New IEDC hire to focus on West Coast

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is continuing to look at ways to increase the state’s brand awareness on the West Coast. The organization on Monday announced the hiring of Jillian Ochs to the new position of West Coast business expansion specialist with the goal of attracting high-tech investment from businesses and entrepreneurs in California.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ochs is the founder of strategic consulting practice Smith Global. The IEDC said her firm focuses on international expansion, go-to-market business strategy and global business development, among other areas.

In her new role, the IEDC said Ochs will focus on increasing investment and innovation opportunities with California-based companies, as well as domestic and international companies that do business in the state.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers said Ochs’ hiring is part of an effort for the state to become a global leader in high-tech sectors.

“Compared to traditional high-tech markets along the West Coast, Indiana offers a low-tax, reduced regulation environment with a robust pipeline of STEM specialists and a quality of life that employers and employees alike can enjoy,” Chambers said in written remarks. “We are excited to welcome Jillian to the team and look forward to sharing Indiana’s story even more boldly with future-focused entrepreneurs and innovators looking to grow.”

Several California-based companies have made a total of $7 billion in commitments to expand in or relocate to Indiana in the last two years, according to the state.

About one year ago, digital asset platform Anchorage Digital said it would establish operations in central Indiana, creating at least 10 jobs by the end of the year.

IntelinAir Inc. announced in 2021 it was moving its headquarters to Indianapolis. Ninth Avenue Foods also announced plans to invest $103 million to build a dairy and plant-based beverage manufacturing plant in Columbus and create up to 111 jobs.

The IEDC said the goal is to advance Indiana’s future in sectors such as tech, life sciences, semiconductor design and fabrication, and energy.

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