Video: Call 811 Before You Dig

April is National Safe Digging Month! But no matter the month, as the weather warms and everyone from construction workers to backyard gardeners begin new projects for the spring, it’s important to remember to call 811 before you do any digging! There may be buried lines. Calling 811 at least two days before you dig will bring a representative to the site to mark any buried utilities, helping you avoid possible injury, property damage or even fines. It’s completely free and ensures any utilities will be marked so you can proceed safely. Requests can also be made online at:

Call 811 Before You Dig Video

Feel free to share our reminder video to let others in your area know to call 811 before digging:

Learn more about safe digging.

1st Ever Main Street Conference Announced

“The conference will explore techniques and practices for downtown revitalization and economic development in our communities,” said OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden. “Communities will hear success stories, best practices and innovations from experts from the field focusing on the National Main Street model. We are thrilled to offer an opportunity for our Midwest Main Street partners who may not have the ability to attend the national conference.”

Main Street ConferenceThe conference is targeted towards revitalization leaders for downtown and historic districts from across the Great Lakes region. The conference will feature sessions on sustainability, economic vitality and cultivation of quality of place, as well as networking opportunities.

The conference will run August 18th though 20th. For more information and to register, visit:

Visit the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs

NiSource Announces Emissions Reduction Targets

NiSource, NIPSCO’s parent company, recently released its 2018 Integrated Annual Report which includes updates to the company’s emissions reduction targets for 2030.

Emissions Reduction TargetsThe updated report shows much more aggressive reductions planned, driven by Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s (NIPSCO) announced plan to replace all coal-fired electric generation with renewable energy sources.

"NiSource has long been committed to improving the environmental performance of our energy systems and making it more affordable for our customers. The updated targets we're highlighting in our 2018 Integrated Annual Report demonstrate our continued progress doing just that. We'll continue to make our business more sustainable for our customers, the communities we serve, our employees and our investors," said NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock.

The report includes highlighted reductions by 2030 including:

  • Nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions by 99 percent from 2005 levels
  • Water withdrawal by 99 percent from 2005 levels
  • Wastewater discharge by 99 percent from 2005 levels
  • Coal ash generated by 100 percent from 2005 levels

The full report is available here.

St. Joseph County Expanding High-Speed Internet Loop

A grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded $1 million to St. Joseph County to build/expand high-speed broadband internet service in the New Carlisle, IN area.

High Speed Internet LoopThe grant money will be met with an additional $1 million from local tax increment finance funds to support the project. The new infrastructure will benefit both residents and businesses, and hopefully help pull more large industrial companies to the industrial park there.

The project includes a 24-mile fiber conduit loop running west on Indiana 2 and east on U.S. 20. The new loop will link up with already installed connections on South Bend’s west side.

Bill Schalliol, Executive Director
St. Joseph County Economic Development

Northern Indiana Cities Ranked Among Best Cities for Small Businesses

An annual ranking by named a number of Northern Indiana cities among the best in the nation for small businesses.

Best Places to Work in IndianaKokomo, Elkhart-Goshen and Michigan City/La Porte MSA were all ranked well in the report.

Clarence Hulse, executive director of Economic Development Corporation Michigan City (EDCMC) is excited by Michigan City’s ranking. “Michigan City offers a more welcoming environment for young upstarts to enter the business arena than large cities,” Hulse said. “The rents are cheaper and competition is less intimidating. Breaking into the top 100 ranking for 2019 Best Cities for Small Business is exciting. We will continue to improve our business environment by creating a city where people want to live, work, and play.” The EDCMC recently reported that the Michigan City area received over $300 million in capital investment between 2016 and 2018, and La Porte over $220 million.

The rankings considered cities with populations between 50,000 and 250,000 people and considered seven criteria: regional price parities, job creation rates, per capita income, percentage of the young population with a Bachelor’s degree or above, the median earnings of 25+ year-olds with a Bachelor’s degree, unemployment rates and total sales figures/number of firms.

View more information and the complete rankings.

Clear Skies Ahead: Fort Wayne International Airport Continues to Soar

Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) had another record-breaking year in 2018, and the airport continues to invest in improving itself as more and more passengers come through its doors.

Fort Wayne Airport2018 marked the ninth consecutive year of passenger growth at FWA, and another year of record-breaking passenger traffic, continuing a streak of broken records that began in 2016.

“We are thankful to the residents of Northeast Indiana for utilizing their airport,” said Scott Hinderman, Executive Director of Airports. “As the region’s population grows, the airport board and staff are working hard to make sure FWA is prepared to accept the additional traffic. It is a continuous effort, working with our airline partners to expand existing routes or begin unserved routes from our market. It is exciting for the community’s airport to celebrate nine years of growth and we look forward to another year of growth in 2019.”

2018 also saw a number of improvement projects, with the completion of a new terminal entrance road and the introduction of a valet parking serves, both making it easier than ever for passengers to access and park at the airport. Runway 5/23 also saw two phases of a rehabilitation project completed, with the rest to follow this year.

In late March of 2019, local officials including Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry broke ground on renovations to Ardmore Avenue, an improvement project for the mile-long roadway up to the airport that will add another lane along with many other improvements. According to the airport, though many projects are underway behind the scenes a primary focus of 2019 will be working towards an architectural design of a terminal expansion project that is slated to begin construction in 2020.

Fort Wayne International Airport

John Urbahns, CEO Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Indiana Passes Hate Crime Law

In April, Indiana became the 46th state in the union to enact a statue to allow for more harsh criminal punishment for crimes motivated by hate or bias.

Indiana Hate Crime Law"Our goal was to achieve a comprehensive law that protects those who are the targets of bias crimes, and we have accomplished just that," said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. "We have made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence."

Under the new law, Senate Enrolled Act 198, a judge may consider bias or hate an aggravating factor in a case and impose a more severe sentence if a crime is committed “with bias due to the victim’s or the group’s real or perceived characteristic, trait, belief, practice, association, or other attribute the court chooses to consider.”

The new law takes effect in July.

Indiana Leads Nation in Steel Production

In 2018, Indiana produced 26.7 million net tons of steel, once again making it the largest steel producer in the country. 2018 was also the most steel produced nationwide since 2007.

Steel ProductionThe report comes from the American Iron and Steel Institute. According to that organization’s data, Indiana produces over 25 percent of the U.S.’s steel. Moreover, Indiana produced over twice as much steel as the next-highest producing state, Ohio, which produced only 10.88 million tons.

This report means that Indiana maintains its position as the top steel-producing state, a title it has held uninterrupted since 1977.

American Iron and Steel Institute 



Aardvark Straws
  • Eco-friendly paper straw manufacturer expanding operations
  • Recently-named the supplier of Purdue University Dining’s straws, increasing demand for the product after opening a 100,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in February 2019
  • Hiring 70 new employees
  • New York-based human resources consulting company expanding operations in Fort Wayne, IN
  • Opening a Benefits Outsourcing Center of Excellence, creating 50 new jobs
Franke Plating Works
  • Metal plating company expanding operations in Fort Wayne, IN
  • Investing $1 million to upgrade equipment and expand its facility near its headquarters, doubling the company’s production capacity
  • Creating up to 17 new jobs by the end of 2022
  • Canada-based automotive engineering and manufacturing company expanding operations in New Haven, IN
  • Investing $22 million to grow the current facility’s final assembly operations
  • Creating up to 75 new jobs by the end of 2021
Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Utah-based sporting goods outfitter opening first Indiana location in Fort Wayne, IN
  • The company plans to open the new store by summer 2019

John Urbahns, CEO Greater Fort Wayne Inc.


Great Lakes Lamination
  • Great Lakes Forest Products, a lumber and wood product company, is launching a sister company in Bristol, IN
  • The new company will produce laminated wood panels for the RV industry
  • Investing $7 million to purchase and equip a 115,000 sq. ft. facility
  • Creating up to 100 new jobs by the end of 2022
  • Floating stairs and railing systems manufacturer expanding operations in Goshen, IN
  • Investing $12 million to add 40,000 sq. ft. to an existing production facility
  • Creating up to 200 jobs by 2023


Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
  • Great Lakes Forest Products, a lumber and wood product company, is launching a sister company in Bristol, IN
  • Safety technology manufacturer for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles expanding operations in Huntington, IN
  • Purchased a 409,000 sq. ft. facility in the town, which is now the 6th company location there
  • Creating 40 new jobs by 2022

Chris Stager, Interim President & CEO Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County


Albanese Confectionery Group (Hobart)
  • Candy manufacturer expanding operations in Hobart, IN
  • Investing $60 million to build two new production lines at its existing facility
Wynright Corp. (Hobart)
  • Material handling system provider creating new operations in Hobart, IN
  • Building a 320,400 sq. ft. industrial building in NorthWind Crossings business park
  • Creating up to 540 new jobs by the end of 2019

Denarie Kane, Director of Development City of Hobart

La Porte

Marbach America Inc.
  • Germany-based tool and die manufacturer opening new operation in Michigan City, IN
  • Investing $4 million to lease 16,000 sq. ft. in the Haskell Building, located in the AmeriPlex-Marquette business park
  • Creating 30 new jobs
PHM Brands LLC
  • Colorado-based industrial hemp processor opening one of Indiana’s first factories to produce cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Investing $6 million to begin processing/CBD production in Michigan City, IN
  • Creating 32 new jobs
Starin Marketing
  • Chesterton, IN-based marketing company growing operations in Michigan City, IN
  • Leasing 8,000 sq. ft., in addition to the 16,000 sq. ft. the company already leases within the Haskell Building, located in the AmeriPlex-Marquette business park

Clarence Hulse, Executive Director Economic Development Corporation Michigan City


Cardinal IG Co.
  • Subsidiary of Minnesota-based Cardinal Glass Industries expanding operations
  • Investing $3.1 million for new equipment at its Fremont, IN facility
Miller Waste Mills
  • Material recycling company expanding operations in Fremont, IN
  • Investing $1.5 million to add new machinery
  • Creating 10 new jobs

Isaac Lee, Executive Director Steuben County Economic Development Corporation

St. Joseph

AM General LLC
  • Manufacturer of military vehicles awarded new contract for the U.S. Army National Guard
  • Contract expands on a 2018 contract, doubling the number of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles ordered

Bill Schalliol, Executive Director St. Joseph County Economic Development

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