GOSHEN — Indiana saw a record-breaking 27,600 new jobs announced over the last year, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and Elkhart County was a big beneficiary with 2,700 of those jobs.
Some of those jobs are already here and some will be phased in this year and next. A total of $120 million will be invested in real estate and equipment as part of those jobs announcements, said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
Looking back at 2012, “It’s been a fantastic year for us overall,” Heiden-Guss said.
When you figure in those new positions leading to banking, retail buying, home purchases, food purchases and entertainment, it comes out to about 6,700 new jobs in the area, she said. “It also equates out to $15 million in new state and indirect-business tax locally and statewide, and that is a huge impact,” she said.
“We’re fortunate to have strong leadership in our local and state administrations. We hope we continue to see improvements,” she said.
The average wage in Elkhart County is about $18.01 an hour, and the local economic development corporation worked on projects paying from $12 an hour to $40 an hour in 2012, Heiden-Guss said. The average on the new jobs is about $20.41, she said.
The year wasn’t great for everyone, though. “We unfortunately had a couple of closures with Cequent and Gunite,” a total of 650 jobs, some of which are already gone and some of which will be gone by the end of this year. “Our corporation sat down with their management teams and is partnering with WorkOne” to try to help transition workers to new jobs, she said.
Statewide, the average wage is $19.74 and 2012’s job announcements averaged $21.77, according to the IEDC’s numbers announced today, Jan. 4.
”A better state economy starts with a positive business climate, and Indiana’s is near the top of every list,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels in today’s announcement. “But great credit goes to the job hunters of the IEDC, and to our pro-growth partners in the General Assembly who helped us build that environment and build America’s best economic development agency.”
Dan Hasler, secretary of commerce and chief executive of the IEDC, said in the state’s announcement, “From its falling corporate tax rate and recently enacted right-to-work legislation to its overall fiscal stability, these results are proof that companies find Indiana one of the most attractive places to create jobs.”
Heiden-Guss said locally, “It’s just been an exciting year, and one never knows what to expect for the forthcoming; since everything is global now, there are so many variables.”
If all the jobs don’t materialize, the companies could lose some of the tax breaks they got to help lure them here, according to the IEDC.