State reaches expansion deals with 7 companies

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced plans Wednesday for seven companies to expand or start operations in central Indiana, creating a combined 1,013 jobs over the next eight years if their plans come to fruition.

All seven companies are set to receive economic development incentives from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. if they meet their hiring goals. The state did not provide current employment numbers for most of the companies involved in the deals.

The biggest expansion involves St. Louis-based Ascension Health, which plans to add 549 jobs by 2016 on the northwest side of Indianapolis (see separate story).

In addition to Ascension's plans:

— Fishers-based Bluebridge Digital LLC, which was founded in 2011 by Santiago Jaramillo in his dorm room at Indiana Wesleyan University, said it will spend $311,000 to lease 4,500 square feet of office space in Fishers and add 199 workers by 2022.

BlueBridge was the first company to “graduate” from Launch Fishers, a communal office that opened last year to draw entrepreneurs to the suburban community with an alternative to long-term leases and coffee shop squatting.

The firm, which makes mobile apps for not-for-profits, moved its 13 employees into office space in Fishers in October after reaching an incentives deal with the town.

The IEDC offered BlueBridge up to $1.85 million in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants.

— Bastian Automation Engineering, a division of Indianapolis-headquartered Bastian Solutions, said it will create 60 jobs by 2016 by spending $1 million to lease, renovate and equip a production facility on its 7-acre campus in Greenfield.

The company, founded in 1952, now has 53 workers in Greenfield, 147 in Indiana and 384 worldwide.

Bastian was offered up to $375,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants by IEDC. Greenfield will consider additional tax breaks for the company.

— North Dakota-based Classic Alumadeck, which makes aluminum deck parts and railings, said it plans to spend more than $3 million to locate its first Indiana facility in Indianapolis, creating 65 new jobs by 2016. Classic Alumdeck's nearly 40,000 square-foot facility is expected to open at 3050 S. Arlington Ave. by the end of the month.

The IEDC offered the company up to $275,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans.

— Fort Wayne-headquartered DuCharme, McMillen & Associates Inc., a tax-consulting firm, said it will invest $2.8 million to expand its Indianapolis operations and locate a 42,000-square-foot office at Keystone at the Crossing, creating up to 62 jobs by 2016.

The firm now employs 125 associates in Indianapolis and nearly 40 in Fort Wayne.

DuCharme, McMillen & Associates was offered up to $425,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $75,000 in training grants by the IEDC.

— Gruuv Technologies, an IT engineering-consulting firm, plans to invest $450,000 to expand its operations in Indianapolis, adding up to 29 jobs by 2017. The company was founded here in 2010.

Gruuv was offered up to $330,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $35,000 in training grants.

— Tech firm Perceivant LLC said it will invest $309,000 in a leased location in Indianapolis, adding up to 49 jobs by 2018.
Perceivant was offered up to $800,000 in conditional tax credits by the IEDC.

The IEDC said the state had a "record-breaking year of economic development results," by securing job commitments from 261 companies, an increase from 256 in 2012.

Those 261 companies are expected to invest $2.6 billion in their Indiana operations and create 21,420  jobs in the coming years, the IEDC said. About 4,000 of those job commitments are in Indianapolis.

The state said the new positions will pay an expected hourly wage of $21.72, above the state's current average hourly wage of $20.01.


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