Envy of our Neighbors

Envy of our Neighbors

Numerous Companies Have Made the Switch from Illinois to Indiana in 2015, Bringing Hundreds of Jobs, Large Renovation and Construction Projects, and Continued Investment
By Nick Dmitrovich

Every few weeks since the start of 2015, company after company has announced their plans to relocate to Indiana from Illinois, often citing a more favorable tax climate or lower overall costs of operation behind their decision. It’s a clear sign that Indiana’s “A State that Works” campaign is working, as hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investment have crossed just this single border this year.

Recently, Illinois administrators have even commented on the trend.

Governor Rauner’s Director of Communications Lance Trover said, “This is further proof of why reforms are needed so we can keep jobs from fleeing Illinois like they have been for years. The governor understands that small business owners need help getting out from under the weight of the politicians in Springfield who refuse to reform our business climate and simply want to raise taxes.”

Nationally, corporate publications and major media outlets have been paying increased attention to Indiana’s pro-business stance. In June of 2015, the Indiana ranked No. 1 for cost of doing business by CNBC, and in May, Indiana was recognized as first in the Midwest and sixth nationwide as the best state for business by Chief Executive Magazine.

“Indiana’s business climate continues to attract investment from around the Midwest and the nation,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence. “Companies come to Indiana because they’re looking for somewhere to expand with ease and affordability. Our Hoosier workforce is skilled, experienced and committed, and we’re shining the spotlight on Indiana for talent everywhere by building vibrant regions across our state.”

Here’s a look at some of the biggest job-generating announcements that have come out so far this year, and the motivations cited by company owners behind them.


500 Jobs Come to East Chicago, IN from the Western Suburbs of Chicago, IL

Just a few weeks ago, Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing, Inc., a manufacturer of high-capacity material handling equipment, announced plans to expand its manufacturing operations into a 550,000-square-foot building at 4407 Railroad Ave. in East Chicago, IN, creating up to 500 new jobs by 2022. The new site will allow the company to expand its production of heavy-duty forklifts to accommodate a significant increase of new unit orders resulting from several strategic contracts, which could result in additional jobs beyond the projected figures in the coming years.

Hoist“We’re seeing more and more companies choose Indiana for their operations, and it’s not just purely business reasons behind these choices,” said Karen Lauerman, President and CEO of the Lake County Economic Alliance. “Companies are choosing Indiana for the outstanding quality of life that our state provides. People want to work here, because people love to live here.”

East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland said, “Hoist’s commitment to grow their organization in our community is a testament to our goal of revitalizing the city’s industrial core. East Chicago is on the move in a positive direction and we look forward to growing with Hoist in their future success.”

Company President and CEO Marty Flaska said that Hoist Liftruck will save millions of dollars a year by relocating to Indiana, specifically in the realm of worker’s compensation costs, lower taxes for the company, and lower overall costs of living for his employees.

“Illinois couldn’t compete,” Flaska said.

Additionally, Indiana provided numerous incentives for relocation based on the company’s job creation plans, including: up to $8.25 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC); additional incentives from the City of East Chicago at the request of the Lake County Indiana Economic Alliance; and additional incentives from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and NIPSCO.


92 High-Wage Jobs Come to Vincennes, IN from Lawrenceville, IL

Franklin Well Services Inc., a provider of oil well servicing, has relocated its headquarters from Lawrenceville, Illinois, to Vincennes, IN, which will result in the creation of up to 92 new high-wage jobs by 2018. The company is repurposing a vacant 35,000-square-foot space, which was previously a department store, at 400 Main St.

after“We have been fortunate as a company to have significant growth in our industry and based on this growth, we began exploring the necessity of relocating into a centralized corporate headquarters,” said Don Jones, President of Franklin Well Services. “This journey brought us to Vincennes. Here, we can offer our employees the quality of life they expect, which will benefit our business recruitment and retention needs. The Vincennes community and the state of Indiana provide a business environment where we can continue to grow and prosper.”

Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum said, “This is not only good for our city, but for the state of Indiana as well.”

The IEDC offered Franklin Well Services up to $2,150,000 in conditional tax credits and the city of Vincennes is considering additional incentives at the request of the Knox County Development Corporation


300 Jobs Come to Gary, IN from Chicago, IL

Edsal Manufacturing, a Chicago-based firm that produces numerous different kinds of shelving products, announced that it will be opening a facility in Gary where it will hire 300 people. Edsal’s facility will be located in an industrial complex at 700 Chase St. in Gary, where it signed a five-year deal to lease 200,000 square feet. The company has committed to expanding to a total of 325,000 square feet there within 24 months.

Company officials stated that the selection of Gary for the new facility was based on its proximity to its operations in Chicago, but also due in large part to Indiana’s right-to-work law and its state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson added that city’s council is expected to consider property-tax relief for the owner of the Chase Street property, which will make Edsal’s lease less expensive.


76 Jobs Come to Warsaw, IN from Carol Stream, IL

Banner Medical, subsidiary of Illinois-based Banner Service Corporation, announced that it will be investing $6.3 million to construct a state-of-the-art, 43,000-square-foot material processing center at the Warsaw Technology Park in Warsaw, IN. Roughly 76 new jobs will be created by 2019.

The company has announced that the new facility will allow them to deliver medical grade materials and services with efficiency, allowing for lower inventory levels, shorter lead times and reduced supply chain complexity for local and regional customers in the medical device industry. Future expansions could accommodate up to 110,000 square feet.

“Warsaw, Indiana is an integral part of our growth strategy, and we look forward to further serving existing and potential new customers in the region through this facility,” said Mark Redding, President and CEO of Banner Service Corporation.

The IEDC offered Banner Medical Innovations Inc. up to $725,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $25,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Warsaw approved additional incentives at the request of the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation.

“Banner Medical brings a reputation of innovation and advanced technology into our community,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer. “Locating in the new Warsaw Technology Park gives Banner local access to over thirty of its existing customers creating a synergy that can only be found in our community of advanced orthopedic manufacturing. We are excited to welcome Banner to Warsaw”


180 Jobs Come to Hammond, IN from Romeoville, IL

American Stair Corporation, Inc., a manufacturer of steel stairs and railings, has decided to make the move from Romeoville, IL to Hammond, IN, bringing up to 180 jobs by 2018. The company will invest $2.9 million to purchase, renovate and equip a 60,000 square-foot facility located at 3510 Calumet Avenue in Hammond, also adding an additional 12,000 square feet in production space.

Company President Gordon Fitzsimmons detailed the company’s decision, explaining, “Indiana offers the best business environment in the Midwest area. It is a state that values businesses that bring working opportunities for its citizens. The key is that Indiana recognizes that government, its citizens and businesses are all connected and must work together to achieve the best possible future.”

Incentives that Indiana offered included: up to $1,725,000 in conditional tax credits from the IEDC; support from the RDA’s no-interest securitized forgivable loan program; and additional incentives from the City of Hammond.

“Without the support of the RDA and the IEDC, this very important economic development opportunity may have never come to fruition,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr. “We want to thank them for their hard work and their support of Hammond.”


Showing No Signs of Stopping

Due to Illinois lack of progress in making any significant economic reform, projections show that there is no end in sight to the number of manufacturing operations considering leaving the state. It’s worth noting that Indiana is not the only state that’s drawing business from Illinois – Wisconsin and Michigan are as well. But the number speak for themselves – when faced with an entire country’s worth of options for where to establish themselves, businesses are certainly pleased with what they find in Indiana. Low taxes, ample workers, less red tape and increased government support truly reflects that the “A State that Works” campaign is working.


Facts about Indiana’s “A State that Works” Campaign

Launched in May 2013, the “A State that Works” campaign traditionally targets high-tax states, which includes places like the New York metropolitan area, Illinois, Massachusetts and California. The campaign is designed to draw attention to Indiana’s low-cost, low-tax business-friendly climate.

  • In January 2015, the IEDC ran a 30-second TV commercial during the AFC Championship football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots.
  • In 2014, the IEDC ran a full-page ad in The New York Times inviting New York businesses to move to Indiana.
  • To date, comhas had more than 118,000 visitors and its digital advertisements have been viewed more than 34 million times.

Source: IEDC

Companies that have Relocated from IL to IN in 2015

  • Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing, Inc. – 500 jobs to East Chicago, IN from Bedford Park, IL
  • Edsal Manufacturing Co., Inc. – 300 jobs to Gary, IN from Chicago, IL
  • Franklin Well Services Inc. – 92 high-wage jobs to Vincennes, IN from Lawrenceville, IL
  • Banner Medical – 76 jobs to Warsaw, IN from Carol Stream, IL
  • American Stair Corporation, Inc. – 180 jobs to Hammond, IN from Romeoville, IL
  • T&B Tube Company, Inc. – 100 jobs to Gary, IN from South Holland, IL
  • Root Brothers Manufacturing & Supply Company – 49 jobs to Hammond, IN from Chicago, IL
  • TRADEBE Environmental Services (USA) – 55 jobs to East Chicago and Merrillville, IN from Oakbrook, IL