INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Today Governor Mike Pence highlighted the Hoosier State’s recent growth and success in flight and space at the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Aviation & Aerospace in Indiana” conference. The event, which drew more than 500 attendees, convened policy makers, academic leaders and industry executives from across the state.
During his remarks, Pence credited Indiana’s partnerships between these institutions as the key to the state’s progress in the industry.
“It is a special moment in the life of our state because the people of Indiana have a vision,” said Pence. “That vision is focused on growing our economy on the foundation of innovation and on the foundation of partnerships that allow businesses to seize every opportunity available. These fundamentals are still what attract businesses to Indiana.”
This principle is evident as top Hoosier companies in aviation, aerospace and defense, including Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation, BAE Systems, Alcoa and Raytheon, continue to grow. Since 2002, Indiana exports for the aircraft and spacecraft industries have expanded at an average annual rate of nearly 30 percent. Those companies helped Indiana add 1,700 private sector jobs in February alone, and more than 260,000 since July 2009.
Last year, GE Aviation announced plans to build a $100 million jet engine facility in Lafayette, projecting to create 200 new jobs, while Raytheon recently announced a 25 percent increase to its Indiana team, bringing 250 new high-wage, defense and aerospace industry jobs to the state.
“It’s hard to keep up with all of the great aerospace news in Indiana. We’re proud that Indiana has embraced policies to keep companies saying ‘yes’ to the people of Indiana and ‘yes’ to the Hoosier State,” said Pence. “We look forward to continuing to fly our flag boldly and say that Indiana is open for aerospace business.”
Pence honored one of the industry’s leading executives, Rolls-Royce North America President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Guyette, with an Honorary Hoosier Award for his 17 years of service to the company and his ongoing dedication to the state. As an early member of the state’s aerospace industry, Rolls-Royce helped lay the foundation that has attracted other aerospace powerhouse companies to Indiana.
“Aerospace is my space, and I’m just as excited about the discovery and the innovation as I was in 1967,” said Guyette, who will retire next month. “Indiana has not only the infrastructure, the incentives and the culture to support this industry, but the high-quality education system that builds skills as well as character in students who will become the next generation of leaders. Our universities, this workforce development, is our competitive edge here in Indiana.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, focusing on helping companies grow in and locate to the state. Governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, public infrastructure assistance and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.