My, how Marion has changed

November 5, 2007
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It wasnâ??t so long ago that Marion was the poster child for Rust Belt decline in Indiana. The city, which is just off Interstate 69 between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, lost a string of manufacturers and then finally the big one, Thomson Consumer Electronicsâ?? television picture tube plant, in 2004.

Things were so bad that several hundred people showed up for a rally at Indiana Wesleyan Universityâ??s basketball arena.

Since the Thomson plant closed, fully 20 economic development projects have been announced in the Marion area. Grant County Economic Growth Council figures the commitments amount to $400 million in investment and 2,500 jobs.

And now a virtually unknown company, a tech startup called Veriana Networks, is making a splash with plans to build a headquarters and hire 280 people by 2012. These jobs will bring a lot more money into the area than the warehouse projects and some of the other deals.

Whatâ??s your take? Can Marion keep up the momentum? And where will the next Hoosier turnaround story happen?
  • My quess is Marion would benefit by the new I-69 extension.
  • This appears to be the very first posting of the very first blog of Indianapolis Business Journal. What does Marion have to do with business in Indianapolis? Just an observation. Nothing particularly wrong with this. Is the Business Journal going to start covering business in northern Indiana? Good.
  • Mark, thanks for writing. This actually is IBJ's second blog, after Property Lines, which follows real estate. Despite the Indianapolis in IBJ's name, we don't limit coverage to the Indianapolis area, particularly online. We feel cities outside IBJ's primary coverage area interest readers because events affect their businesses--not to mention the common thread of living in the same state.

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