My, how Marion has changed

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?

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