Gov. Mike Pence announced a series of seven economic deals on Wednesday that could eventually result in more than 1,000 new jobs in Central Indiana.
In all, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has signed agreements with 261 companies this year that have agreed to create jobs in the state in exchange for tax breaks, training grants or other incentives.
Pence said that’s a record number of deals. However the total number of jobs promised for the state – 21,420 – and the total pledged investment – $2.63 billion – fall short of previous high marks.
The numbers represent commitments to create jobs, not actual positions. In past years, some deals have fallen through or companies have failed to create as many jobs or invest as much money as they’d promised.
Still, Pence called 2013 “another groundbreaking year for Indiana.” He credited in part tax cuts the General Assembly passed earlier this year.
“With Indiana’s private sector growth far outpacing the national average, our message is resonating as more companies than ever are choosing Indiana for growth,” Pence said in a statement. “In the coming year, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to maintaining a low-tax, fiscally sound climate and continue to position Indiana as a state that works for business.”
Democrats said Wednesday they were skeptical about the governor’s numbers.
“Hoosiers have seen a lot of these slick jobs announcements in recent years,” said House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City. “And once the press releases are deleted and the promised jobs never materialize, they notice that the politicians are long gone.”
He said too many Hoosiers are out of work or aren’t earning enough to adequately care for their families.
“Our citizens believe Indiana can do a lot better, and they will cast their judgments based on outcomes and not promises,” Pelath said.
The deals announced Wedneday include:
- St. Louis-based Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and largest nonprofit healthcare system, will expand the Ascension Health Ministry Service Center located on the northwest side of Indianapolis, creating up to 549 new jobs by 2016.
- Bastian Automation Engineering, a division of Indianapolis-headquartered Bastian Solutions, will invest $1 million to lease, renovate and equip its production facility on a seven-acre campus in Greenfield, creating up to 60 new jobs by 2016.
- Founded in 2011 by Santiago Jaramillo in his dorm room at Indiana Wesleyan University, Bluebridge Digital helps universities, churches, tourism destinations and other organizations engage with their communities through full-featured, easy-to-update mobile apps. The company has plans to invest approximately $311,000 to lease 4,500 square feet office space in Fishers and add up to 199 new jobs by 2022.
- North Dakota-based Classic Alumadeck, which designs and manufactures aluminum deck and railings, plans to invest more than $3 million to locate its first Indiana facility in Indianapolis, creating up to 65 new jobs by 2016.
- Fort Wayne-headquartered DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, a state and local tax consulting services firm, plans to invest $2.78 million to expand its Indianapolis operations and locate a new office on the northeast side of the city at Keystone at the Crossing, creating up to 62 new jobs by 2016.
- Gruuv Technologies, an information technology engineering consulting firm, plans to invest $450,000 to expand its operations in Indianapolis, adding up to 29 new jobs by 2017.
- Indiana-based Perceivant, a data and real-time analytics platform, will invest $309,000 in a leased location in Indianapolis, creating up to 49 new jobs by 2018.