Is Lilly under-appreciated?

June 25, 2009
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Indianapolis has always had Eli Lilly and Co., it seems, and Lilly always seems to care for Indianapolis like a rich uncle.

People employed directly by Lilly and by companies doing business with Lilly account for about one of every 30 jobs in the metro area, a new IU study shows. (The figures, from 2007, donâ??t count later layoffs.)

Lilly also accounts for about one of every 30 dollars generated by the stateâ??s economy.

Those figures understate the companyâ??s significance. Lilly people donate countless hours to not-for-profit groups and are responsible for untold influence on economic development, particularly life sciences, one of the stateâ??s few bright spots.

Consider Gus Watanabe, the former Lilly research director who died recently after cutting a wide swath through the budding life sciences sector. Another is Chuck Schalliol, who left Lilly and quietly pushed several life sciences seed funds into existence, and then helped straighten out the stateâ??s tangled finances as the stateâ??s first budget director under Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Asked once what would happen to Indianapolis if Lilly were ever to be acquired, former Mayor Steve Goldsmith quipped, â??God would not let that happen.â??

How do you feel about Lilly? Is the company taken for granted?
  • In many respects it is. Some people like to throw out tags against corporations (started by policiticians, hacks and later followed by some lap-dog media members) like Big Oil, Big Drug, and so on. We have to remember if it weren't for companies taking risk as in exploring and drilling for oil or evaluating chemical compounds to develop drugs for the benefit of medical maladys, we wouldn't have the advancements in our lives, the economic benefits that go along with those advancements and the jobs that those companies provide.

    Lilly has been a model corporate citizen. Anyone that would deny that or decry their benefit to the city and the state needs to slapped silly until they learn the truth. Thank you Col Lilly and all of the employees of the great company you left behind! Bravo!!!
  • Lilly gets plenty of local respect.

    Perhaps other large employers and growing companies have earned just as much respect, but don't get as much credit.
  • I appreciate Lilly and hope they have many more years of success. Indianapolis and its people should be very thankful for this company. They give generously to the city and its causes and do not ask for much if anything in return. If only David Simon could learn from this good example.
  • Lilly better get its act in gear real fast. Or it and metro Indy will be in a world of s**t. It hasn't had a human drug com to market in 4 years. The moral in many of its departments is terrible and the new execs are letting middle management do what they are stereotyped to do, Nothing and very slowly!
  • Lilly is not the same company it use to be in regards to employment. I was interviewed last fall for a position offered thru Kelly Scientific and used my excellent job evaluation from Roche thinking it would be an easy interview for me. When I was informed that Lilly no longer hires directly and that one must be a contract worker meaning higher wages but only short term employment without benefits... I walked out of the interview. I refused to work for a company making millions of dollars from illnesses yet refuses to carry health insurance benefits for their workers. Big companies are cutting health care everywhere. But it's wrong for a company like Lilly to do so in my opinion. Obviously I am much happier working for a less known company that cares about their employees and making the bigger paychecks WITH great health benefits!!!

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.