News & Reports
Radius Indiana Supports Bedford, Indiana in Bid for Stellar Community Program
As former Lt. Governor, Becky managed five state agencies including the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) that oversees the Stellar Communities program.
The Office of Community and Rural Affairs, now overseen by current Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, describes the Stellar program on their website:
The Stellar Communities program is a multi-agency partnership designed to fund comprehensive community development projects in Indiana’s smaller communities. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and Indiana Department of Transportation, along with the State Revolving Fund, are participating in this innovative program.
Becky Skillman, now President/CEO of Radius Indiana, was pleased to be a part of the video produced by the City of Bedford and the Bedford Chamber of Commerce as the closer to the presentation for the Stellar bid. To view the video, click below:
Washington County Economic Growth Partnership Unveils Strategic Plan
The Washington County Economic Growth Partnership, a partnership between the local economic development organization and the City of Salem, unveiled it’s strategic plan outlining specific tactics to achieve economic growth and development.
The WCEGP engaged Thomas P. Miller & Associates, LLC (TPMA) to facilitate the planning process, and to conduct research, analysis, and interviews, as well as to complete an asset mapping process. Financial support for the effort was provided by regional and statewide organizations, including Radius Indiana, the 8-county regional economic development partnership which includes Washington County, Jackson County REMC, and Duke Energy.
“This is a decisive moment for the Radius Indiana region. We face an array of challenges in a rapidly changing economic landscape that require careful consideration and thoughtful responses,” said Becky Skillman, President/CEO of Radius Indiana. “Engaging in this strategic planning process is an opportunity for the Washington County partnership between city and state, to redefine its role in the region and in Indiana, positioning the county to fully utilize it’s resources at the regional and state levels.”
The plan calls for a reset and restructuring of the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership Board of Directors to consist of individuals representing the diverse cross-section of the Washington County community, including elected officials and members representing each of the highest employing industries in Washington County.
The WCEGP Strategic Plan also lays out components for the partnership’s success, including coordinating efforts with regional resources such as Radius Indiana, promoting entrepreneurship utilizing the Indiana Small Business
Development Center (ISBDC), implementing a county-wide communications strategy, rebranding the partnership, and establishing key performance measures.
Thomas P. Miller & Associates, LLC President & CEO, Tom Miller, added, “The strategic plan defines both an aspirational future for Washington County and the resources required to take it there. It emerged from broad consultation across the community. We mined the best ideas from everyone who is invested in defining a way forward for Washington county.”
The City of Salem and the WCEGP received accolades for it’s forward-thinking approach, working together while fully utilizing key relationships and resources. “Radius Indiana is pleased to support the WCEGP and the City of Salem in it’s strategic planning efforts,” said Joe Timbrook with Radius Indiana. “This represents an opportunity for community leaders to now implement the road map developed to transform into a sustainable community prepared to participate in a new economy.”
Steve Hunt, of the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership, and David Bower, Mayor of Salem, both stressed the importance of developing a unified economic development plan for the county.
“This strategic plan will help guide our priority setting and investments to ensure that we are making the most of our potential,” remarked Steve Hunt. “At the same time, we must ground our pursuit of new directions in a sustainable model that protects the county for the long term.”
Mayor Bower added, “Working together to create a strategic plan has allow us to come together to determine a unified vision of what Washington County intends to be in the future and how it will get there. Together, we have created a living document that establishes direction for Washington County’s short and long term economic development, and to realize key development projects across the County, making Washington County a better place to live and work.”
Becky Skillman Welcomes Crane's New Technical Director
Becky Skillman, President/CEO of Radius Indiana, met with new Crane Technical Director, Dr. Adam Razavian this week to congratulate him in his new role and discuss the future growth of the defense sector in the Radius Indiana region.
Dr. Adam Razavian joined the civilian Navy at Navy Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division located in Crane, Indiana in 1989, serving as the Electronics Design and Integration Branch Manager from 1999-2003. He completed his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Management at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, and his Doctoral Degree in Information Systems from South East NOVA University.
Dr. Razavian left Crane to go to Washington D.C. program offices, where he worked with several key Crane customers, deepening his knowledge of Crane’s business value to the Navy.
“As the point of contact for Crane outside the gates, Radius Indiana is engaging early with NSWC’s new leadership for the benefit of Crane and the region,” Becky Skillman said. “Dr. Razavian has a strong record of performance in his years of service at Crane, and in his work in Washington, D.C. I have complete confidence in his leadership ability.”
Dr. Razavian will provide leadership to Crane’s approximate 3,000 employees, overseeing the execution of the $1.5 billion annual business base. “Crane injects more than $2 million a day into Indiana’s economy, $213.6 million alone in payroll and benefits just within the 8-county Radius Indiana region,” Skillman said. “We are perfectly positioned for those numbers to grow as we continue to promote Indiana’s defense sector.”
Radius Indiana is focused on forming a community support network to promote and strengthen Indiana’s defense industry locally, statewide, and nationally, most immediately focusing on a potential U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure. Radius also recently formed a Defense and National Security Advisory Council focused on four key areas within the defense sectors; including growing national security opportunities surrounding Indiana’s military bases, and supporting and promoting technology transfer and entrepreneurship.
Becky Skillman Speaks At Dubois Strong Annual Meeting
During her keynote speech at last Thursday’s Dubois Strong Annual Meeting at the Ferdinand Community Center, former Indiana Lt. Governor and current Radius Indiana president Becky Skillman highlighted several things concerning economic development across Radius Indiana’s 8 county region.
Skillman describes her first few months with Radius Indiana and compares it to what she did while serving as Indiana’s Lt. Governor under former governor Mitch Daniels:
Skillman also highlighted NSA Crane and its value to the Radius Indiana region. Radius Indiana recently formed a Defense and National Security Advisory Council. Skillman talks more about the makeup and the purpose of this newly formed council:
Skillman says Crane is in good shape in spite of the recent federal sequester and concerns over funding for the future. She says Crane is in a strong position, but shouldn’t take anything for granted going forward:
Crane is currently the third largest naval installation in the world and one of Indiana’s largest employers. Crane currently employs over 5,000 people.
Becky Skillman Launches Radius Indiana Defense and National Security Advisory Council
Becky Skillman announces that Radius Indiana has formed and launched a Defense and National Security Advisory Council, with it’s first meeting Tuesday, April 30.
The council is being chaired by Don Schulte, Executive Director of Westgate@Crane Technology Park. Those serving on the council include Duane Embree from the Indiana Department of Defense Development, Dave Reece of the Crane Regional Alliance, and Steve Gootee representing the Southern Indiana Defense Alliance. Rounding out the council is current NSWC Crane Director of Engagement, Brian Blackwell, Major General ‘Clif’ Tooley, Assistant Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, and Norm Thomas, Deputy Director at Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA). The council is comprised of three former technical directors at NSWC Crane.
The Radius Defense and National Security Advisory Council will focus on four objectives. First, it will advise Radius Indiana as it forms a community support network to promote and strengthen Indiana’s defense industry locally, statewide, and nationally, most immediately focusing on a potential U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure. 2) Promote and grow the defense and national security opportunities surrounding Indiana’s military bases, including attracting defense related industries to the Westgate@Crane Technology Park, and the entire 8-county Radius region. 3) Support and promote the use of civil military innovation through technology transfer and entrepreneurship. 4) Bolster Indiana’s defense industry through long-range strategic planning.
“We have assembled a team of some of the most well-respected and accomplished individuals within Indiana’s defense sector. These are some of the individuals who have helped gain national leadership in missions that are extremely relevant to our current world environment,” said Becky Skillman, President/CEO of Radius Indiana. “The significant progress made in recent years has Indiana poised and ready for growth in the defense industry. I have full confidence that this advisory council’s leadership will help guide us toward new jobs and more opportunities for our region.”
“NSA Crane procures more than a billion dollars of products and services annually,” said Don Schulte, current Executive Director of Westgate @ Crane Technology Park and former Director of Engagement at NSWC Crane, “While the Department of Defense probably has one of the greatest research budgets within government, we are just beginning to realize the potential for commercialization of that patented technology. With assets such as Westgate, I-69, and the growing collaboration of with key partners and entrepreneurs, we are perfectly positioned for more of those dollars to stay within this region.“
Major General Omer “Clif” Tooley, Jr is responsible for guiding the development of the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, including the Muscatatuck Complex. Speaking about the Radius Indiana Defense and National Security Advisory Council, he stated, “Indiana has a long history and a strong heritage in providing mission critical programs and assets to support the warfighter. The assets, infrastructure, systems and people are in place for Indiana to establish itself as a defense-industry powerhouse.”
Business development office adds resource
Herald Staff Writer
HUNTINGBURG — Local and regional officials are thrilled after an announcement Friday that the Indiana Small Business Development Center will open a satellite office in Huntingburg.
The ISBDC provides services like business planning, market research and financial reports to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Mayor Denny Spinner pitched the idea of a satellite office in Huntingburg to Jacob Schpok, director of the center, in December. Spinner said he knew the center had helped several businesses in Huntingburg get established and that the city will have an office available at Old Town Hall once Dubois Strong moves to an office in the new Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing at Vincennes University Jasper Campus.
“We’ve had success stories in Huntingburg through ISBDC,” he said. “I saw it work, and thinking about what we have here in Huntingburg and how we can help attract more, having that service right downtown would be fantastic.”
Schpok said this morning that the ISBDC’s business adviser for the Radius Indiana region, Vicki Hollander, will use the office as a “landing spot” to meet clients.
“I imagine we’ll get to the point where we will have some regular office hours structured, but we have yet to decide what those hours could look like,” he said.
The physical location also will help small businesses and entrepreneurs remember that the ISBDC can help them establish and grow their businesses.
“Having that presence will remind them that there is a service there to help them start stronger, grow faster and be stronger,” Schpok said. “And it will allow the ISBDC business adviser an opportunity to become more ingrained in the community and get to know the economic climate on a deeper level. It’s going to allow her to cultivate more relationships.”
Radius Indiana, an eight-county regional economic development group that includes Dubois County, coordinated the effort and VU has provided funding as a higher-education partner.
“One of our greatest hopes for economic rejuvenation is start-up businesses and Hoosier entrepreneurs,” Deb Owen, marketing communications specialist for Radius, said. She added that Becky Skillman, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, commented on the energy in Huntingburg’s downtown area after visiting twice last week.
Spinner said the office dovetails with the city’s recent efforts in economic development by seeking to rejoin the Indiana Main Street program and by working to develop a downtown revitalization plan.
“It just seemed like a natural fit,” he said. “It’s a resource we’ll have to spark business opportunities throughout the community. It’s a good presence to have and there’s just a lot of positive opportunities there.”
But the office won’t benefit just Huntingburg. Mike Cummings, interim president of Dubois Strong, said having the local office will streamline some services for businesses.
“We refer people to the center, particularly if they approach us for the enterprise loan fund,” Cummings said. “We almost always require that they meet with the center and this should make it much easier. Dubois County already uses the service the most out of any of the Radius counties. We by far have the most engagement in the region, so it makes sense (the center) would locate here.”
Radius Indiana also serves Crawford, Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties.
Schpok said he is excited about growing the ISBDC’s partnerships with Radius Indiana, VU and local governments and businesses through the Huntingburg office.
“I really think it’s going to be a great resource for the area,” he said.
Radius Indiana and Vincennes University agree to new partnership
Monday, April 29, 2013
Radius Indiana and Vincennes University announced Friday the commitment of an Indiana Small Business Development (ISBDC) office dedicated to the eight-county Radius Indiana region.
The office will be located in and provided by the city of Huntingburg, according to Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner.
"Recognizing the critical need to provide resources for our region's economic development and growth by creating an environment for entrepreneurial incubation and job creation, Radius Indiana is proud to be a partner with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) and Vincennes University," said Ken Sendelweck, Radius Indiana's Chairman of the Board.
Since 2010, Vicki Hollanders, of the ISBDC, has served each of the eight counties in the Radius Indiana region, working mobiley while utilizing Radius offices in Bedford, Jasper, and French Lick. Hollanders is also an advisor on the Radius Indiana board.
"Radius has been a proud partner with the ISBDC in supporting and developing a strong and successful entrepreneurial community, and is pleased to support an expanded and more vibrant ISBDC presence within the Radius region," said Becky Skillman, President/CEO of Radius Indiana.
Dick Helton, president of Vincennes University, commenting on the financial sponsorship committed by the university saying, "Vincennes University is dedicated to serving as an important link in Indiana's economic vitality. Partnering with Radius Indiana to support the SBDC in providing the tools, training, and guidance entrepreneurs need for success fits strongly in line with the vision of the University.
The Indiana Small Business Development Center provides expert guidance and a wealth of tools and resources to entrepreneurs, including business planning, market research, specialty programs and training to assist in the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana's small businesses.
Jacob Schpok, the State Director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center, "Radius Indiana, Vincennes University, and the City of Huntingburg have shown their commitment towards the Radius 8-county economy by investing in an organization focused on measurable economic impact. With small businesses employing 90 percent of the workforce, providing resources to entrepreneurs is a clear way to promote continued job creation and retention. If you are committed to starting or growing a business, we are here for you."
In addition to the current sites in the region, ISBDC will assume occupancy of the Huntingburg office once the Dubois Strong organization completes it's relocation to the Vincennes University, Jasper Campus Center for Technology, Innovation, and Manufacturing.
Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana is a regional partnership representing eight counties in south central Indiana: Greene, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington.
The partnership also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division. The partnership's mission is to advance the economy of the South Central Indiana region by: generating high-quality employment opportunities; diversifying the region's economic base; and raising the standard of living for residents of the region. For more information, please visit www.radiusindiana.com .
State of local economy mostly good, but some areas of concern noted
April 20, 2013
This area’s recovery from recession remains slow and steady, with more than one of the five event speakers at the Wednesday event pointing out that Monroe County has needed a lot less recovery than many other counties across the state and nation.
That’s in keeping with what we’ve been reporting the past several years. Monroe County, buffered from deep economic stress by the stability of the region’s largest employer — Indiana University — just does not fall as far in bad times. Sales of existing homes in this market area showed a healthy increase in 2012, and that trend should strengthen in 2013. And those numbers did not have as steep a climb from the recession’s low point as many other communities.
The rate of home foreclosures in February stood at one for every 2,800 homeowners, an unfortunate circumstance for that one lonely family of almost 3,000, but also a sign of our relative well-being. By contrast, the state average for the same month was one in every 739 and nationally, one in every 371.
One area of continuing gloom is in new home construction, which has fallen dramatically from its peak in the middle of the past decade. But even that, panelists agreed, has shown a small uptick locally as the national new home surplus gradually shrinks.
Realtor Jim Regester, whose topic was commercial real estate, said the industrial market has remained stable, with large warehouse or factory spaces still available but not in such large supply as to depress per square foot prices. Small industrial spaces are a bit harder to find, he said, and that sub-market may see higher prices as a result.
Demand for office space, on the other hand, is soft. With falling per-square-foot prices showing that.
So with all this good to at least middling good news, what’s to worry, one might ask. Truly, not a lot. But some of the detail reveals issues to at least be concerned about.
One is that while average per capita earnings have gone up here, they still lag behind the state’s, which itself lags the nation. We may be working, but we’re not so well paid.
Another troubling trend is the failure of neighboring counties to keep pace with Monroe’s progress. This is not new, of course. This county is the region’s economic hub and the most urban, so one would expect progress to be centered here. But as was pointed out by several panelists, Monroe County is not an island.
Crane, with its defense centered technology, is not an island either, and is just down the road. Soon, that road will be I-69, A fact that Becky Skillman, Indiana’s former lieutenant governor, native of Lawrence County and now president of RADIUS Indiana, pointed out. RADIUS, a regional economic development group that includes many of the counties stretching across southern Indiana but not Monroe, will soon tie more directly to Bloomington than ever, she pointed out, and that connection begs strong collaboration.
To foster such collaboration is a goal business and local government must take to heart.
Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013
Radius Leader Sees Keys To Success
by Chris Adams
New Radius | Indiana President and CEO Becky Skillman, who visited the area last Tuesday, believes Crawford County is on the brink of economic success.
Skillman, who took over the reins at Radius | Indiana — a regional economic development partnership representing Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties — on March 1 after eight years as the state’s lieutenant governor, toured the Jasper Engines and Transmissions facility at Carefree and visited with Don DuBois, the county’s economic development director.
“You have all of the right ingredients in place,” Skillman said. That includes high-quality schools and infrastructure, including fiber-optic cable at the industrial park at Leavenworth, which has easy access to Interstate 64," she said.
Skillman also pointed to DuBois as being another ingredient to success.
“I know how hard Don works, and I know he responds to every lead the state of Indiana puts out if it meets the county’s requirements,” she said.
DuBois is hopeful that, under Skillman’s leadership, Radius | Indiana, which was formed in 2009, can become more effective, which, in turn, will help the prospects of Crawford and the other member counties.
“I think if anybody can change it, it would be her,” he said.
Skillman said that, since promoting the state economically was a big part of her duties as lieutenant governor, her new position feels similar, “but it’s focused on eight counties instead of all 92.”
“I love this new chapter in my life,” she said. “I love my new job.”
Skillman said that one of the lessons learned from the recession, which the state has emerged from, is the need for counties to work together as a region. She noted she was impressed to learn during her tour of Jasper Engines and Transmissions that the plant employees residents from eight counties.
DuBois said he is hopeful that cooperation will result in Crawford County receiving a grant from the Regional Impact Fund administered by a Radius | Indiana select committee in order to construct a shell building at the county’s industrial park. He believes such a building, which can be modified in a short time period to meet a manufacturer’s needs, along with the existing infrastructure, “increases our possibilities more than 10-fold.”
Skillman, who doesn’t oversee the fund, said she doesn’t know if the county would be successful in getting a grant. Plus, she added, there has been talk among some officials that RIF dollars should be given as low-interest loans instead of grants.
DuBois, however, doesn’t believe that was the way the RIF — funded by state revenue from the casino at Orange County — was intended to be administered. Having to repay a loan would be a burden on a financially-strapped county like Crawford, he said.
“We can have access to that as much as anyone,” he said, noting those dollars were used to fund the airport road in Orange County.
Skillman said the county may be able to leverage its Revolving Loan Fund to help attract economic development.
Having been established in 1999 with a $185,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the RLF, which has made loans in excess of $750,000 to small businesses, helping to create more than 50 jobs, has been awarded other grants. The most recent was for $77,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Currently, the RLF has almost $180,000 available.
DuBois said he was pleased with Skillman’s visit, adding she genuinely seemed to believe that Crawford County has put itself in position to succeed economically.
“She was very impressed with the location and the (industrial) park,” he said.
Former Lt. Gov. stops by Linton to discuss economic development
Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Nick Schneider, Assistant Editor
(By Nick Schneider) Former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, at right, chats with Linton Mayor John Wilkes Thursday morning. Skillman is the new executive director of Radius/Indiana, a regional partnership of eight counties. [Order this photo]
Former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who serves as the new executive director of Radius/Indiana, likes what she sees in Greene County in terms of economic development potential and tourism opportunities.
"Now is the time for innovation and creativity," Skillman said in Linton on Thursday morning.
Skillman called the eight-county region of Radius the 'garden spot' of Indiana that is highlighted with plenty of parks, forest land, wetlands.
She dubbed Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, south of Linton, as the 'crown jewel' offering for the region.
"I think it would be easy to promote this region as a destination of choice," Skillman said. "You can spend days here in south central Indiana with the kind of attractions that we have. Each county has very unique assets."
Skillman made a drive through visit in Greene County on Thursday ---- guided by Greene County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Joan Bethell. They were accompanied by Radius manager Joe Timbrook and Deb Owen, who serves as marketing manager for Radius.
The group toured the Greene County General Hospital expansion project site, visited with officials at defense contractor URS Corporation, looked at the brownfields site on the old General Electric property, drove through the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area and talked with Mayor Wilkes.
In terms of economic development Skillman said Greene County is positioned well because of its close proximity to NSA Crane and Interstate 69.
Linton Mayor John Wilkes is also optimistic about the future and said, "I think we are setting in a better position now than at any time. I think moving forward, if we can keep the economy going in the country, I think here in central Indiana we are in a very good position if we can move forward and create jobs."
"We have a lot of things going," Wilkes added.
One of Skillman's purposes for the visit at the mayor's office was to explain the workings of Radius/Indiana, which is a regional partnership representing eight counties in south central Indiana: Greene, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington Counties.
Formed in 2009, Radius/Indiana also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for the NSA Crane mission.
For Radius, it is a mission to advance the economy of the South Central Indiana Region by generating high-quality employment opportunities, diversifying the region's economic base and raising the standard of living for residents of the region.
Skillman acknowledged there is an uneasiness and frustration among workers at Crane and defense contractors because of the budget sequestration and the always looming possibility of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).
"I think it would behoove us to do everything we can to keep Crane strong and growing and have many partnerships outside the gate," Skillman said. "Crane today is dramatically different than in 2005 (when the last BRAC review took place). It is in a much stronger position, but you know you never take anything for granted because anything can happen during the BRAC and it can happen without a BRAC. They are moving in the right direction."
She added, "It's a dog eat dog competition ... all the US D.O.D. (Department of Defense) cares about is just military value in a defense installation and we know we have that at Crane."
Wilkes noted, "Hope it (Crane) stays. I hope we can keep it."
Wilkes and Skillman agreed that the under construction Battery Innovation Center at WestGate Tech Park is going to have a significant impact in the entire region.
"It will not only regionally and nationally, but international attention as well," Skillman said pointing out it will provide an important military service by providing battery research. "It will help in commercial lines and technology."
Speaking of her mission at Radius/Indiana, Skillman said, "We don't want to duplicate what you are doing and we want to be of value to you. We want to do things for the region that the individual counties and communities can't do for themselves. It has to do with asset inventory and brand and promote the entire region to be the business location of choice and to promote tourism."
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