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IEDC, Conexus form aerospace, defense council

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The Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Conexus Indiana announced Tuesday morning that they’ve launched a group to focus on the state’s growing aerospace and defense industry.

The Indiana Aerospace and Defense Council, which met for the first time on Monday, brings together industry leaders to begin creating a plan to grow the sector.

IEDC and Conexus, an Indianapolis-based trade group focused on manufacturing and logistics, said Hoosier defense and aerospace companies have created 1,800 jobs in the past two years.

“We can be proud that Indiana-based companies are working together to bolster national security and support the military in our overseas commitments,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob said in a prepared statement. “As these firms help make our country safer, they’re also making our economy stronger.”

Roob highlighted four large defense contractors operating in Indiana that collectively accounted for more than $2.6 billion in U.S. Department of Defense contracts in 2010: South Bend-based AM General LLC, Britain-based Rolls-Royce Corp., Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon Co. and New York-based ITT Corp.

The new group will focus on broadening the state’s contractor base and helping smaller companies enter the market and compete for contracts.

It will be operated by Conexus and will receive major funding from IEDC. Ryan Metzing, an Indianapolis attorney, will serve as project director and Courtney Zaugg, a former director of international economic development at DevelopIndy, will serve as director of industry research.

 

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