Jan 31, 2022

2021: Fifth Consecutive Record-Breaking Year for Economic Development

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Bradley B. Chambers today announced the end of a fifth consecutive record-breaking year for economic development in Indiana. Nearly 300 companies committed to locate and expand in Indiana, investing more than $8.7 billion in their operations, a 56% increase from 2020, with an increasing average wage of $28.49 per hour. This marks the highest capital investment and annual record for average wages since the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) was established in 2005. 


“IEDC’s success is vitally important in revitalizing and connecting our communities,” said Gov. Holcomb. “By strengthening our economy, reskilling our workforce, and building up and out infrastructure network, we are simultaneously enhancing our quality of place and life.”


In December, Sec. Chambers presented his strategic plan, called “the 5 Es,” with the goal of taking a more targeted and future-focused approach to business growth and talent attraction and retention. The 5E goals are centered around five pillars supporting Indiana’s next generation economy: environment, economy of the future, entrepreneurship, energy transition and telling Indiana’s story through external engagement.

“I have never been more optimistic about the economic future of our great state as we enter 2022,” said Sec. Chambers. “Indiana is winning in innumerable ways. Governor Holcomb and I are passionate about running faster and aiming even higher to create an economy of the future that serves all Hoosiers.”

5E successes for 2021 include:

Investing in Indiana's Built Environment with READI
The IEDC board of directors and Gov. Holcomb awarded $500 million to support regional development plans across 17 regions representing all 92 Indiana counties. The Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) is the largest investment in state history to advance quality of life and talent attraction. The total requests tripled the allocated $500 million READI budget, as submissions from the 17 regions amounted to more than $1.5 billion in demand and detailed nearly 800 projects and programs with a potential investment of $15.2 billion. The plans included housing, trails, broadband, childcare and wellness initiatives, workforce development programs, and telling Indiana’s story to the world. The plans enumerated a nearly 10:1 capitalization leverage ratio from private and public sources to state investment.

Demonstrating Indiana's Innovation, Talent Through Sponsorship of the Indy Autonomous Challenge
Partnering with the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), the IEDC hosted the world’s first autonomous Dallara AV-21 racecar competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October. Nine teams representing 21 universities from nine countries made history to claim a $1 million prize. The IAC works to advance technology that can speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems. In January 2022, the IAC also joined the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, making history with the first high-speed, head-to-head autonomous racecar competition.

Focusing on Entrepreneurship with Startup Genome
The IEDC partnered with Startup Genome to study and support Indiana’s thriving and growing entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem development. The parties will collaborate to find additional ways to maximize and accelerate development in innovation and startup technology.

Record Small Business Growth
The IEDC works to support entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). In 2021, the Indiana SBDC helped secure $132.6 million in funding, the second highest on record, for 389 new business startups. In 2021, PTAC served 408 new clients, with roughly 70% qualifying as women-, minority-, or veteran-owned business enterprises.

Demonstrating National Leadership in Venture Development
As the #1 most active venture capital in the great lakes region, Elevate Ventures supports the efforts of the IEDC by providing assistance to high-growth, high-potential startups and innovators, making capital more accessible and attracting additional private co-investment. Utilizing the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, Elevate Ventures committed to investing $19.7 million in 118 Indiana companies in 2021 through investment and grant programs. Since inception, and across all programs, Elevate Ventures has invested $130.2 million in Hoosier businesses, attracting $1.25 billion in capital from other sources (9.6-to-1 investment leverage ratio).

Elevate Ventures also assists small businesses in applying for grants through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, which encourage research and development and technology commercialization, and with securing state matching funds. In 2021, Elevate Ventures committed $1.5 million in state matching funds to leverage $7.5 million in federal SBIR/STTR grants secured by 29 Indiana companies.

Throughout 2021, the state made strides in advancing its reputation as a leader in energy transition. Examples of this commitment include:

Largest Solar Installation in the U.S.
Israel-based Doral Renewables LLC, a developer of renewable energy projects, broke ground in October 2021 on phase one of the company’s three-phase solar farm project, Mammoth Solar, which is expected to deliver a $1.5 billion investment in the company’s Indiana operations over the next five years. The Mammoth Solar project will cover 13,000 acres across Starke and Pulaski counties in northern Indiana and expects to bring 1.3 gigawatts of clean energy to the region over the coming years. In addition to providing renewable energy, the project is projected to remove 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and conserve 1 billion gallons of irrigation well water annually.

Supporting Next-Generation Manufacturing
Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, announced in October 2021 the company’s plans to invest $229 million in its Kokomo operations to support its goal of achieving 40% low-emission vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030. The announcement was made in conjunction with Gov. Holcomb’s ceremonial signing of House Bill 1168, legislation that creates the Electric Vehicle (EV) Production Commission, designed to help ensure Indiana is advancing 21st Century automotive and mobility solutions. The commission will assess the state’s existing EV product facilities, identify opportunities for research and development, and evaluate opportunities and needs for training within Indiana’s EV industry.

New to Indiana
The IEDC, in partnership with local communities, secured 95 commitments from businesses in 2021 to establish new operations in Indiana. Of these, 39 were new companies committing to locate startup operations in Indiana, and 56 were companies already established and headquartered elsewhere. Together, they plan to invest approximately $3.85 billion with an average hourly wage of $31.16 per hour.

Record Year of Foreign Direct Investment
In 2021, 47 foreign-owned businesses committed to locating or growing in Indiana. Together, these firms plan to invest $3.55 billion in Indiana, creating jobs with an average wage of $29.57 per hour and accounting for 14% of the total new jobs committed in 2021. More than 1,075 foreign companies, representing 40 countries, are working out of Indiana.

In order to continue this momentum and advance economic development opportunities for years to come, the IEDC is committed to utilizing the 5E approach focused on advancing innovation and entrepreneurship, ensuring a diverse economic environment, creating the jobs of tomorrow, and retaining and attracting top talent by investing in quality of place.

Click here or the image below to download the 2021 IEDC Annual Report.