Sunday, October 11, 2009

One year after ribbon cutting, Valley company closes it doors

By Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

A local company that expanded into a new 37,500-square-foot facility one year ago near the airport has closed its doors.

Reel Time Logistics officially opened a new warehouse and distribution facility just west of the Terre Haute International Airport–Hulman Field in October 2008. Now the doors of that business are locked and no truck or other traffic is visible at the facility.

“Reel Time Logistics, to our knowledge, is closed,” said Lisa Johnson, marketing and communications manager for the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp.

One year ago, Reel Time Logistics had a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new facility on South Hunt Street to expressions of optimism about the company’s future.

At the time, the company was providing third-party logistics services for companies such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Clabber Girl, Great Dane Trailers, Scott Pet Products and Cummins-Consolidated Diesel Co., a company official said at the time.

Reel Time Logistic employed about 50 people in October 2008, mostly full-time truck drivers, another company official said.

The Reel Time Logistics property, which includes the 37,500-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility and 20 additional undeveloped acres, is listed for sale with an Indianapolis real estate company. The property includes a little more than 30 acres in total with an asking price of $2.25 million, according to the Turley Martin Tucker Web site.

Local contractor Thompson Thrift built the Reel Time Logistics facility. Reel Time was founded 51⁄2 years ago in Terre Haute and operated out of offices south of the city while its truck fleet was based on Margaret Avenue prior to opening the Hunt Street warehouse and distribution building.

Company officials for Reel Time Logistics could not be reached Friday for comment.

Keeping promises on Ohio jobs behind AG Cordray's review of economic development awards

COLUMBUS, Ohio: With Ohio's unemployment rate hovering above 11 percent, the announcement Thursday by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray that he will start to review economic development awards made by the state of Ohio to make sure businesses and organization who took the money in exchange for creating or saving jobs are keeping their promises, should be received favorably by Gov. Ted Strickland and lawmakers who know the road to restoring prosperity is years away and growing steeper in incline each day.

The bill and the goal

Acting on a requirement in HB 420, a new law about transparency in government, Cordray said his office is ready to monitor the awards for economic development the state makes.

"Our goal, as defined by statute, "he said, "is to ensure that tax dollars are being used as intended in these awards. Promises were made by businesses and organizations to create and save jobs in Ohio and those promises must be kept."

His office mailed letters our this week to more than 3,000 recipients who received awards over a five year period between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2009. The letter asks these recipients to complete an online report within 30 days, that the AG's office will then analyze and place the data from it in a report to the General Assembly.

"The public expects performance and accountability when the government spends our money for these purposes, and we will work hard to provide exactly that by enforcing the terms of these contracts," Cordray said in a media release.

To view the report, visit The office will also monitor future awards and will report its findings to the General Assembly.

Ohio's Third Frontier Yields $6.6B in Economic Activity

Ohio's $1.6 billion Third Frontier research and tech-commercialization effort, set to expire in 2012, generated $6.6 billion of economic activity, 41,300 total jobs, and $2.4 billion in employee wages and benefits following $681 million in state spending on the program between 2003 and 2008, according to a report released this week at a meeting of the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board and Commission.

Making an Impact: Assessing the Benefits of Ohio’s Investment in Technology-Based Economic Development Programs recommended that Third Frontier officials ensure that the program will continue past 2012; foster a better understanding of the program and its relationship to Ohio’s strengths; enable a stronger balance between research support and commercialization; and emphasize more entrepreneurial support programs, technology company attraction, and cluster expansion.

Ohio credits Third Frontier with commercializing or creating more than 500 companies and attracting $3.5 billion in private investment to Ohio. The report also credited Ohio Third Frontier with boosting the state's economy and high-tech business climate by:

• Dramatically increasing the availability of early-stage capital
• Improving the entrepreneurial environment for technology
• Improving research and development collaboration
• Driving employment growth in Ohio’s technology sector
• Contributing to the diversity and competitiveness of Ohio’s manufacturers
• Recruiting non-Ohio companies
• Charting a course consistent with tech-based growth in other regions

Making an Impact was produced for Ohio's Department of Development by SRI International and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. The project also received guidance from the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board and Commission.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saginaw Snags 500-Job Solar Plant

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm Tuesday announced a significant addition to Michigan’s burgeoning clean-energy industrial base as Georgia-based Suniva Inc. will invest $250 million in a new solar manufacturing facility in Saginaw County’s Thomas Township. Suniva will create 500 new jobs over the next five years subject to receiving a Department of Energy loan guarantee, which the company recently applied for. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority Tuesday, on Michigan Economic Development Corp. recommendation, approved a photovoltaic Michigan Business Tax credit valued at $15 million over five years. State officials also approved incentives to move forward the Wixom transformation project announced last month. Clairvoyant Energy Solar Panel Manufacturing Inc. was granted a photovoltaic MBT credit valued at $25 million, and Xtreme Power Inc. received an advanced-battery credit valued at $100 million. More.

A Big Wake-Up Call for the Midwest

In an exclusive interview, Richard C. Longworth, author of "Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism," describes "A Big Wake-Up Call" for the Midwest. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Daniels pleased with state economic development efforts

Bowdeya Tweh -, (219) 933-3316 | Posted: Friday, October 2, 2009

CROWN POINT | Gov. Mitch Daniels gave his stamp of approval to the job performance of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s board of directors while battling the effects of difficult business climate during a Thursday meeting.

While acknowledging the poor economy has had an effect on businesses, Daniels said he was pleased with the amount of projects the IEDC has granted and the work board members put into the economic development mission in Asia last month.

After Indiana officials visited China and Japan, Indiana's Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob said positive leads were generated with six suppliers for manufacturing firm Cummins Inc. in China, and delegates had discussions with seven businesses in each country on locating in Indiana. While in Japan, Roob, who is also the IEDC's chief executive, began to investigate opportunities with Sony and said talks are continuing on some operations potentially being located in Indiana.

Daniels admitted that before he was governor, he thought trade trips were more symbolic than results-oriented. But the payroll income that can be generated from one business locating in the state makes the trip worth it, he said.

"We need to keep doing these and budgeting as much as we can towards them," Daniels said.

The meeting was held at the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana.

From Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, the IEDC has granted funds to 120 projects, which is one project less than the comparable 2008 period. Total job commitments also fell this year to 14,056 from 14,743 in 2008. Investment commitments so far in 2009 have fallen nearly 64 percent from last year's mark to $1.28 billion.

However, Roob said one positive development is that the average wage for employees in IEDC-funded projects was $21.09 per hour in 2009, which is higher than the average state wage of $18.35 an hour. Projected income created per incentive dollar offered was $5.13 this year, down nearly 13 percent from a year earlier. But the total this year is still better than in 2005 through 2007. Roob said Indiana is continuing to seek a high return on its investments in the form of dollars in Hoosiers' pockets.

"We're happy with the type of people we've recruited," Roob said.

After a brief discussion during the meeting, Roob said the IEDC needed to research how long it takes for jobs to reach the marketplace after investments are made in companies.