Manufacturing & Technology

New business incubator is made for minoritiesRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Scott Olson
Black business owner Bob Logan is one of four entrepreneurs chosen by the Indiana Business Diversity Council as inaugural tenants of its unusual new incubator, which caters solely to minority-owned businesses.
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary:Restricted Content

July 10, 2006
On June 1, Gov. Mitch Daniels and officials from the Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund announced the Indiana Investment Fund, a $100 million investment vehicle. The fund will invest in early-stage startups and loans to mature firms. It will invest in Indiana-What's wrong with local investment pros? based agriculture, manufacturing, information technology, transportation and life sciences companies. Credit Suisse was selected to manage this new fund. As a global investment bank, Credit Suisse certainly has skilled bankers who can evaluate...
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Work still elusive for people with disabilities: Employment rates remain stagnant even though a wealth of programs are finding success placing workersRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Scott Olson
The lesson Amy Kurzekwa taught the folks at the downtown Gregory & Appel Insurance agency reaches far beyond what they learned about premiums and deductibles. Since 1992, she has taken the bus to her job there as a clerical assistant, performing such tasks as sorting and delivering the office mail and filling the copy machines. While most anyone can do that, Kurzekwa, 37, is irreplaceable to her co-workers. Her role in opening their eyes to the fact that people with...
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Honda poses pay dilemma: New auto plant's higher wages likely to force other employers to pay up or lose workersRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Chris O\'malley
GREENSBURG-Companies from Cincinnati to Indianapolis hoping to drive home business from Honda Motor Co.'s 2,000-employee plant might want to watch for an economic pothole hiding up the road. Giant auto plants plopped onto the prairie, while buying hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services from companies in the state, also tend to swallow workers from established employers. That likely will force some Indiana employers to jack up wages and benefits to retain and attract workers pining to wear...
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Carmel firm grows up in emerging market: BlueBean acquisition makes it one-stop RFID shopRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
A small Indiana firm is looking to become a big player in the emerging radio-frequency-identification market. Carmel-based BlueBean LLC is one of a small but growing number of firms nationally that provide consulting services to companies trying to set up systems using radio frequency identification-commonly called RFID-tags and readers. BlueBean in April acquired Mishawakabased www.rfidsupplychain.com, which sells RFID hardware and software online. The acquisition also provided BlueBean rights to a bevy of other domain names, including www.rfidhealthcare.com, www.rfidpharma.comand www.rfidfood.com. The...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Tattoos aren't only things we hideRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Morton Marcus
I admit I don't understand the world in which I live. For example, a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reports that 24 percent of Americans age 18 to 50 have one or more tattoos. That rises to 36 percent when we look at just those 18 to 29. I don't get it. Is this body art, a message to the world, a commitment to oneself or someone else? Tattoos do fill in all that empty...
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Pact with automakers puts firm in fast lane: Battery pioneer signs deal with big three alliance, hopes to push technology for hybrid cars to marketRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
A deal with the big-three U.S. automakers has positioned an Indianapolis manufacturer to be one of the leading battery providers for domestically made hybrid vehicles. EnerDel Inc., which employs 35 at its 8740 Hague Road headquarters, recently signed a deal to provide technology for hybrid-vehicle batteries to a consortium formed by DaimlerChrysler Corp., Ford Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. EnerDel is a joint venture between two publicly traded firms, F l o r i d a - b a...
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Aquaculture industry set to cast bigger net: Ag officials hope Indiana spawns more fish farmersRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Scott Olson
Forrest Gump owned a shrimp boat. Tim and Julie Connor have a shrimp farm instead. The couple, who live on 22 acres near Monrovia, are in their third season raising prawn, or large shrimp, from a pond on their property. The $4,000 they earned last year from selling 350 pounds of the crustaceans to the public is hardly enough to cause Tim, 47, to retire from the job he's held at Allison Transmission for 28 years. But if the sideline...
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Car event 'astonishing': In 4th year, local show already one of nation's largestRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Economic development leaders and corporate executives thought Roger Brummett was spinning his wheels when he launched a classic car show in Indianapolis four years ago. But Brummett and partner Tim Durham find themselves at the wheel of such a fastgrowing enterprise that they hope to expand it into a multiday event, with an auction and classic-car race, that they believe would draw 100,000 attendees. The pair also plans to replicate the show in other markets, starting in Naples, Fla., in...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Motor-vehicle jobs: a path to the future?Restricted Content

June 12, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Would landing a new Honda plant be a plus for the Indiana economy? You bet it would. In fact, it's hard to think of any similar-size investment that holds the same immediate potential for supporting additional jobs beyond those inside the plant walls. The project scores well on just about every objective measure you can come up with to assess its attractiveness. It draws on skills and occupations Indiana already has. Its activities hold great promise for new business for...
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Regional partnerships called key to making it: Purdue urges state manufacturers to join supply chainRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Growing global competition is bringing local manufacturers together. And the definition of local is changing from around the corner to within 500 miles. Officials from Purdue University have conducted a series of manufacturing summits encouraging Indiana plants to tear down their separatist walls and become an integrated part of regional supply chains. "Supplier-based manufacturing is based on long-term relationships in a 500-mile radius, so we need to think about Indiana manufacturing regionally," said John Sullivan, director of Purdue's Center for...
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Geographic restrictions could backfire for PERF: $105 million fund carries lots of potential, risksRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
By restricting the new $105 million Indiana Investment Fund I to deals within state lines, Gov. Mitch Daniels hopes to simultaneously spur economic development and earn a spectacular return for Indiana's retired public employees. But venture-capital experts warn it's nearly impossible to have it both ways. "You need to be very, very clear what your objectives are when you invest [pension] money. Is it for economic development or to help the pensioners earn better pensions?" said John Taylor, vice president...
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EYE ON THE PIE: What if we moved the elderly out of state?Restricted Content

June 12, 2006
Morton Marcus
"Don't write about this," Sid Simpleton told me. He is the state's social policy director. "People who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one do not like death discussed without appropriate gravity." "I'll warn them not to read the column if they have recently had such a loss," I said. Sipping gin and tonics on a warm spring afternoon does make the troubles of the world seem less serious. "OK, if you think it's safe," Sid said. "This...
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Proposed resource center targets science, tech, math: BioCrossroads wants to help build strong foundation Pulling things togetherRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Only 64 percent of Indiana's fifthgraders passed the latest ISTEP+ test in science. A little better-76 percent-passed the math component. Unfortunately, as children advance in grades, their ISTEP+ math scores worsen. By eighth grade, only 64 percent passed the math portion of the test. Yet, economic development officials in Indiana-and much of the country-want young students to choose to study in college areas of advanced manufacturing, life sciences, informatics, agribusiness and an array of disciplines that require a strong foundation...
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DANIELS' DEAL CLOSERS: IEDC generating jobs, but economy shares part of creditRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
It would have been big. Just last month, a team of officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and The Indy Partnership, its local equivalent, were furiously negotiating with South Carolinabased fire-engine maker American LaFrance. Intrigued by a mix of economic incentives and Indiana's central location, American LaFrance considered moving its operations to Marion County. In formal negotiations, the company dangled promises of 653 jobs and a capital investment of $18.5 million. State records don't reveal what incentives Indiana offered...
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Danica deal just one of many for MainGate: Firm looks to relocate as profits soar 828 percentRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
With a deep history in motorsports, it would be understandable if officials for Indianapolis-based MainGate were focused solely on their recently signed exclusive licensing deal with racing diva Danica Patrick. After all, Patrick's merchandise outsold all other Indy Racing League drivers combined last year, and since MainGate has taken over making, distributing and selling her merchandise this year, sales have tripled, company officials said. But with the company busting at the seams and a wave of new business from various...
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Plant left with hazy future: Ex-Visteon factory employs 2,000-for nowRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
A struggling auto plant on Indianapolis' east side has quietly shed 300 workers in the past year, reducing employment to 2,000, and analysts say it remains vulnerable to closing. If the steering-components plant on English Avenue meets that fate, employment losses would exceed the 1,500 jobs Indiana hopes to win by persuading Honda Motor Co. to build a $400 million plant in the southeastern part of the state. Before last fall, the east-side plant was part of Visteon Corp., a...
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VIEWPOINT: To be a logistics leader, state needs a planRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Bob Palmer
Indiana is poised to become the country's logistics center. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on that topic. Now is the time for business, government and education to come together and make it happen. SupplyNet 2006-the recent statewide conference that brought together not only transportation, distribution and logistics industries, but also representatives from manufacturing, retail, information technology, government and academia-detailed the broader picture of supplychain management. As a cutting-edge business strategy, supply-chain management integrates internal and external logistics...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: EXPRESSIONS SOFA STUDIO: Following her heart CPA-turned-retailer trying out a new way to sell furnitureRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Della Pacheco
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE EXPRESSIONS SOFA STUDIO Following her heart CPA-turned-retailer trying out a new way to sell furniture When Jennifer O'Connor graduated from the University of Dayton in 1990 with an accounting degree, the Fort Wayne native began navigating the fast track toward partnership at a public accounting firm. But O'Connor's plans to marry and have children didn't mesh with her 70-hour work weeks, so she quit her position with Ernst & Young and settled into decorating the Meridian-Kessler home...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Beware cost increases you can't seeRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Morton Marcus
There I was at the grocery store engaged in economic research. I found a plasticwrapped pack of 24 half-liter bottles of "spring water" from a famous soft drink company was $4.99, or $1.57 per gallon. The store brand for "spring water," packaged in the same fashion, was $3.88, or $1.22 per gallon. A 24-pack of regular or diet 12-ounce soft drinks from the same famous company was selling for $6.49, or $2.97 per gallon. That's just about the price of...
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Tower erector rises from ruin: Once bankrupt, water tank firm grows into industry giant, acquires competitorRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
From the ashes of bankruptcy in 1986, an Avon-based firm has ascended to the top of an industry that might seem old-fashioned: building and maintaining water towers. But the owners of Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors Inc. say new demand for their product, driven by factors as diverse as aesthetics and alternative fuels, promises to boost the firm's $80 million in annual sales as Phoenix grows from within and through acquisitions. Phoenix this month acquired Sebree, Ky.-based Pittsburgh Tank and Tower...
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Daniels seeks to copy key-clusters strategy: Industry initiatives would mimic BioCrossroads planRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, BioCrossroads has been vindicated. Gov. Mitch Daniels hopes to see a series of similar industry initiatives sprout around key clusters in Indiana's economy. He envisions parallel initiatives for manufacturing, transportation and logistics and a series of other crucial business sectors. "We'd love some company," said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson. As outlined in Daniels' "Accelerating Growth" economic development plan released last month, the initiatives would be based on proven Indiana strengths and identifiable...
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Refiner enjoys oil boom: Calumet Specialty Products sees stock price take offRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Indianapolis is headquarters for Little Oil-Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP. Few locally have heard of the west-side refining and petroleum products company, let alone of its Jan. 25 initial public stock offering that raised $144 million. Calumet is controlled by an equally obscure group of families that still own the bulk of company shares. Yet shares of little Calumet-sales last year of $1.3 billion-are up 40 percent since the January IPO intended to fuel acquisitions. The appreciation is partly due...
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Reebok should fit into Adidas' global plan: Indianapolis facility finds an ally in NBA after 11-year apparel dealRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Adidas-Salomon AG's $3.8 billion acquisition of Reebok International is having ripple effects from Boston to Beijing. Those waves are likely to wash right through Reebok's design and manufacturing plant on Indianapolis' east side, which employs nearly 1,000. Reebok's headquarters will remain in Canton, Mass., and Adidas will maintain its state-side headquarters in Portland, Ore., but officials for the German sporting goods giant have revealed little else about their plans for Reebok facilities. Adidas officials have said they project saving $212...
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Bloomington's Cook tightens women's health focus: New business unit plans summer product rolloutRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Tom Murphy
Privately held Cook Inc. has added a seventh business unit in a bid to strengthen its presence in the growing market for gender-specific health care products, a move that could bring jobs to southern Indiana. The Bloomington-based medicaldevice maker will unveil its Women's Health unit May 8 in Spencer. The unit actually started operating last September, initially taking on a combination of products pulled from the company's urological unit, also in Spencer. But Women's Health leader Christina Anné said it...
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