investments and their products or services were:
- All American Group of Elkhart and Middlebury, which builds systems-built houses and specialty vehicles, $3.5 million.
- Dometic Corp. of Elkhart, which manufactures goods for the RV, truck, marine and hotel industries, $6.8 million.
- Dwyer Instruments of Wakarusa, which provides industrial controls such as gages, switches and transmitters, $505,000.
- InterCambio Express of Elkhart and Goshen, which provides the service of transferring money to Central American and South American countries, $700,000.
- izzy+, which makes furniture, $640,000.
- Kem Krest of Elkhart, which provides supply chain management solutions, $3.3 million.
- Navistar International Corp., which makes electric trucks at its Wakarusa plant, $39.2 million.
- Syndicate Systems Inc. of Middlebury, which makes household furniture, $460,000.
- THINK North America, which makes electric cars, $56.2 million.
- Truck Accessories Group of Elkhart, which makes fiberglass, plastic and aluminum components, $2.45 million.
In his presentation, Roob said job commitments in the state by early August had already climbed to 16,556, far above last year’s total 10,679 and a significant improvement over the pre-recession 14,956 in 2006. (See Chart.)
The number of projects was up to 115, compared to 89 for all last year, and investment was already at $2.74 billion, nearly three times the 2009 total. Wages from the IEDC projects are at the national average, far about the state average.
The growth was achieved with a modest cost to the state for expenses such as tax credits, training grants and infrastructure assistance.
Indiana is one of only nine states with the top rank from all three credit rating agencies and enjoys lower business tax and regulation than almost any other state, he noted.
Last year, Elkhart County was the location of 15 deals in the state – second only to the Indianapolis area, and including 3,512 job commitments more than any other county.