Conventional Magnetism Conventions, tourism drive economic development Mass Production Warm Memories 38
The Big Pour 57
Workerâ€™s Compensation Covering the Bases 70
It’s time for
responsibility. Responsibility. It’s become a scarce commodity in recent years. Careless mistakes, improper planning, and simply not doing things right the first time have somehow become acceptable. But seemingly overnight, a call to return to responsibility has been sweeping across America. From corporate boardrooms to local public bodies, to elected officials and community leaders, there is a renewed expectation for all of us to step up and act responsibly. We agree. We’re the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Foundation For Fair Contracting and being responsible is what we’re all about. Log on to learn more at www.iiiffc.org.
6170 Joliet Road Suite 200 Countryside, IL 60525 815.254.3332 www.iiiffc.org
Jobs Spring Up The Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) held its 2010 Manpower Symposium in March, and provided more evidence that the economic recovery is underway, at least in their corner of the state. Chris Hernandez, President of the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council, said that while construction unemployment in the region is still higher than the national average overall, “conditions have improved, and a few trades are at full utilization due to recent economic activity.” Local electrician and boilmakers unions reported that all their members had work, and many other locals were at 80 percent or more employed. “A lot of those were at zero percent not long ago,” he said. “Guarded” optimism has been the rule since the last quarter of 2009, but on this day, that qualifier was dropped. “I think we are out of the woods,” Jim Michael of Songer Steel Services told attendees. “And if the increased pace of construction is maintained, we will experience a shortage of manpower locally.” ArcelorMittal’s David Vittetoe, agreed, though he doesn’t believe it could occur until next year. But in the meantime, the steelmaker is welcoming contractors back after doing most of its work inhouse in 2009 and will, pending the completion of a furnace reline project, have seven of the nine blast furnaces at its Indiana Harbor and Burns Harbor mills back in action in April. Even NIPSCO is getting in on the act, reporting that it expects to have about 800,000 man hours of work for unions and contractors this year, up from about 550,000 man hours in 2009. Not all the news was good. Local and state highway and road construction spending will be down in 2010 versus 2009 in the region (though still well above historical averages, thanks to the region’s share of the ongoing Major Moves project) and an unscientific survey of commercial real estate builders found that about three-quarters expected no improvement in their business this year. But on the whole, good news easily outweighed the bad. Indiana’s not back yet – but we’re on our way. Kind Regards,
317.632.1410 • 219.226.0300 Publisher/Editor Andrea M. Pearman firstname.lastname@example.org 219.226.0300 ext. 301 Senior Writer David Wellman email@example.com 219.226.0300 ext. 307 Creative Director Rebekah Hendricks firstname.lastname@example.org 219.226.0300 Controller Anne M. Sohovich email@example.com 219.226.0300 ext. 303 Assistant Office Coordinator Joan Ranta firstname.lastname@example.org 219.226.0300 ext. 308 Special Projects Coordinator Maureen McShane email@example.com 219.226.0300 ext. 302 Director of Marketing Chrischelle Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org 219.226.0300 ext. 304 Media Director Kristin Harkin email@example.com 219.226.0300 ext. 307 Account Manager Desiree Brummett firstname.lastname@example.org 219.226.0300 Website www.buildingindiananews.com Blog www.buildingindianablog.com
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Enjoy a night of the good life at the Midwest Smoke Out. Get the guys together, savor a fine cigar, a smooth brandy and get ready to take it all in. It’s much more than just a cigar show …
Cigars • Camacho, Xikar, CAO, Punch, UpperCut, Perdomo, Gran Habano, VegaFina, Siglo, Honduras Caribbean and more • Accessories including lighters, cutters and humidors
Cars • Step into a hot car like Lamborghini, Cadillac and Hummer
sPiriTs • Remy Martin, Maker’s Mark, Patrone, vodkas, cognacs, too many to name • Wineries pouring merlots, cabs, pinos and ports • Craft beers including Three Floyds, New Holland Brewery, Old Rasputin and Red Seal • American classics like Blue Moon, Leinenkugel, Miller, Coors, Heineken, Budwesier and more
gaMiNg • Craps, Blackjack and Poker all within the event
girLs • Meet the Ladies of Tilted Kilt, Hooters, Cadillac, Harley’s Angels, Déjà Vu and more
ENTErTaiNMENT • Hang out with Baseball Legend Ron Kittle • Light up with Radio Star Geoff Pinkus
• Step into the Punch Photo Booth • Enjoy Rockin Music
aBsOLUTE LUXUrY • Browse Rolex and Diamonds, James & Sons opens the vault • Gourmet food including Italian cuisine, steak, pizza and pub fare Must be 21 years or older to gamble or attend events at The Venue. Know When To Stop Before You Start® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9WITH-IT © 2010 Harrah’s License Company, LLC.
TickeTs $140 iN ADVANce • $160 AT THe DOOR THis eVeNT WiLL seLL OUT ReseRVe YOUR TickeTs TODAY
(Must be 21 or older to attend)
04 Publisher’s Desk 08 Contributors
09 Business Buzz
36 Being Productive Customers Are People, Too
24 People News 59 Real Estate Corridor Report Northwest Passage
42 Small Business Spotlight The Federal Option
62 Facts & Stats Safety Statistics
64 REAL ESTATE Ownership Security
93 Location Finder Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Directory 97 Real Estate Marketplace
66 Logistics Track to Growth
70 Worker’s Comp Covering the Bases
26 PHOTO FEATURE IRMCA Awards Crisis Center Begins Expansion IVDiagnostics Wins Olin Cup
44 Cover Story Stepping Up 53 Feature The Big Pour 60 FEATURE A Smooth Road 92 COMMUNITY SPOTLGIHT Japan and Indiana, the Lands of the Rising Sun 88 FEATURE Meeting the Test
75 Green & Sustainable Getting Smart 79 Lifelong Learning Planning for Growth
28 State of the Industry Gaining Ground
38 Mass Production Warm Memories
72 Your Well-Being Building a Better Knee
30 Rule of Law A Very Bad Day
82 Welcome Center Touring Indiana 85 Marketing Keeping the Faith
33 SAFETY ZONE Safety is Not My “Priority”
90 Company Spotlight Advanced Worksite Solutions
34 The Bottom Line New World Order
98 The Last Word The Value of Responsibility www.buildingindiananews.com
Contributors MELISSA BINETTI Melissa Binetti joined the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting (IIIFFC) in July 2007. Prior to joining the IIIFFC, Melissa was Associate General Counsel for the Illinois Education Association-NEA, where she represented educational employees and local associations in a variety of labor and employment-related matters. She also worked as an Associate at Johnson, Smetters & Krol, LLC, a firm specializing in representation of labor organizations and Taft-Hartley benefit funds. KRISTIN BUSCH Kristin Busch is Northwest Indiana Commercial Account Manager for TICOR Title. A native of Chesterton, Indiana, Busch previously worked at the Regional Development Company, administering SBA 504 Loans as Vice President of Operations. She sits on the board for Junior Achievement and also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. JOE CALLOWAY Joe Calloway is a partner in Engage Consulting Group, and author of several best-selling business books including the newly revised edition of “Becoming a Category of One.” Corporate heavyweights BMW, American Express, IBM and many more have sought his insight into today’s marketplace. To contact him, visit www.joecalloway.com.
BRAD ETLIN Brad Etlin is Director of Government and Public Affairs at BP’s Whiting Refinery. He is responsible for media relations, green community programs, external relations and local advertising. A Toronto native, Etlin carries a broad range of professional experiences with environmental NGOs, government, and the private sector. He has also worked overseas in Pretoria, South Africa. GAIL GESELL Gail Gesell is the District Director for the Indiana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). She oversees delivery of SBA programs in 92 counties across the state of Indiana. Prior to joining SBA, Gesell held positions as Vice President of Marketing, Research Director, and Senior Analyst for engineering and business consulting corporations, and owned a management consulting firm in Georgia. DR. MICHAEL (A.J.) HUTCHINS Dr. Michael (A.J.) Hutchins is a Safety Manager at Fluor Constructors, the union craft arm of Fluor Corporation. He has many years experience in a wide variety of duties within the construction industry, including laborer, tradesman, and Construction Manager, and is currently working as a Safety Manager in the state of Indiana.
STEVEN A. JOHNSON Steven A. Johnson is a partner in Johnson, Rappa & Ivancevich, LLC, in Merrillville. He concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation, labor relations and construction law. Johnson has served as an adjunct professor at Valparaiso School of Law and has taught labor relations at Purdue University Calumet. GAVIN MARIANO Gavin Mariano joined the Crisis Center, Inc. in 2001, and is the Public Relations Specialist. Mariano also serves at the program coordinators for the center’s youth development program, as well as the IT manager and webmaster of crisiscenterysb.org. In 2008, Mariano was honored by the Northwest Indiana Times as one of the “20 under 40” emerging leaders in the region. MIKE MURPHY Mike Murphy grew up in Highland, Indiana. He has written and published several books on employment related issues and is currently updating two prior books, one on HIPAA Compliance and the other on complying with the FMLA. In addition to HR consulting work, Murphy has served as an Expert Witness testifying on employment-related legal issues across the United States. He has an MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Purdue University. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEWEY PEARMAN Dewey Pearman serves as the Executive Director for the Construction Advancement Foundation. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Indiana State University. The Foundation promotes the union construction industry of northwest Indiana by helping to enhance its efficiency and competitiveness via labor relations and government management, education, training, safety and workforce development. MARC POULOS Marc Poulos is the Executive Director of the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting (III FFC). He is a proud Local 150 member and sits on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Prevailing Wage Council, the National Alliance for Fair Contracting, the Midwest Operating Engineers Information Technologies, and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Labor Standards Education and Training in Oakland, California. WARWICK STIRLING Warwick Stirling is Global Director of Energy and Sustainability at Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool Corporation works to exceed expectations with appliances that help building professionals create homes of distinction through The Inside Advantage program. For more information, call 800-9522537 or visit insideadvantage. com. www.buildingindiananews.com
Third Annual Build Indiana Summit
he premier economic development event for northwest Indiana, the Building Indiana News Build Indiana Summit, has been set for May 6 at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville. For the third consecutive year, the Build Indiana Summit will bring the top business leaders from Northwest Indiana, and from around the state, together for a morning of networking and discussion on how best to move forward as a region. Last year’s Summit attracted more than 200 developers, economic development officials, state legislators, builders and architects from a five-state region for a lively discussion of northwestern Indiana’s enormous potential for growth. It also led to real business: contacts made at last year’s event led to eight economic development leads for the region, and five signed deals. Headlining the speaker’s for this year’s event is E. Mitchell Roob, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and the CEO of the Indiana Economic Develwww.buildingindiananews.com
Indiana Secretary of Commerce to Headline
- Summit Schedule 7:00 a.m. - 7:50 a.m. Registration. Continental Breakfast. Networking. Exhibits. 7:50 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks. 8:05 a.m. – 8:25 a.m. The Statehouse Report. Guest speaker: Indiana Secretary of Commerce and IEDC Chief Executive Officer E. Mitchell Roob, Jr. 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Financing 2010. It is a whole new game with financing. Traditional lending is beginning to open up. Learn how some communities are working with developers in land acquisitions and how others are utilizing venture capitalists.
opment Corporation, who will deliver the conference’s opening address. As Commerce Secretary and head of the IEDC, Roob leads the state’s economic development efforts. In 2009, despite the recession, the IEDC secured commitments from 160 companies for nearly 20,000 new jobs. Since its creation in 2005, the IEDC has helped to facilitate the creation of nearly 100,000 jobs and more than $20 billion in investment in Indiana. Again in 2010, presentations and panel discussions will be complimented by a trade show featuring booths dedicated to real estate attorneys, consultants, accountants, regional trade groups, and more. This year’s presentations and discussions will delve into such topics as regional finance, logistics and real estate. The Summit will also provide an update on the Illiana Expressway, construction of which as a public-private toll road was recently approved by the state of Indiana. For more information, and to register, visit www.buildindianaconference. com.
9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Infrastructure, Transportation and Logistics. Rail, port, air and highway executives discuss will discuss both current and future projects and how Northwest Indiana’s fiber optics route and technology corridor will be an asset to their success. 10:05 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. The Developer Perspective. Industrial and commercial project owners and developers, brokers and tenants outline current strategies and issues critical to success in the near future. 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Illiana Expressway Update. Hear firsthand how the public/private partnership will jumpstart investment and development. The three proposed routes along with property availability will be discussed.
- Summit SPONSORS -
Hammond Company Adding Almost 300 Jobs Lear Operations Corporation (Hammond), a global manufacturer of automotive seating and electrical power management systems, will expand its Lake County operations, creating more than 285 new jobs by the end of the year. The company, which designs and manufactures complete seating systems and components for automotive manufacturers, will invest more than $2.2 million to upgrade and adjust equipment at its 110,000-square-foot facility to manufacture seating for the Ford Explorer. Lear currently employs more than 160 associates in Hammond and plans to begin hiring additional manufacturing and supervisory associates immediately as upgrades are completed to the manufacturing lines. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Lear Operations Corporation up to $1.7 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $57,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.
Ports Up in 2009 The Ports of Indiana handled 7.2 million tons of cargo in 2009, a seven percent increase from the previous year, which was primarily driven by increased shipments of coal, grain, salt and steel. “This past year was one of the most difficult business environments anyone can remember,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Thanks to our innovative and determined port companies, and some hard work by our team, we were able to see some moderate increases in overall shipments. Indiana’s three ports handled more cargo in the last quarter of 2009 than in any other quarter since 2006, so hopefully that’s a harbinger for 2010.” In 2009, the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled a 20 percent increase
in shipments versus the previous year and its highest tonnage in 15 years. Growth in coal and grain movements, coupled with steel volumes that were six times the previous year’s, helped the Ohio River port reach its third-highest year-end tonnage since opening in 1976. About 230 miles upstream at the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, salt imports reached an all-time high, up 62 percent, and grain increased 18 percent from the previous year. On Lake Michigan, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor shipped nearly six times as much grain in 2009 as the previous year and increased salt shipments by 42 percent.
IU Forms Economic Engagement Council As part of its “Innovate Indiana” initiative, Indiana University has established the IU Council on Regional Engagement and Economic Development. It will be composed of economic development representatives from IU’s eight campuses and three engagement offices located throughout the state. The purpose of the council is to create a university-wide forum to more effectively connect with all IU campuses, and the communities they serve, in addressing regional economic issues. Council members from IU campuses have been directly appointed by their respective chancellors. Council member campuses/offices include: IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IPFW, IU East, IU Southeast, IU South Bend, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, and IUPU Columbus, as well as IU Engagement Offices in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Evansville.
TIGER Roars In To Indiana Indiana will receive $20 million in federal funds for the Indianapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Network, and share in another $20 million with Kentucky to replace a structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridge over the Ohio River between Milton, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana, The projects are among 51 selected nationwide by the U.S. Department of Transportation for its $1.5 billion TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Milton-Madison Bridge Replacement, proposed by the Kentucky Transporta10
County Clears Way for New Wind Farm The LaGrange County Council has granted preliminary approval of tax abatements for a proposed wind farm in development by Pioneer Wind Energy, LLC. The preliminary approval was requested by Pioneer Wind Energy, LLC and the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, and was approved unanimously. Full approval will be requested once the exact location of each of the proposed wind turbines, as well as the number and size, is determined. The abatement, if fully approved after the exact specifications are determined, would be for a period of ten years, and covers the full scale of the project.
Auto Plant to Double Workforce
tion Cabinet, will cost a total of $130 million. The bridge, constructed in 1929, is estimated to have less then 10 years of serviceable life left. The Indianapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Network, proposed by the City of Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Community Foundation, is a $62.5 million project which seeks to: revitalize an eight-mile network in downtown Indianapolis; improve livability by connecting commercial, residential and cultural venues; and foster sustainability by providing alternatives to auto travel and reducing emissions. More than $26 million has already been contributed toward the project by private foundations, individuals and local corporations.
Industrial and Commercial Fence, Doors and Access Controls 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 CAF SUBCONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
2003-08 NWIBRT SAFETY AWARD WINNER www.siifence.com
Auto parts supplier Creative Liquid Coatings will add 65 positions in 2010, doubling its workforce as it ramps up to fulfill a new contract with Chrysler that begins in July. The company is also investing $2.5 million in equipment for a new production line. Creative Coatings, based in Fort Wayne, provides a variety of coating services for the automotive, RV and other industries.
INJURY PREVENTION • Employee Education • Ergonomic Consultation • Post-Offer Employment Screening
Grants to Fund Job Training for More Than 1,700 Workers Ivy Tech Community College and the Indianapolis Private Industry Council (IPIC) will receive nearly $10 million in job training grants from the United States Department of Labor. The funding is part of the Health Care Sector and Other High Growth and Emerging Industries job training grant program authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ivy Tech will receive $5 million to implement a statewide project, operating in 37 of Indiana’s 45 counties, to train unemployed and displaced workers for careers in the advanced manufacturing, transportation, distribution and logistics, and information technology sectors. The program will train and provide more than 1,100 participants with an industry-recognized certificate or degree according to regional training focus. IPIC will use $4.8 million on efforts to strengthen the pipeline of health care workers, with a particular emphasis on moving incumbent workers up the career ladder. The project will elevate current health care workers into the most - continued on pg 12
of Orthopedic Excellence
INDUSTRIAL REHABILITATION • Functional Capacity Evaluation • Work Conditioning • Job Analysis • On-Site Return to Work Consultation • Work Hardening • IME WORK RELATED INJURIES • Fracture & Crush Injuries • Tendon or Nerve Injury • Burns • Overuse Injury
Phone: 574-247-9441 • 800-424-0367 • www.sbortho.com SOUTH BEND • MISHAWAKA • PLYMOUTH • LAPORTE
critical-to-fill occupations in the region’s hospital industry, registered nursing. Training will be provided through an Associate of Science in Nursing degree program taught on the campus of Clarian Health Partners, Indiana’s largest health care provider. Simultaneously, the project will recruit dislocated and unemployed workers for credentialed education associated with the full spectrum of the non-physician/non-management career opportunities. IPIC and its partners expect to train 600 individuals through the project.
Drink Maker to Expand Living Essentials, producer of 5-Hour Energy drinks, will expand its production operations in Wabash, creating up to 36 new jobs by 2012. The company, which produces, packages and distributes 5-Hour Energy drinks from a 150,000 square-foot facility, will invest more than $3.3 million to add two new production lines at the plant. Living Essentials, headquartered in Farmington Hills, MI, currently employs more than 130 full-time associates in Wabash. The company anticipates the new lines will be in service by the end of the first quarter 2010, following facility and equipment upgrades.
Michigan, Indiana Steel Firms Do Deal Contractors Steel Company has purchased the Service Center Division of Steel Sales & Services. The purchase includes a 120,000-square foot facility in East Chicago, which the Livonia, MI-based company says will allow them to improve service to existing customers in Illinois and Indiana, and which will be a key component for further expansion into the Midwest. Contractors Steel currently has offices in Grand Rapids and Belleville, MI, and Cleveland, OH, and annual sales of approximately $180 million. Following the transaction, Steel Sales & Services has changed its corporate name to Synergy Steel Structures Inc. The company says the name change better represents its position and focus in the marketplace on industrial, commercial, and now architectural steelwork and fabrication. Along with the name change, the company has updated its Web site to www.synergysteelstructures.com.
CAF Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards The Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF) of Northwest Indiana is currently accepting nominations for its annual Contractor of the Year and Project of the Year awards. Contractor of the Year nominations may be submitted by any CAF contributor. They may be submitted by the nominated company, a project owner for whom the company has worked in the past 12 months, or a subcontractor who has worked for the contractor in the past 12 months. Contractor of the Year Award categories include: commercial; industrial; subcontractor; professional and engineering services; and highway. Project of the Year nominations may be submitted by any 12
CAF contributor or project owner. The project must have had a completion date between May 1, 2009 and April 1, 2010. Awards categories include commercial, public works and industrial. Instructions and nomination forms can be downloaded at www.cafnwin.org.
RV Startup Bound for Grant County Earthbound RV, LLC, a maker of fuel-efficient recreational vehicles, will site a new manufacturing operation in Grant County, creating up to 300 new jobs by 2013. The newly established firm will invest in the purchase of new equipment and make upgrades to an existing facility located at 1001 East 38th Street. The company plans to lease 92,000 square feet of the building for its assembly operations and headquarters. Earthbound RV’s travel trailers can weigh up to 1,500 pounds less than a conventionally designed RV and are made using recyclable, low-volatile organic compound materials such as composites and aluminum. Earthbound RV currently has seven models in development and an established network of dealerships located throughout the United States and in Canada. The company plans to add 60 workers this year.
Innovation Park Lands Four Four companies have committed to growing their businesses in the new Innovation Park at Notre Dame. All four companies have commenced operations in the Park. They are: • Emu Solutions, LLC, which is commercializing technologies that bridge the gap between memory and logic capabilities in computer systems. • Altapure, LLC, which provides patented, high-level sterilization and disinfection technology for large spaces and equipment. • Unlimited Juice, LLC, which is commercializing new technology to retrofit existing portable consumer electronic devices with solar power sources. • Graham Allen Partners, a private holding company established to make investments in early-stage, high-growth businesses. Innovation Park at Notre Dame is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization wholly owned by the University of Notre Dame.
Elkhart Company Expands Heat treating service provider Specialty Heat Treating, Inc., will expand its facility in Elkhart, a move that is estimated to create up to 26 jobs by 2012. The Michigan-based company plans to invest $1.5 million to add a new vacuum furnace to its existing 33,000-square-foot facility. The new furnace will provide additional capacity to its vacuum heat treating services, a process which enhances the properties of steel in a protective atmosphere. Installation for the new furnace will begin in May with production beginning in August. www.buildingindiananews.com
Finding Purdue University resources in any Indiana county is now quick and easy thanks to a new interactive Web site, www.tap.purdue.edu/engagement. Clicking on any of Indiana’s 92 counties will provide a list of local resources from Purdue. The site highlights Purdue’s county-by-county efforts in innovation, economic development, and agricultural and scientific research. Information also includes the number of current students from each county, alumni in the county, businesses that have worked with the Purdue Technical Assistance Program in the last year, a summary of Purdue Extension activity in the county, and the closest Purdue College of Technology Statewide program.
Car Seat Maker to Expand Dorel Industries will spend $20.8 million to build a Design and Development Competency Center at its Dorel Juvenile Group USA car seat manufacturing facility in Columbus, Indiana. The project is expected to create 98 jobs over the next four years. The Center will be located adjacent to Dorel’s current onemillion-square-foot car seat manufacturing facility. The project will renovate 40,000 square feet of office and warehouse space,
doubling the space dedicated to child restraint systems design and development. A new crash test sled, dedicated computational engineering resources and advanced side impact testing capabilities are just some of the assets to be included.
University Launches Development Resources Web Site
Consolidation to Create 182 Jobs Pharmacy benefits management company Express Scripts will consolidate operations in Indianapolis, creating 182 jobs by 2012. Express Scripts’ entry into Indiana comes in the wake of its 2009 acquisition of Indianapolis-based Wellpoint’s NextRx subsidiaries. The agreement, which was completed in December, called for Express Scripts to take over NextRx’s pharmacy benefits management services, including home delivery and specialty pharmacy services. The Fortune 500 company will invest $5.17 million to consolidate its specialty pharmacy operations to the facility formerly occupied by NextRx near the Indianapolis International Airport.
Bike Company Plans New Facility Racing bike component maker Zipp Speed Weaponry will expand its design and manufacturing operations in Indianapolis, creating 105 new jobs by 2013. The company, which designs and manufactures wheels, bars and accessories for racing bicycles, will invest $12.4 million to construct a new 70,000-square-foot manufacturing and - continued on pg 14
customer service center on the city’s northwest side. Zipp, an international company with more than 50 percent of its sales outside of the United States, currently employs nearly 130 Hoosier associates at its manufacturing and design operations in Speedway. The company plans to begin hiring additional manufacturing and customer support associates in the second quarter of 2010 in preparation for commencement of operations at the new facility in July.
Battery Maker Charges Up Hancock County Lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel will locate its newest manufacturing operation in Hancock County and create 500 more jobs, bringing the company to a total of 1,400 in three Central Indiana locations. The developer of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid, plug-in electric and electric vehicles will invest $237 million to lease and equip more than 200,000 square feet of Building 1 located at Axcess70 at Mount Comfort Road in Hancock County. EnerDel plans to begin hiring additional engineers, production associates and administrative staff in the next couple of months as the new facility is readied for production.
DMS Ranked Among Top 50 Women-Owned Businesses in Indiana Diversified Marketing Strategies (DMS) has been named one of Indiana’s Top 50 Women-Owned Businesses by diversitybusiness.com, b2b Web portal for DiversityBusinesss, the largest organization of diversity-owned businesses in the United States with more than 48,000 members. Diversitybusiness.com ranked DMS 17th among businesses owned by Hoosier women. “Having a diverse group of people who bring fresh and innovative ideas to the table is a big part of why DMS has thrived for more than two decades,” said Andrea M. Pearman, Founder and Creative Commander of DMS. “Companies that let gender, race, age or physical challenges blind them to talent are only hurting themselves.” Award winners will be honored at the 10th Annual Multicultural Business Conference in Washington, D.C. in April.
Greater Kokomo EDO, Purdue Launch Supply Chain Initiative Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the Krannert School of Management Purdue University are asking key Howard County area manufacturers to participate in a collaborative project that will enable North Central Indiana to seize a competitive position in several emerging industries and markets. The Alliance and Krannert are spearheading an Economic Development Supply Chain Transformation Project that will assess local manufacturing capability, which traditionally has been tied to the automotive industry. The results of the project will be used to determine how local manufacturing capability 14
can be matched and/or easily adapted to emerging industries such as wind and solar energy, medical and medical devices, and the next generation of advanced automotive manufacturing. The project will enable the Alliance to showcase the Howard County area’s potential to match the needs of companies considering industrial locations. The traditional components of a response to a request for proposal describe the region, its population, and skill base in general and industrial sites. The project is funded by grants from the Wal-Mart Foundation and Duke Energy.
Worker’s Compensation Web Site Launched WCGuru.com, an online, interactive, news and information portal dedicated to the worker’s compensation professional community in Indiana, has recently launched. WCguru.com focuses on providing insight into practical issues and helps maximize a user’s time when searching for news and contact information for workers compensation law, insurance providers, employers, case managers and physicians in Indiana.
Automotive Manufacturer Expands Morris Manufacturing and Sales Corporation, an automotive components manufacturer, announced that it will expand its manufacturing operations in Brazil, creating up to 82 new jobs by 2011. The company, which manufactures powertrain components for original equipment manufacturers, will invest more than $1.2 million to construct an additional 40,500 square feet of production space at its Brazil operations. Morris Manufacturing is also in negotiations for additional contracts which include powertrain components for electric and hybrid vehicles which would require an additional $7.9 million investment in equipment and building space.
Seven Honored with Workplace Safety Award Seven Hoosier companies were recognized with the 2010 Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards for advancing occupational safety and health during the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s annual Safety and Health Conference & Expo in Indianapolis in March. The 2010 Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards are a result of a partnership among government, business and safety leaders: the Indiana Department of Labor, on behalf of Gov. Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. The focus is on best practices for eliminating jobrelated accidents and illnesses, and saluting those organizations for which safety is the number one workplace priority. This year, awards were handed out in five categories: overall safety for general industry; overall safety in construcwww.buildingindiananews.com
Wind Turbine Plant Could Blow Jobs into New Castle The D’Arcinoff Group, an investment and alternative technology development company based in the Washington, D.C. area, has signed a letter of intent to use the former Metaldyne plant in New Castle to house the headquarters of a wind turbine parts and components manufacturing company.
The business could bring nearly 1,800 new jobs to the New Castle area. The plant would be a training facility for a wind turbinemanufacturing program called Advantage Wind Turbines. The D’Arcinoff Group said they have plans to bring back some of the people laid off from the Metaldyne plant within the last year to staff the new company.
tion; education, outreach and partnership for general industry; education and outreach in construction; and partnerships in construction. The 2010 winning companies are: • Chemical Processing, Essex Group, Inc. in Fort Wayne – overall safety by a small company (under 100 employees) • OFS Brands, Plant #6 in Huntingburg – overall safety by a medium company (101 to 499 employees) • Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis – overall safety by a large company (more than 500 employees) • Weigand Construction Co., Inc. in Fort Wayne – overall safety by a construction company • Pharmaceutical Research and Development (Lilly) in Indianapolis – education, outreach and partnership for general industry • Superior Construction Co., Inc. in Gary – education and outreach in construction • Indianapolis Roofers Safety Group in Zionsville – partnerships in construction
Indiana Company Gets Panel Patent Thermocore Panel Systems, Inc. (Mooresville) has earned a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its innovative structural insulated panels (SIPs). These four-inch thick panels are the first in the industry to accommodate standard door and window jambs while providing maximum energy efficiency. SIPs have been used in the construction of exterior walls for residential and commercial structures for more than 40 years. Older SIP technologies, at 4.5-inch and 6.5-inch thicknesses, require costly custom door and window jambs that add to the overall build cost. Thermocore’s four-inch panel eliminates the need for costly jamb extensions. The effectiveness of SIPs is measured by the R-value, which calculates thermal resistance. The greater the R-value, the better the insulation is at keeping homes warm in the winter months and cool during the summer. The company’s newly patented SIP features an R-value of 24.
Engineering Firm Launches New Subsidiary Consulting engineering and planning firm Short, Elliott, Hendrickson, Inc., has established a subsidiary company, SEH of Indiana, LLC, headquartered in Munster, to enhance and support its existing Indiana operations. “Establishing SEH of Indiana reflects our long-term commitment to clients in the region, and provides a platform for continued growth and success,” said Jim Newman, P.E., SEH of Indiana’s President. Kerry Keith and Matt Reardon join Newman as officers of the subsidiary. SEH has maintained an office in northwest Indiana since 1994, and offers clients a full range of services including municipal engineering, planning, economic development, water, wastewater, environmental, transportation and energy services.
Conrad Indianapolis Named Top Hotel TripAdvisor released their 2010 Traveler’s Choice awards, naming Conrad Indianapolis a Top 25 U.S. Hotel. Now in its eighth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, as decided by real travelers.
TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice winners are based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on tripadvisor.com and content from across the Web. A complete list of all the winners can be found at www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice.
Northeast Indiana Leaders Form Regional Strategy Group Leaders from across ten counties in the northeast Indiana region have formed a Coordinating Group aimed at producing a vision – called Vision 2020 – to shape the vitality of northeast Indiana’s regional economy. Vision 2020 will focus on competitive business climate, 21st Century talent, quality of place, infrastructure, and entrepreneurship. Participating counties are Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley. Funding is being provided by the Northeast Indiana Foundation, the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council, the Cole Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, the Robert Goldstine Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Lincoln Financial Foundation. Additional private foundation support is also anticipated.
RV Maker Boosts Payroll Jayco, Inc., will build a 30,000-square-foot addition to its Middlebury plant and double its payroll to $2 million in order to meet increasing demand for recreational vehicles. The expansion is expected to create 50 new jobs this year, and another 25 over the following two years. To help fuel the expansion, the town of Middlebury gave Jayco a 10-year abatement on property taxes and a three-year abatement on taxes on manufacturing and IT equipment.
IU Northwest School of Business and Economics Maintains Accreditation The Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) have announced that a recent peer review of the School has resulted in the reaffirmation of its status as an AACSB-accredited undergraduate and master’s-level business program. IU Northwest remains the only public business program in Northwest Indiana to carry AACSB accreditation, a benchmark of quality attained by only five percent of business schools worldwide. Nine institutions from five countries achieved AACSB accreditation this year. IU Northwest was one of 45 institutions to maintain accreditation for an additional six years.
Senior Job Training Funding Added The state of Indiana received $1.294 million in additional 2010 funding to address unmet needs for employment and job training among low-income, older workers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). 16
Real Estate Investment Company Buys Industrial Park Alex. Brown Realty, Inc., a national real estate investment company, has acquired the North by Northwest industrial portfolio in suburban Indianapolis in a joint venture with Biynah Partners, a Minneapolis-based real estate investment firm. ABR Chesapeake Fund III, a real estate investment fund sponsored by ABR, provided an equity commitment of $6.9 million to the venture. Jon Goldstein of Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers arranged financing for the acquisition. The Class-A industrial portfolio encompasses approximately 1.1 million square feet spread out among seven industrial buildings all located within northwest Indianapolis’ Park 100 industrial submarket. The Park 100 submarket is
accessible via Interstate 465 and Interstate 65, and is less than 14 miles from the Indianapolis International Airport and eight miles from downtown Indianapolis. Vacancy in the submarket is currently 6.5 percent.
Only 15 states received more than $1 million in additional funding, and only seven – California, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas – received more than Indiana. The bulk of the $225 million in additional funding went to organizations specifically targeting seniors, such as Experience Works ($49.4 million) and the AARP Foundation ($37.8 million). SCSEP is a community service and work-based training program for older workers. It provides part-time, community service-based job training for unemployed, low-income individuals age 55 or older.
Medical Center Opens New Outpatient Surgery Center St. Mary Medical Center has opened a new outpatient surgery services in Hobart. St. Mary Medical Center Outpatient Surgery at Lake Park will serve as a satellite facility of the hospital’s main campus, located three miles north. The facility has four operating rooms and two surgical procedure rooms as well as a recovery suite and comfortable family waiting area. Surgical procedures performed at Lake Park include but are not limited to General Surgery, Cosmetic/ Plastic, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Orthopedics, and Gastroenterology.
Stimulus Funds 1,082 Indiana Road Projects The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has fully advertised or awarded all $658 million of Indiana’s highway and bridge allocation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act has funded 1,082 transportation projects spread across all 92 counties, with 62
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percent of the funds invested in economically distressed counties. Indiana’s Recovery Act funding stretched much further than anticipated as a result of contractor bids coming in 15 to 20 percent below engineers’ estimates. In addition to geographic distribution around the state, all 1,082 projects were spread across a variety of categories: • 776 road repair or resurface projects • 130 bridge replacement or repair projects • 95 safety improvement projects • 23 new or widened road projects • 35 trail, sidewalk and other enhancement projects • 32 miscellaneous projects Indiana’s Recovery Act Web site, INvest.in.gov, contains interactive county maps that are updated as highway and bridge contracts are awarded.
Creamery Looks to Chill in Indianapolis Blue Bell Creameries, a Brenham, TX-based ice cream manufacturer, is seeking property tax abatements from Indianapolis officials in order to construct a 12,000-square-foot temperaturecontrolled storage and distribution facility. The warehouse would cost about $2.15 million to build, and employ about 24 people. Blue Bell is the nation’s third-largest ice cream producer.
Chamber Launches iPhone App “Workforce Health is a key partner with our company. The doctors and staff exceed our expectations.” Lance E. Werner Controller/Treasurer Chicago SouthShore & South Bend RR
“Workforce Health does an outstanding job of getting our employees healthy and back to work as quickly as possible. The doctors at Workforce Health are easy to work with and utilize cost-effective treatments to care for our employees and keep our costs at a minimum.” Matt Cook Director of Human Resources City of La Porte
La Porte • Michigan City www.myworkforcehealth.com (219) 851-3827 18
The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana has launched a free iPhone app, making it the first chamber of commerce in the state to launch such an item. Designed by Agent511, an Owensboro and Chicago-based mobile technology company, The Chamber’s “Discover Southwest Indiana” app has seven featured links, including the following: Southwest Indiana Events; CCSWIN Marketplace; Business Directory; Public Policy on Twitter; Chamber CEO on Twitter; Employment; Become a Member; and Contact Us. The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana plans to promote downloading of the app on its Web site and in its publications and newsletters.
Johnson County Packaging Supplier Grows Rexam, a manufacturer of packaging for consumer products, will expand its operations in Johnson County, creating up to 46 new jobs by the end of 2010. The company manufactures plastic packaging for the health care, closures and personal care industries, along with aluminum beverage cans, at its Franklin site. London-based Rexam currently employs more than 100 associates in Franklin, and will immediately begin hiring for additional manufacturing and supervisory positions.
Wine Distributor Coming to Indiana Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 29 states, will build a 200,000-plus-square-foot distribution facility in Indiana. The www.buildingindiananews.com
Elkhart, Fort Wayne Lead Corporate Investment Rankings Elkhart was the top destinations for new corporate investment in 2009 among metropolitan areas with populations less than 200,000, according to data tracked in Conway Data Inc.’s New Plant Database. Fort Wayne tied for 8th place among metropolitan areas with populations ranging from 200,000 to 1 million. In the state category, Indiana ranked 10th. Conway Data published the 2009 results to its annual Governor’s Cup awards in Site Selection, a corporate real estate and economic development magazine. Governor’s Cup winners are selected based on the number of new corporate location projects in each state and metropolitan area that meet at least one of three criterions: involve a capital investment of at least $1 million; create at least 50 new jobs; or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.
ISA Announces Annual Award Winners The Indiana Subcontractors Association (ISA) named Pepper Construction of Indiana, LLC, and Kettelhut Construction Inc., as its two “GC of the Year” Award winners at the annual ISA banquet in February. Pepper Construction won in the category for general contractors with over $100 million in annual revenue and was recognized for their focus on building relationships with subcontractors and their commitment to increased diversity in the construction market. Kettelhut Construction won in the category for general contractors with under $100 million in annual revenue. Kettelhut was recognized at the event as being dedicated to positive subcontractor relations and as a key player among Indiana’s General Contractors Also awarded at the event were several special awards: • Project of the Year Over $10 million: RL Turner Construction – South Adams Pre-K – 8 • Project of the Year Under $10 million: Turner Construction Company of Indiana – Georgetown Apartments • Excellence in Ethics: Messer Construction Company • Subcontractors’ Choice Award: Turner Construction Company of Indiana, LLC
$2.2 million project included 9,920 lineal feet of 12-foot high Ameristar Gauntlet Style Impasse Fence with corrugated pales, six-inch square steel posts 18 feet high to allow for security cameras, several automated cantilever slide gates and personnel gates with keyed High Security Mortise cylinder locks. The majority of work performed on this project occurred in inclement weather and icy conditions. Due to the success of this multi-site project, SII was contracted for two additional site improvements.
Miami, FL-based company has retained the services of commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley to select a site for the facility. Details of the office and warehouse distribution center are not yet finalized, the company says, but site definition and facility design services are underway.
Top Notch Awards Luncheon Set Top Notch of Indiana will hold its inaugural Standards of Excellence Awards ceremony and luncheon Thursday, May 20 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Top Notch Standards of Excellence Awards program was developed to recognize the achievements of Indiana’s union construction industry and bring together labor, management, ownership and leadership segments of the industry. This event will not only celebrate excellence in union construction, but will allow all members and associates of the industry to exchange ideas and become better acquainted in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. The deadline for reservations is April 30. For more information, visit www.topnotch.org.
Security Company Wins National Honors Security Industries Inc. (SII), a Hobart-based industrial and heavy commercial contractor specializing in perimeter security, was honored by the American Fence Association (AFA) with its National Fence Project of the Year and Contractor of the Year awards during the AFA’s annual meeting and conference in Orlando in February. The company was honored for its work for NIPSCO/NiSource in securing multiple Transmission Centers in northern Indiana. The www.buildingindiananews.com
Startup Announces Plans for Plainfield HQ
Distribution Center Opens
s2f worldwide, LLC, a startup provider of supply chain and logistics services, said it will establish its headquarters and distribution operations in Plainfield, creating 250 new jobs by 2013. The company, which offers a range of transportation management, warehousing and distribution services, will invest $10.8 million to lease and equip a 200,000-square-foot distribution center and office building near the Indianapolis International Airport. s2f, a Minority Business Enterprise, will serve customers in the automotive, life sciences, telecommunications and retail markets, among others. s2f plans to begin hiring supervisory and warehouse associates in April in preparation for the anticipated commencement of operations in the second quarter of 2010. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered the company up to $2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $45,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.
Medline Industries Inc., an Illinois-based manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment and supplies, has established a distribution center in Plainfield, creating 50 new jobs. The company, which produces and distributes health care supplies and equipment to hospitals, nursing homes, home health providers and surgery centers, has leased a 180,000-square-foot facility near the Indianapolis International Airport. Medline, which employs nearly 6,000 people in North America, has initiated distribution operations at the new facility and hired 50 local residents to fill the positions needed to serve its customers in the region.
New Safety Program Pays Off for TAG A three-year overhaul of its safety program has paid off for The American Group of Constructors (TAG). In that time, the Hammond-based construction and maintenance solution provider has slashed its OSHA recordable rate by nearly 50 percent. “We wanted to make safety a core value,” says Nick Michailides, who came aboard at TAG in 2006 as head of the thennewly created Health & Safety Department. He began by throwing out the old safety program – not because it had been unsuccessful, but because it was too generic – and created a new one geared to TAG’s needs. To build upon common requirements like the completion of OSHA’s Ten-Hour Course, TAG added in-house training on a variety of subjects, all tailored specifically to TAG’s nine business units. This includes instruction in Confined Space Entry; Confined Space Monitoring; Excavation Competent Person, Hazardous Waste Operations (40 Hour and Eight-Hour Refresher); Lockout/Tagout; First Aid; and OSHA 10/30 Hour Construction. Additionally, TAG supervisors are required to complete a minimum of 24 more hours of training a year. “We wanted people to take responsibility for securing a safe jobsite and be accountable, for keeping it that way every day,’” Michailides says. TAG also re-defined its documentation requirements, with special emphasis on reporting / investigating “near misses” which has been a “significant factor in program development allowing us to address issues proactively, rather than reacting to them after 20
Dow to Expand in Indianapolis Dow AgroSciences has revealed details of a multi-year expansion of its global headquarters in northwest Indianapolis. The company will invest more than $340 million and add more than 550 scientific and commercial jobs over the next five years. The first phase in the multi-year expansion plan includes the construction of a 175,000-square-foot research and development building, as well as a 14,000-square-foot greenhouse on the company’s corporate campus. These facilities are part of a global growth plan for Dow AgroSciences’ research efforts as it develops and commercializes new product solutions for customers in agricultural and related market segments. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Dow AgroSciences up to $12.5 million in performance-based tax credits and $205,000 in training grants based
on the company’s job creation plans. In addition, pending IEDC board approvals, the IEDC will provide the city of Indianapolis with up to $500,000 from its Industrial Development Grant Fund to assist in road, sewer and water improvements needed for the project. The city of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Economic Development, Inc. will assist the company’s expansion by supporting a request for tax increment financing. The city of Indianapolis has committed, pending final approvals being granted, to provide $20 million in property tax increment financing assistance to help defer project costs. The property tax increment financing dollars to be provided by the city of Indianapolis will come directly from the new property taxes to be paid by Dow AgroSciences as it invests in facilities and equipment on its Indianapolis campus. The company’s capital investment and job creation plans are contingent upon the approval of the local and state incentives.
the fact,” Michailides says. TAG also sponsors an annual Safety Retreat for employees and their families, which reinforces the most important reason for good safety practices on a construction job site: returning home safe and sound to those they care for each and every day. “Since our first Safety Retreat over two years ago, we have been able to weed out those who didn’t want to participate in our program, which has shown a high level of commitment from the top down.” Michailides says.
Real Estate Company Honored for Ninth Straight Year CB Richard Ellis (South Bend) has been named the premier global brand in commercial real estate in a survey of worldwide real estate professionals by The Lipsey Company. CB Richard Ellis has topped Lipsey’s annual ranking of commercial real estate brands for nine consecutive years. The Lipsey survey measures commercial real estate professionals’ perceptions of the industry’s leading brands. More - continued on pg 22
2929 W. Lincoln Highway • Merrillville, IN 46410
than 50,000 U.S. and international professionals participated in the survey, including property owners, investors, lenders, brokers and property managers.
Free Job Training Available for Limited Time Hoosiers looking to improve their job skills can now take advantage of free online training through a limited-time offer by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Access to these free online training courses is open to all Hoosiers. Governmental and not-for-profit organizations can sign up for multiple licenses to benefit their employees. Participants can select from more than 750 free eLearning courses through MindLeaders. Some of the more popular course topics include: Desktop Computing; PC Basics; Project Management; Human Resources; Communication Skills; and Conflict Resolution. In order to qualify for this free training, people must finish their course prior to June 29, 2010. In addition to the training, participants will also be able to access staff management and training tools through Ready Indiana. To sign up for a free training license, visit www.in.gov/dwd/elearning.
Goshen Health System Wins Job Satisfaction Nod Goshen Health System was ranked both the top healthcare organization, and top organization across all industries, for “Overall Job Satisfaction” by HR Solutions, a Chicago-based human resources consulting firm. Goshen Health System had previously been ranked as the top healthcare organization in the nation for “Overall Job Satisfaction” in 2009. HR Solutions is the only firm of its kind endorsed by the American Hospital Association for surveys and other services related to measuring and improving employee engagement and retention. Among the best practices in place to create a positive work environment for its almost 1,400 Colleagues is Goshen’s Uncommon Leader program. Through The Uncommon Leader program, or TUL, Colleagues are challenged to seek out cost savings ideas within their departments and their daily responsibilities. In 2008, Colleagues identified $3 million in cost savings ideas. For
2009, Colleagues were asked to raise the bar to $3.5 million in savings. Despite the tough economic climate, Colleagues came together and exceeded the $3.5 million challenge, saving almost $7.5 million in 2009 and aiding GHS in achieving 16 consecutive years without any layoffs. Colleagues who generate ideas that produce tangible income and cost savings are eligible for gain sharing and receive a cash award for their initiative.
Insurance Validation Company Opens in Marion myCOI, a software-based service company focused on requesting and validating Certificates of Insurance, has just opened its doors in Marion. The company requests, processes and validates Certificates of Insurance, saving time and helping to ensure that the proper risk transfer is being met, reducing the risk of an uninsured or underinsured loss. For more information, visit www. myCOIonline.com.
Indiana Company Receives National Safety Award Tranco Industrial Services, Inc. (Burns Harbor), has been recognized with a 2009 NRC/ RT&S/Commercial Insurance Associates Safe Railroad Contractor of the Year Award from the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC). The Awards, presented annually by the Washington, D.C.-based industry group, are based on a variety of safety-related criteria, including incident rates, EMR rate, the number of OSHA violations, Federal Railroad Administration compliance and overall safety program evaluation. “Safety is, and always will be, a top priority at Tranco,” says Administrative Vice President Tim Beck. “Our goal on every job is to create and maintain a safe work environment for our employees, customers and the general public.”
Lifting Gear Hire Opens 12th Warehouse Lifting Gear Hire Corporation (Bridgeview, IL), the nation’s largest single organization devoted exclusively to the rental, sale and service of lifting, winching and material handling equipment, opened its 12th facility in Lakeland, FL on March 1st. The new warehouse will enable LGH to better serve its growing customer base in the South22
eastern U.S. The 20,000 square-foot building houses a variety of equipment; including air chain hoists in capacities up to 25 tons, modular spreader beams in capacities up to 170 tons, and thousands of other rigging and hoisting products. “This new facility will increase the availability of equipment for our customer’s rental needs. It will also offer equipment not yet seen in the Florida market” said Brad Weiss, Regional Sales Manager.
CVB Launches New Brand The LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a new logo and branding campaign aimed at boosting LaPorte County as “Chicago’s Northern Indiana relaxing escape.” The new brand identity was developed by Believable Brands, Inc., a Californiabased brand advisory company specializing in branding strategies for municipalities and destinations. The company has developed brands for more than 15 communities in the United States, including Door County, WI, Hilton Head Island, SC and Charlotte, NC. The LPCCVB’s fresh efforts tout the county’s easy accessibility from Chicago via I-80/90 and I-94; its coastal and lakeside scenic settings, including the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park; and attractions such as the Blue Chip Casino Hotel, outlet shopping, and a variety festivals and events. The county’s two primary cities, Michigan City and LaPorte, get special attention under the new campaign. Michigan City boasts a “Golden Triangle” of assets in the Blue Chip, Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets and Washington Park. The city of LaPorte is positioned as a classic, restful Midwest community that offers a spiritual small town feeling of historic neighborhoods, arts and cultural events and boutique retail shopping.
County Lures 30 Jobs Nearly 30 new full-time jobs and a combined investment of $1.6 million will happen in Wayne County thanks to expansions by two Richmond companies, Reel Options, a division of Vandor Corporation, and J. M. Hutton Company, Inc. The EDC of Wayne County has approved EDIT applications for both companies. J. M. Hutton will receive $18,080 to put toward the purchase of a building and equipment and Vandor will receive $15,640 to put toward the purchase of new machinery. J. M. Hutton, a casket and metal stampings company, is purchasing an adjacent building and new laser cutting machinery, which will allow the company to perform work in-house rather than outsourcing to other locations. The company is investing more than $675,000 and creating 11 full-time jobs. They currently employ 94 people. Reel Options is purchasing new machinery to add a new product line, creating 16 new full-time jobs with an investment of $975,000. Reel Options manufacturers packaging reels from reprocessed plastic. The new machinery will allow the company to produce plywood reels and utility spools. The company currently employs 65 people.
Crothersville Company to Grow Aisin Chemical Indiana LLC, (ACIN) a manufacturer of components and materials for the automotive industry, will expand its Crothersville operations, creating up to 37 new jobs by 2013. The company, which manufactures friction material components used in automatic transmissions and liquid applied sound dampening material used in vehicles to reduce noise and vibration, will invest more than $9 million by the end of 2011 to construct a new 72,000-square-foot manufacturing facility adjacent to its current operations. Aisin will use the additional space to expand production of its Liquid Applied Sound Dampening product line. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Aisin Chemical Indiana up to $165,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $36,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Lawrenceburg will provide Crothersville with a $200,000 regional economic development grant toward the project. www.buildingindiananews.com
o Staton Takes Reins at NiSource Jimmy D. Staton was named Executive Vice President and Group CEO of Merrillville-based NiSource. He steps into the role vacated by Eileen O’Neill Odum, who resigned in order to spend more time with her family. Previously, Staton was Executive Vice President and Group CEO of NiSource’s Gas Distribution business.
brings more than 15 years of private-sector human resource management experience. Deardorff Arrives at Tranco Tranco Industrial Services has announced that Mark A. Deardorff, PE, LS, has joined the company as an Engineer/Estimator. Deardorff brings eight years of experience to Tranco. Prior to joining the Burns Harbor-based company, Deardorff was Project Manager – Civil Engineering Department, with Falk PLI Engineering & Surveying, Inc.
Landram Interim No More The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce has named Mike Landram President and CEO. He had served as interim President and CEO of the Fort Wayne Chamber since June of 2009. Landram has been with the Chamber since 2004, previously serving as Vice President of Workforce and Business Development.
Whittenburg Village Welcomes Buinicki Andrea Proulx Buinicki has been appointed Foundation Regional Director for Wittenberg Village in Crown Point. Her role is to seek private gifts on behalf of Wittenberg Village as it expands services and further develops its independent living community. Previously, Buinicki was Senior Director of Advancement for Opportunity Enterprises, Inc., in Valparaiso. VU Adds to Senior Leadership Team Dr. Boyd A. Bradshaw has been appointed Vice President for Enrollment Management at Valparaiso University. Bradshaw comes to VU after serving in senior enrollment management roles at the University of Louisville, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Saint Louis University. Edgewater Systems Hires Sacha
Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living (Gary) welcomes Barbara Sacha as Vice President of Human Resources. Sacha
Stucky to Chair Green Building Council Bose McKinney & Evans partner Natalie J. Stucky was named the 2010 Central Indiana Branch Chair for the Indiana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). As branch chair, she will also serve as the Central Indiana Branch’s representative on the Indiana Chapter’s board of directors. Fortune Favors Mayberry Fortune Industries (Indianapolis) has named Tena Mayberry Chief Executive Officer. Mayberry will also continue to serve as President, a position she has held since April 2009. She brings more than 20 years of management experience to the position Ivy Tech Names Business Dean Janet Evelyn-Dorsey, Ph.D., former instructor and administrator with the State University of New York (SUNY), has been named dean of the School of Business for the East Central Region of Ivy Tech Community College. She will be responsible for all business degree programs and faculty at the Muncie, Anderson and Marion campuses. Talbert Joins Partnership Brandon Talbert has joined the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership as Director of
Business Recruitment. Previously, he was the Marketing and Client Services Manager with The Regional Alliance for Economic Development for Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Indiana Trust & Investment Management Welcomes LaTour Indiana Trust & Investment Management Company is pleased to announce that Brad LaTour has joined the Indiana Trust & Investment Management Company as Vice President, Senior Trust Administrator. Previously, he held the position of Vice President and Trust Officer at Huntington National Bank in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Arndt to Employee Relations Director La Porte Regional Health System has named Gregory Arndt as the Director of Employee Relations. Previously, he served as the Manager and then Director of Environmental Services/Emergency Management and Laundry for LRHS. Prior, Arndt was the sales and service manager at Monarch Textile Rental Services for 10 years. Doorhy, Switzer Go Green Shawn M. Doorhy and Charles T. Switzer (pictured), both of Baker & Daniels LLP, have received LEED accreditation from the Green Building Certification Institute. Doorhy and Switzer both practice in Baker & Daniels’ construction and real property litigation group, providing legal guidance to owners, contractors, designers and material suppliers. Lykins to Chair IEDI Carey Lykins, President and CEO of Citizens Energy Group, has been appointed chairman of the Indianapolis Economic Development, Inc. (IEDI) board of directors. Lykins succeeds Anne Shane, Vice President of BioCrossroads, who has served as IEDI’s board chair since 2008. www.buildingindiananews.com
Blalock to Helm Flagship Marriott White Lodging (Merrillville) has appointed Scott Blalock to Vice President and General Manager of the new flagship JW Marriott Indianapolis. A 22-year industry veteran, Blalock joined White Lodging in 2006 as Regional Vice President for the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area. Perry Joins Bose McKinney & Evans Paralegal Nichole R. Perry has joined Indianapolisbased law firm Bose McKinney & Evans. She will assist attorneys with real estate acquisitions, sales, commercial leasing and various zoning matters, including other due diligence issues. Russell Joins DWA Healthcare Communications Charlie Russell has joined Carmel-based DWA Healthcare Communications Group as Director, Corporate Marketing and Innovation. He brings 24 years of pharmaceutical marketing experience coordinating projects for multiple major brands at Eli Lilly and Company. Marshall in at Press Ganey South Bend-based Press Ganey Associates has named Philip Marshall, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President, Clinical Products. Dr. Marshall
will be responsible for expanding the clinical product lines for the company. Previously, he was Vice President of Product Strategy for WebMD Health. IUN Taps O’Dell Indiana University Northwest has named Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies Cynthia O’Dell, Ph.D., of Valparaiso, to the position of Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, effective Spring Semester 2010. O’Dell has served as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the past year. Vicari Completes Asbestos Training Marty Vicari, Safety Manager for Korellis Roofing, Inc. in Hammond has completed five days of Asbestos Abatement training at the Occupational Training Center in Willowbrook, Il., and is now a licensed Asbestos Abatement Contractor Supervisor. Health Industry Forum Taps Two The Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF), a not-for-profit, health and life science industry organization based in Indianapolis, has appointed Kristin Jones as President and
CEO and elected Dr. Joerg Schreiber as the Chairman of the Board. Jones previously served as Director for Business Development, Life Sciences and International Affairs, for The Indy Partnership, a regional economic development organization. Dr. Schreiber has served as the Vice-Chair of the Indiana Health Industry Forum since March of 2009. ICVA Appoints Arnold The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association has named Janet Arnold Vice President for Business Development. Her position is being financed by a grant from the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Arnold will serve as an advocate for the ICVA’s mission and services, underscoring the importance of the hospitality industry to the corporate, educational and notfor-profit community. Trans-United Names Account Manager Trans-United, Inc. (Burns Harbor) has named Jeff Veach Account Manager. Veach started as the Brokerage Manager, moved to the Legal Department Manager and is now managing a territory including Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.
photo feature Concrete Champions
(l. to r.) Mike Conquest, Safety/Environmental Coordinator, Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. – Indiana Division, accepts the Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s 2009 Excellence in Safety Award from INDOT Commissioner Michael Reed. Ozinga received the Award for plants in Cedar Lake, Crown Point, Gary, Portage, Valparaiso, Schererville and Wheatfield.
(l. to r.) Joe Wrobel, Industrial/Commercial/Highway Sales, Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. – Indiana Division; Rusty Landis, Superintendent, The American Group of Constructors (TAG); and Fred Armstrong, Senior Project Manager, Hasse Construction Company, Inc. TAG and Hasse received the 2009 Outstanding Concrete Award for Concrete Infrastructure Projects – Flowable Fill, for the 4 KV Relocate/Heavy Haul Road for BP.
(l. to r.) Mike Conquest, Safety/Environmental Coordinator, Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. and Matthew Pore, Project Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Engineering Division. The Indiana Dunes State Park West Parking Lot Renovation received the Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s 2009 Outstanding Concrete Award for Concrete Commercial Industrial Projects – Pervious.
(l. to r.) Kent Bowman, Transit-Mix, Inc., Larry Riddle, Transit-Mix, Inc., Phil Butterfield, Concrete Placement Services LLC, Joe Leone, Christman Constructors and Doug Peters, Christman Constructors. The project team of Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum, Mortenson Construction, Tonn & Blank, Christman Constructors, Concrete Placement Services and Transit-Mix Concrete were recognized for their work on the new 633,000 square foot, $33 million St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka.
(l. to r.) Scott Underwood, Aggregate Industries; Mike Jaskela, Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc.; Laurie Johnson, DLZ Indiana, LLC; Chris Weinkauf, Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc.; and Gary West, City of Mishawaka. The project team was honored for the Main Street Underpass at the Grand Trunk Railroad in Mishawaka, Indiana. A total of 12,700 cubic yards of concrete were used in the Underpass project.
Photos: Jim Reid, Construction Digest
The Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA) presented its 2009 Outstanding Concrete Achievement Awards for projects in the state of Indiana on January 19 at the Indianapolis Marriott North at Keystone at the Crossing. The Association recognized 23 award winners across the state. IRMCA presents these awards on an annual basis in order to recognize extensive application or imaginative use of concrete, and to honor the accomplishments of project owners, architects, engineers, contractors, owners and ready mixed concrete producers. For a complete list of the winners, visit buildingindiananews.com.
photo feature Crisis Center Begins Expansion The Crisis Center, Inc. in Miller Beach has broken ground on a $2.5 million expansion project. At the groundâ€?breaking, Congressman Pete Visclosky held a press conference to announce $95,000 in federal aid for equipment for the shelter. The Crisis Center provides outreach, prevention and early intervention services to Northwest Indiana youth, as well as other community services to adults and seniors. Each year, over 400 boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, from cities throughout Northwest Indiana, receive temporary shelter, food, counseling and transition services.
Weâ€™ll Get You Back To Work.
(317) 802-2442 (l. to r.) Robert Welsh, Crisis Center board member; Bonnie Colemen, board secretarytreasurer; The honorable Pete Visclosky, U.S Congressman; Bill Nangle, board member; Andy Arnold, board vice-president; Mark Maassel, board vice-president; Roger Wills, board member; John Diederich, board president; Kathleen Marencik, alternative house coordinator, Barbara Wisdom, associate director; Shirley Caylor, executive director.
IVDiagnostics Wins Olin Cup Award IVDiagnostics (West Lafayette) was recently awarded the Olin Cup by the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. The Olin Cup is an annual competition open to startup companies that have an affiliation with the university. The Skandalaris Foundation has been investing seed capital in the winning teams since 2005. IVDiagnostics rose to the top for its life science-related business plan.
Skandalaris Center Managing Director Ken Harrington, left, presents the Olin Cup to IVDiagnostics team members from left: Seth Burgett, executive board member, Tom Szczepanski, director of marketing, Frank Szczepanski, CEO, along with Robert Freling of Self.org, who was the guest speaker. Photo by Mary Butkus. www.buildingindiananews.com
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
Gaining Ground Leadership and safety training programs expand as the labor force heads back to work.
By Dewey Pearman, Executive Director, Construction Advancement Foundation
hat a difference just six months can make. When the Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) met last October for its annual Manpower Symposium, the atmosphere was nearly funereal. Union halls in the area were packed with highly skilled workers who lacked anything upon which to ply their trade. Owners were delaying or cancelling projects, and aside from
BP, which continued to move ahead with the Whiting refinery modernization project, most companies were adopting a “wait and see” approach to future manpower commitments. But when NWIBRT reconvened in March, the atmosphere was far different – and far better. While we are still a long way from where we were in 2008, craftsmen were returning to work and a few union locals even reported that they had
no tradespeople out of work. Many had begun accepting apprentices again. Too many people still remain unemployed, but the improvement compared to just six months prior has been remarkable. Much of the gains can be attributed to the recovery of the region’s steel industry. ArcelorMittal will have seven of its nine blast furnaces at Indiana Harbor and Burns Harbor operating in April thanks to rising demand. NIPSCO and BP will also require more workers this year than last. It is not inconceivable that, if current trends continue, owners and contractors in Northwest Indiana will, in a year or two, once again face a manpower crunch for some trades. That was the scenario when the Roundtable’s Manpower Subcommittee met in the spring of 2008. At the time, strong demand for skilled labor was creating challenges on jobsites around the region. In particular, contractors were critically short of trained supervisory and safety personnel. To address this situation, NWIBRT and the Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF) joined forces to establish the Construction Site Safety Certification Program, and to bring back to the region the Associated General Contractors of America’s respected Supervisory Training Program (STP). Both programs were launched at the October Manpower Symposium, and subsequently detailed in this publication, the safety program in the November/December 2009, and the STP in the last issue. But like the region’s labor picture, these two programs have also progressed significantly since then. STP’s first module began in January, and we expected that perhaps 15 people would participate. Instead, the number of participants quickly www.buildingindiananews.com
shot up to 25. When we began the next two modules in the STP’s 12-module series, numbers continued to climb, and in fact some who had participated in the first module ended up closed out of the next two because they had already filled up. Currently, the fourth and fifth modules are being scheduled, and later in the year a second round of the first three modules is planned. Even more importantly, the program is expanding its association with institutes of higher learning. NWIBRT and CAF had initially partnered with Purdue University Calumet to give 12 credit hours toward a degree in Construction Management and Engineering Technologies to those completing the STP. In late March, we finalized arrangements with Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s largest college, to give STP graduates 12 credit hours at their institutions statewide as well. We hope to add even more schools in the near future. The Site Safety Certification Program has also been warmly received. Currently, the program has almost 30 participants, and has already produced three graduates who will be recognized at the NWIBRT Awards Banquet in May. And thanks to another partnership with Purdue University Calumet, those three, along with all future graduates, will be eligible to receive six credit hours at Purdue Cal toward a safety degree for competing the program and its prerequisites. NWIBRT and CAF are both pleased by the response to these initiatives. As the economy turns around, area owners and contractors are positioning themselves not only to handle future demand, but to do so in a way that maintains the world-class leadership and safety standards that make the Northwest Indiana building trades the best in the nation. 29
RULE OF LAW
Are business owners in Indiana liable for injuries that occur on their property? The answer is: it depends.
A Very Bad Day By Steven A. Johnson, Johnson, Rappa & Ivancevich, LLC
few weeks ago my wife, Luvmuffin, sent me to our local home improvement store to purchase a variety of light bulbs to replace about a dozen that I had neglected to change during the last several months. I thought it lended ambience; she complained that it was dark and that I was cheap. She, of course, is always right – a lesson that I learned after years of marriage. I knew that it was going to be a good day as I drove over in the truck. The sun actually came out for a few minutes, which in this part of the country constitutes perfect weather. And I was blissfully singing along with the song on the radio, “In-A-GaddaDa-Vida.” Having arrived at my destination, I hopped out of the truck and was studying my list as I walked across the parking lot. Suddenly, I felt my feet fly from under me! I seemed to hover momentarily in midair, and fell with a “splat” flat on my back. The ice that I had overlooked just a moment earlier was painfully obvious now that I found myself at ground level.
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I got up quickly to avoid further embarrassment and hurried toward the entrance. The wind had picked up. I noticed a 4 foot by 8 foot A-frame sign near the entrance upon which the store had attached advertising. Just as I came within a couple of feet of the sign, in a flash, a gust of wind blew it over directly on top of me. I tried to dodge out of the way, but my small arthritic hop was no match for the flying projectile. Once again, I found myself flat on the ground. One of the customers that helped pull the sign off said that all you could see sticking out was my feet, sort of like the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz. He thought it was pretty cool – I wasn’t so sure. www.buildingindiananews.com www.buildingindiananews.com
Feeling woozy, but not wanting to disappoint Luvmuffin, I dragged myself into the store and went to the light bulb department. I stood in front of the vast array of light bulbs, waiting for my eyes to focus on the list, and it was just at that moment that I heard a faint “whoosh,” followed by a whack to the head that left me wondering who and where I was. As I staggered around in a small circle, I eyed my assailant. Apparently one of the two chains holding the large “Light Bulbs” sign had come loose, allowing it to swing down in the arc of a perfect golf swing, except instead of club and ball we had sign and head. I scooped an armload of light bulbs into my cart, no longer caring about wattage or base size: I just wanted to get out of there. I staggered to the front of the store, only to realize that just two aisles were open and that I was 14th in line. I had given up caring, or thought I had, until Mr. 15th in line thought it wise to attempt to hurry things along by repeatedly bumping me with his cart. When I felt my Achilles tendon snap, I lost all sense of propriety, and my screams of, “I’m gonna sue!” faded only as the EMTs wheeled me out a while later. Is this store liable to me for any of the incidents described above? Indiana law provides that the owner of property is liable for physical harm caused to invitees (such as store customers) by a condition of the property if, but only if, the owner:
sign was neither properly constructed, nor properly erected, nor properly placed, and consequently the case was settled. I neither win nor lose: each party avoided an uncertain result. The light bulb sign case is far clearer. The store knew, or should have known, how properly to attach the light bulb sign to the ceiling, and of failing to do so constituted a risk to invitees. Also, store customers have no way of knowing that a sign is not correctly hung. It should come as no surprise that this brain-injured customer is entitled to a recovery in that instance.
And what about the last incident, where I was injured by Mr. 15th in line: is there liability on the part of a premises owner to one customer for the acts of another? When the conduct is on the part of a third party over whom the store had no control, there is no liability on the part of the store. Many people think that any injury they sustain while in a commercial establishment is automatically the responsibility of that establishment. But Indiana courts, applying the elements listed above, have shown that belief to be far from correct.
1. Knows of the condition or by the exercise of a reasonable care should discover the condition, and should realize that the condition involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees; 2. Should expect that the invitees will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it; and 3. Fails to exercise reasonable care to protect the invitees against the danger. Each of the above incidents was taken from an actual case. Is the store liable when I slipped on the ice? No: I did not see the ice because I was looking at my list. The ice was open and obvious, and consequently, I cannot satisfy element 2 above. What about when the A-frame sign blew over? That case was more fact-dependent. The wind, of course, is an “Act of God.” But the outcome of that case rests upon whether the sign was properly constructed, properly erected and properly placed. In the actual case, the www.buildingindiananews.com
MAXIMIZE YOUR BUILDINGâ€™S
Retro-commissioning of your mechanical or refrigeration systems guarantees that your existing building is operating at peak energy efficiency, keeping your building green and saving you money on operating costs. Pipefitters Local 597 has been training their members in servicing and maintaining heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems for over 100 years. Today their focus is on improving the energy and environmental performance of buildings. In other words, they have the training and know-how to save money for you, and save valuable natural resources for our planet. For tools and techniques that can help you conserve resources on your next sustainable building project, please visit www.pf597.org/green or call 312-455-6411. 32
Making safety a priority means it can be trumped by other factors. Safety needs to be a value that informs all the work you do. By Dr. Michael (A.J.) Hutchins, Safety Manager, Fluor Constructors
sk a company if on-thejob safety is a “priority,” and they will likely answer, “of course!” The trouble is, you will probably get the same answer if you change “on-the-job safety” to quality, or maintaining schedules, or completing a job under budget, or any of a host of other “priorities.” In theory, all of these things can be priorities, but in practice tensions develop that end up pushing some alleged priorities (including, all too often, safety) down the list. For example, it may be your priority to get to a meeting on time. But if you consider safety to be a priority, you have just shifted your priority from safety to arriving on time. This could result in disaster. Or, workers get tasks assigned in a manner that puts production ahead of safety. The boss says, “our priority today is to finish this job, no matter what,” and safety is shoved aside until the job is finished, despite any increased risk. This is why identifying safety as a priority isn’t enough. It’s not a priority, it’s a value. Priorities change. Values do not. Thus, when a task is designated as a priorwww.buildingindiananews.com
ity, it can be carried out without sacrificing safety, because no matter what the priority is, values aren’t compromised to achieve it. Making safety a value starts by getting individual employees to take responsibility for their own safety. Safety procedures and standards are, by themselves, not enough. The majority of accidents and fatalities are the result of unsafe acts and/or at-risk behaviors, not unsafe conditions. Most employees can do that. However, everyone isn’t always aware of everything going on around them on a busy job site. In such times, co-workers have to speak up if they see others at risk. Generally speaking, that behavior doesn’t come naturally, but rather needs to be encouraged by the employer. Part of that involves basic team-building skills. Acknowledging the people you work with has tremendous value for the safety of everyone. A simple “good morning” or “hey” or “catch ya tomorrow” helps to build the kind of relationships in which looking out for safety is seen as “looking out for each other,” and not “trying to get me in trouble.” Another useful strategy is to create
an incentive program that rewards workers for spotting and reporting unsafe conditions and situations. For example, on a recent project, we wanted workers to fill out a short hazard elimination card when they saw a safety issue. But no one likes to fill out paperwork. So we added an incentive: every week I would put all the cards into a bin, pick one, and the winner would get a gift card to a local store or restaurant. Suddenly, everyone wanted to look for hazards! The ultimate goal is to turn the usual thought process inside-out, and make it second nature for people to look for hazards. Do that, and you have made safety a value – and now no job or task is so important or so urgent that employees cannot take the time to do it safely. Many times, employers and clients will make the statement, “it’s all about you going home safe at the end of the day.” We should not dwell on why they want us to go home safe. The important thing is they all do. They will afford the time and procedures to do the job safely. And therefore we should, because it is all about us and our families! 33
Safety is Not My “Priority”
THE BOTTOM LINE
World Order W
The recession has changed how your employees look at their own bottom lines. hile many businesses are starting to see signs that the economic recovery is real, the same can’t be said for many of their employees, according to Financial Finesse’s 2009 Year in Review report. The Manhattan Beach, CA-based company, which provides financial education programs to corporations, municipalities and credit unions, found that employees were little better off at the end of 2009 than they were at the end of 2008, and are increasingly faced with tough choices between short-term needs and longterm planning. “2009 will be remembered by many as a turning point in their financial lives,” says Liz Davidson, Founder and CEO of Financial Finesse. “The consistent phrase we kept hearing was ‘never again.’ Never again will I rely on someone else to secure my financial future. Never again will I take on a mortgage I can’t afford. Never again will I live without an emergency fund. The list goes on, but the refrain was the same all over the country. It transcended culture, gender 34
and income levels.” Little surprise, then, that in analyzing direct calls to its own help line, as well as data from more than 300 employers across the country, Financial Finesse found a new focus on savings and budgeting. Budgeting and savings calls
As the effects of the recession recede, employees’ newfound focus on budgeting and saving will likely lead to an increase in long-term planning. increased from 25 percent in Q4 2008 to 34 percent in Q4 2009, and as 2009 progressed, an increasing number of employees reported that they were paying off credit card debt. Moreover, by the fourth quarter of last year, the percentage of calls on budgeting nearly equaled calls on debt at 34 percent and 35 percent, respectively. This was the first time these two items have mirrored each other so closely since the company began analyzing employee
financial issues nearly a decade ago. In previous years, debt calls significantly outnumbered budget calls, often at a two-to-one ratio. The fact that they are now close to parity means that employees are dramatically shifting their attitude towards their money and the way they manage it to become more responsible consumers, savers, and investors. Instead of becoming victims of the crisis, they are using it as an opportunity to get their financial house in order – recognizing that they can’t control the swings in the market or the actions of their employers, but they can control how they spend, save and invest their money. However, it’s taking time. The recovery is tepid from employees’ standpoint, with employees only marginally better off in 2009 than they were one year earlier. Nearly all employees surveyed, 96 percent, reported feeling stressed about their finances, and 32 percent termed that stress “high or overwhelming.” Debt calls did decrease from 39 percent of calls in Q4 2008 to 35 percent of calls in Q4 2009, and overall the percentage of reactive calls about short-term financial www.buildingindiananews.com
Breakdown of Financial Calls from Employees Q4 2009 Investing 4% Real Estate 4% Taxes 5%
Education Planning 3% Other 1% Debt Issues 35%
Credit Management 6% Retirement Planning 8% Budgeting & Savings 34%
their day-to-day finances in response to the crisis. The end of the recession won’t end financial pressure on employees. For instance, in healthcare, a 2009 study by Hewitt Associates showed that employers were reducing health benefits, with nearly one in five reporting plans to cut health benefits over the next three to five years. Until recently, it has taken consumers a while to adapt to these changes, with many not saving enough for retirement or
healthcare. But the economic crisis gave consumers a wakeup call and they began to dramatically shift their perspective, planning for the worst, rather than only hoping for the best. In the short run, this dynamic is likely to delay growth and forestall a full recovery, as employees hoard savings and pay down debt. However, this has positive economic implications in the long run since Americans will have more savings to invest in the market and real estate.
Source: Financial Finesse
problems slipped from a high of 81 percent in Q2 2009 to 79 percent in the fourth quarter, but it’s clear employees are not out of the woods yet. The challenge for employers is that financially stressed-out workers aren’t, understandably, likely to be at their best, and finding solutions on their own can be like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. “They may be able to find a debt counseling service, or an investment advisor at a bank, but all of these are one-offs. There are not a lot of comprehensive programs,” notes Gregory Ward, Senior Resident Financial Planner at Financial Finesse. With pay increases unrealistic for many companies, and others facing further cuts, providing employees with tools and resources to manage their finances is critical, he says. Take, for example, retirement planning. For the last decade, there’s been a transition from companies paying for retirement and healthcare benefits to employees needing to self-fund these benefits. Employer-sponsored retirement plans are being cut and many companies have halted their pensions due to the fact that the Federal Pension Guarantee Fund has been in the red for the past seven years. But when companies stop matching employees’ retirement funds, “employees need to save more, but often they decide, hey, I guess I don’t have to put more money in either,” Ward relates. Indeed, the need for financial planning tools is clear: Financial Finesse’s retirement planning calls remained unchanged from Q4 2008 to Q4 2009 at a mere eight percent of total calls, and there was a decline in most other proactive financial planning calls as consumers focused instead on managing www.buildingindiananews.com
Are People Too Ten tips for keeping customers loyal.
By Joe Calloway, Partner, Engage Consulting Group
he company needed to increase revenue and profits, so they undertook an initiative to attract new customers. They launched a new advertising campaign and offered special deals to first-time buyers. They were initially delighted to see a significant and immediate increase in new customers. But their joy was short-lived, as they saw revenue and profits actually decline. The company made a classic business blunder: as new customers came in the front door, existing customers were leaving in greater numbers through the back door. They had violated one of the most important rules of business – never take your customers for granted.
Even a small reduction in customer defections can significantly increase profits. Because your fixed costs don’t change much regardless of how many customers you have, the retention of existing customers is vitally important in maximizing profit. Creating and strengthening customer loyalty must be a top priority of any business if it is to grow and prosper. Merely “satisfied” customers won’t cut it in today’s marketplace. Countless studies have shown that satisfied customers will defect in a heartbeat if they think they can get a better deal somewhere else. You’ve got to create com-
pletely satisfied customers whose loyalty can’t be swayed no matter what your competition offers them. Here are ten essential tactics to keep customers loyal: 1. Take a big-picture approach. Demonstrate how your product or service can help them accomplish their big-picture, long-term goals. 2. Speak their language. Don’t use your industry jargon, use theirs. Show them that you have a depth of understanding about their business that your competition just doesn’t have. 3. Be a source of intelligence. Dedicate yourself to finding new information and insights that can help your customers succeed. 4. Know who the customer is today, not yesterday. Your customers constantly change. You have to know how to serve your customers’ current needs, not their needs from a week or a month ago. Stay current on changes in your customer’s situation. 5. Point out what an incredible deal they’re getting. What are you doing for your customers that provide value, but that they may not know about? Let them know what you’re doing that goes above and beyond the expected.
7. Make them tell you how to be better. Don’t ask your customers if they’re happy. Ask them how you can be better. Make them tell you. They will appreciate that you are making the effort and you will gain some information that can lock in loyalty. 8. Find out who’s trying to break you up. Your competitors are always trying to steal your customers away. Find out what they’re whispering in your customers’ ears. Match or beat any value that your competition if offering. (That doesn’t mean you have to beat their price. You just have to beat their value). 9. Continuously audit your “easy to do business with” factor. Look at every touchpoint you have with your customers, including Web sites, telephone calls, invoices, or anywhere else you interact with your customer and see how you can be easier to do business with. It’s always the number-onerated factor in business-to-business buying decisions. 10. Have a face-to-face, heart-to-heart “thank you” session. Don’t discount the significance of expressing appreciation to your customers. Get in your car or on a plane, and tell them in person how very much you appreciate their business. It could prove to be your best insurance against defection. Remember that customers tend to leave because they didn’t like the human side of doing business with a provider of a product or service. Be sure that you are competitive with price and quality – but always be vigilant about that human side of doing business. Maya Angelou spoke a great truth with these words: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” www.buildingindiananews.com
Also Coming in May/June:
• Real Estate Corridor Report – Fort Wayne I-69, I-469 & South Bend I-80, Rt. 31 • Directories & Guides – Leading Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Professionals • Spotlight On – Marketing Distressed Real Estate www.buildingindiananews.com
A FOUNDATION of Success
6. Make it the first six weeks again. The first six weeks of any relationship are magical. Everyone loves everyone. Gestures of appreciation are made on a regular basis. Then it starts to get old. We don’t try as hard anymore to make a great impression. Go back to that first six weeks. Make it magical again.
“Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody -- either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action.” - Peter F. Drucker in The New Realities
BCRC is a non-for-profit corporation which offers a wide range of services to its participants in the unionized construction industry; which includes contractors, labor union organizations and construction industry and related workers. It is our purpose to provide a vehicle to help establish and maintain a workplace free of the destructive effects caused by the use of drugs and alcohol. We recognize our responsibility to communicate and educate our participants relative to the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol in our society and workplace.
6050 Southport • Suite B Portage, IN 46368
Task Force Tips Office and Plant Contractor List General Contractor Larson-Danielson Construction Co. Excavation D&M Excavating, Inc. Paving Rieth-Riley Construction Concrete Concrete Constructors Roofing Charles Gluth & Sons Roofers, Inc. Glass Glazing/Storefront Porter County Glass & Mirror, Inc. Metal Studs/Drywall Huggett Betten Flooring Interior Finishes, Inc. Hydraulic Elevators Abell Elevator International Fire Suppression McDaniel Fire Systems HVAC Bloomfield Corp. Plumbing Keough Mechanical Corp. Electrical Circle “R” Electric, Inc.
Warm Memories When Stewart McMillan decided to include a firefighting museum as part of his company’s new headquarters, he got more than he bargained for.
By David Wellman
ccording to The Fire Museum Network, the state of Indiana boasts seven museums dedicated to the history of firefighting, most of which are run by local fire departments (see box page 41). This year, an eighth firefighting museum – and apparently the first in Northwest Indiana – will join the group, created as part of a $7.5 million warehouse and manufacturing facility expansion in Valparaiso. The museum’s inclusion in an upcom-
ing brochure of area museums being put together by the Porter County Convention and Visitors Bureau will mark its “coming out party.” Though open to the public since the September grand opening of firefighting equipment manufacturer Task Force Tips’ new Valparaiso world headquarters, “we haven’t advertised it or anything yet,” says CEO Stewart McMillan. However, tours and fire safety education programs for kids are already in the pipeline, and with a rare steam-powered engine among the displays, www.buildingindiananews.com
the small but packed museum will provide a new draw for visitors to Porter County. It would not be inaccurate to say that McMillan’s plans for the museum exceeded his expectations. “It started as a lark,” he recalls. In addition to manufacturing firefighting equipment, the company has a demo and workshop program, TFT University, which brings in firefighters and
“Ole Betsey,” a 1923 Seagrave Fire Engine Pumper which saw 40 years of active service with the Valparaiso fire department, is one of three engines on display at the Task Force Tips firefighting museum.
distribution partners from around the nation and, more recently, around the world, to enhance job skills through product and operational awareness activities and discussions. The meeting rooms for the University program are just off the main reception area, which houses the museum, “and the idea was to give them a place to take breaks,”
McMillan says. After the new building opened last September, the first group in for the program was from Latin America. After looking around the museum, one of the participants, a native of Guatemala, asked McMillan why he had made the museum. “I said, well, to honor firefighters, etcetera, and he said, ‘no, that’s not why you built it,’” McMillan says. “So I looked at him and said, ‘okay, why don’t you tell me why I did it?’ And he said, ‘so that people in the future will understand the legacy of Task Force Tips, and so that no one can come to work here now, walk through this, and not understand your customer.’” Nonplussed, McMillan could only reply that, yes, I guess that is why I did it. The acquisition of some of the exhibits was as serendipitous as that result. For example, one item McMillan really wanted was a horse-drawn, steam-powered fire engine – state-of-the-art technology for the end of the 19th century. “They are not easy to find,” he says. “All the ones that are left are in museums.”
Grand opening of the new Task Force Tips world headquarters, built by Larson-Danielson Construction, last September.
Including, now, McMillan’s. Back when the new headquarters and museum were still in the planning stages, the company brought in a group of firefighters from Clintonville, WI, to help with restoration of a 1923 fire engine, the first motorized fire engine purchased by the city of Valparaiso, which was to go on display at the museum. Following their visit, McMillan, who is also a licensed pilot, flew them back home on the company plane. On the flight back, McMillan uncharacteristically handed the controls over to his co-pilot and went back to sit with the
group. “I don’t know why I did that,” he says. “I never do that, because it tends to make people nervous.” When he sat down, one of the guys asked him what else he wanted in his museum and McMillan told him that he would love to have an old steam engine, but had no idea where to find one. “The guy got this look on his face, and I said, ‘wait, you know where I can find one?’” McMillan says. As it turned out, the Clintonville fire department owned one, which was sitting in a barn, AS LOW AS $1.11 practically forgotten. each • Save BIG Eleven months and Money! an agreement to put it on display for 10 • Take years in return for $1 Delivery later, McMillan himin Fall! self made the drive to and from Clinton• Invoiced ville to bring back When the vintage 1899 Delivered! steamer, whose appearance, pulled by a pair of Clydesdales, Overall Size: 22” x 32” was the centerpiece of the September Contact Chrischelle Schmidt grand opening cer888-226-0330 • email@example.com emonies.
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Westville, Valpo Chip In After the museum opened, McMillan got a call from the fire department in neighboring Westville, wondering if he would be interested in an 1880s-era hand-drawn engine? McMillan duplicated his Clintonville deal and so added the Westville engine to the collection. He also received more items from Valparaiso just weeks before the grand opening after the city was forced to sacrifice its own exhibit space in order to make room for a new ambulance service. These items included vintage uniforms and equipment, old wooden fire rattles and a section of the town’s wooden water main, among other items. The collection also includes a regulation fire pole, taken from a Gary fire station, that (by prior arrangement) visitors can actually slide down. McMillan has made his own contributions to the museum as well. These include his family’s collection of dozens of fire helmets gathered from countries around the world, a collection of toy fire trucks dating back to the mid-Fifties and his basement bar. Yes – his bar, which used to be the front end of a fire truck before a plane hit it during an air show in Chicago. A Chicago firefighter had turned an undamaged section, complete with working lights and siren, into a bar, which McMillan later purchased. It now serves www.buildingindiananews.com
Task Force Tips CEO Stewart McMillan with the 1899 Silsby Steam Fire Engine, on display at the museum courtesy of the Clintonville Fireman’s Association of Clintonville, Wisconsin.
Other Indiana Fire Museums • Conway Fire Museum New Albany • Fire Museum of Indiana Camby • Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum Fort Wayne • Historical Fire Station No. 9 Terre Haute • Indianapolis Firefighters Museum and Survive Alive Indianapolis • Pompier, Pump, and Play Pipe Society Camby • West End Fire Station Museum Washington Source: The Fire Museum Network (www.firemuseumnetwork.org)
as the company’s and museum’s reception desk. Task Force Tips’ history is well-represented in the museum, too. Foremost among the items on display is Clyde McMillan’s drawing of the “automatic” fire hose nozzle – sketched in red felt pen on the back of a cocktail napkin – which would eventually become the industry’s standard design. Other exhibits include early examples of that nozzle and other items – the company now has 37 patents www.buildingindiananews.com
on various pieces of firefighting equipment – the company’s first lathe, and its first computers, a pair of Radio Shack TRS-80 Mark II’s which, McMillan says, still boot up. All of this, of course, is contained in Task Force Tips’ new headquarters. The expansion completed last fall added nearly 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space, and 20,000 square feet of office space, to an existing 50,000-square-foot facility. It marks the third time in the company’s history that Task Force Tips has expanded into a larger space and finally brought the entire company (previously operating at this and another location in Valparaiso) under one roof. Larson-Danielson Construction Company, Inc. (La Porte) acted as both the design/build firm and general con-
tractor, completing the expansion in about 10 months. Previously, Task Force Tips had two separate locations in Valparaiso, “but were bursting at the seams at both plants,” explains Terry Larson. “It also wasn’t very efficient, so they thought it would be better to consolidate at one location.” “Everything went really well,” he adds. “In the end, they were very excited; it was just what they were looking for.” “Larson-Danielson did a tremendous job,” McMillan says. “They took what could have been a nightmare and turned it into a dream.” He similarly praises all of the subcontractors and union workers on the project. “They worked their tails off,” he notes. The museum is striking from the outside as well as the inside. “They wanted to replicate an old Chicago fire station,” Larson says. The main entrance features a two-story, redbricked firehouse façade, complete with twin bright red fire station doors and hand cut regional white limestone.
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SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
The Federal Option Small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons can learn how to sell to the federal government through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program.
By Gail Gesell, Indiana District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration
ach year the federal government contracts for nearly $425 billion in products and services. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a training program to help small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses learn how to sell to the federal marketplace. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program is a business development initiative; a training program. Participation in the 8(a) program does not guarantee that the business will receive federal contracts. However, in fiscal 2009, Indiana small businesses participating in the 8(a) program were awarded more than $64 million in contracts. Under the Small Business Act, certain presumed groups qualify as socially disadvantaged individuals, including: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals can be admitted to the program if they show through a preponderance of evidence that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap, or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society. In order to meet the economic disadvantage test, all individuals must have a net worth of less than $250,000 (excluding the value of the equity in their business 42
and personal residence). Economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities. Successful applicants and participants must also meet applicable size standards for small business concerns; be in business for at least two years; display reasonable success potential; and display good character. Participants in the 8(a) program
In fiscal 2009, Indiana small businesses participating in the 8(a) program were awarded more than $64 million in contracts. are required to submit business plans, annual progress reviews, and financial statements. Participants in the 8(a) program receive specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and highlevel executive development from the SBA and its Resource Partners to help the business owner market the company’s product/service. These services help the business owner refine the company’s planning and find federal contracting opportunities. This training can help the socially
and economically disadvantaged business gain access to federal contracting opportunities, allowing the company to become a solid competitor in the federal marketplace. They may also be eligible for assistance in obtaining access to surplus government property and supplies, SBA guaranty loans and bonding assistance. Marketing to the federal government requires skills and techniques that are also necessary for effective marketing to the private sector. The business owner should develop a marketing strategy that begins with answers to the following questions: • Does the government use the product/ service that I provide? • If so, where is this product or service needed? • What differentiates my product/service from what is already available to the federal government? • Does my business have the financial and production resources available to respond to a government purchase order? • What technical terms and bidding procedures are important to know? • How do I locate opportunities for selling my product/service? For more details about eligibility and how to apply for the SBA 8(a) program, small business owners should contact Michael Hasler at the SBA Indiana District Office at (317) 226-7272 ext. 113 or visit the website at www.sba.gov/in. www.buildingindiananews.com
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CONVENTIONS & TOURISM
Stepping Up By David Wellman
Meeting and convention officials around Indiana hope new and expanded facilities and fresh marketing approaches will allow them to build on a strong 2009.
hen it comes to hosting the Big Show, Indiana has never been a part of the conversation. With no convention center to rival sprawling complexes like McCormick Place in Chicago or the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, or large hotels that could absorb a thousand or more conventioneers at a time, the state lacked the facilities to host big events. Nor did Indiana boast a chic destination city like a Las Vegas or Orlando. However, ongoing projects in Indianapolis are changing the facilities equation and, in one of the recession’s
The Evansville Convention Center silver linings, there’s never been a better time to be viewed (even if erroneously) as a boring place to visit. “In Indiana, at least we aren’t suffer-
ing from the targeting of ‘glamour destinations,’” says Jim Epperson, Executive Director of the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and President of the Association of Indiana Convention & Visitors Bureaus. He’s referring to a politically fueled disaster that hammered the overall travel and hospitality industry in early 2009 after the national media spotlighted companies who were receiving federal bailout money – and still scheduling meetings and events in places like Las Vegas. “Politicians couldn’t run to the podium fast enough” to denounce these companies, recalls Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. Legislative proposals to ban meetings at resorts, and even to completely ban meetings and conventions by any company receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds, were bandied about. And, of course, even companies which weren’t getting federal money began cancelling events in order to
avoid generating bad publicity. In concert with other hospitality industry groups, the Association ran ads in Washington, D.C.-area publications urging politicians to “just keep talking” if they wanted to cost the country one million more jobs. Travel executives also made the rounds of cable news shows, pointing out that the victims of all these cancellations would be hotel employees and small business owners like restaurateurs. “The travel and tourism industry is more than minutes and meeting – it drives the economy,” Dow says. “It’s a $770 billion industry. One out of eight Americans gets their paycheck from travel and tourism. It’s bigger than the auto industry and it’s located in every state.” The campaign earned the industry a White House meeting, after which senior officials, including President Obama himself, rushed back to those podiums to declare that there was absolutely nothing
wrong with business travel and that companies ought to keep doing it. Unfortunately, the damage was already done. “In January and February of 2009, the industry lost $2 billion in lost bookings,” Dow says. Fortunately for Indiana, the state didn’t have any place ritzy enough to make what Epperson calls the “unofficial blacklist of destinations.” In fact, activity was actually up in many places around the state in 2009. “Evansville hosted a record number of conventions, sports groups, religious conferences and other meetings during the year – 179 groups in 2009 compared to 155 in 2008, an increase of 14 percent over the previous year,” says Laura Libs, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau (ECVB). “The number of attendees also increased as reflected by a 17 percent increase in the hotel occupancy rate for these events.” The ECVB calculates these groups contributed more than $34 million to the local community while visiting Evansville. In Indianapolis, “we had our second-highest number of bookings ever in 2009,” says Don Welsh, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA). “We hit 105 percent of our goal.” For 2010, the ICVA is increasing its bookings target from 650,000
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room nights to 700,000 room nights booked through 2013. “2009 was a better year,” confirms Speros Batistatos, President and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority (SSCVA). “Our industry tends to lag any economic cycle, because events are booked so early. The effects of the late 2008/early 2009 economic downturn will be seen in 2010, 2011 and early 2012. So 2010 is not going to be as good a year. Having said that, we do have business on the books, it’s just not as robust, so we are working with our partners on short-term strategies.” Among the most common of these are packages that combine deals on things like food, beverages and parking to lure more families and more family members to annual events like the Gary Air Show. Another tactic is offering big discounts on an extra room night at area hotels, in order to entice people to arrive a day early. Previous investments in technology are enabling the SSCVA to get word of these deals out effectively despite tight budgets. Since 2006, the Authority has forked over about $10,000 to create and maintain its own online housing system (which recently won a Silver Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association). One of the project’s fruits is a 160,000-e-mails-strong list. This
The expansion of the Indianapolis Convention Center, scheduled to be complete in 2011, will make it the 16th-largest convention center in the U.S. Photo: Kim Harms, ICVA
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allows the Authority to disseminate information about packages, specials and deals quickly and at virtually no cost. “Our previous investment in technology has positioned us much more favorably than many CVBs,” Batistatos says, “so we can be much more aggressive even at a time of budget constraints.” Budgets are strained in Evansville this year as well, primarily due to the temporary loss of about half the rooms in the city’s largest hotel, the 450-room Executive Inn. “The city has made the decision to build a new downtown arena with a new hotel attached,” Libs explains. “To do this, they had to close and tear down a portion of our largest convention hotel, as this is the site for both of these new facilities. This will reduce our room inventory until the new hotel opens in 2012.” Since the ECVB is funded via an Innkeeper’s Tax on hotel rooms, budgets had to be cut to reflect the unavailability of those rooms. As a result, marketing efforts in 2010 will be more narrowly focused. For instance, the ECVB plans to increase its presence at trade shows for the Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal markets (known as the SMERF markets in the hospitality industry). The Bureau will also “keep in close contact with planners that we work with regularly to keep them informed of the progress of the new facilities,” Libs says. “We will do this by using social media and one-on-one meetings as well as by conducting several familiarization tours as there is more to see.” One place where budgets aren’t diminishing, but are instead growing, is Indianapolis, where the ICVA has seen its budget boosted to $9 million this year, and has also benefitted from both public and private commitments to economic development. “Indianapolis has a mayor who gets it, which is so rare,” says Dow, pointing to Mayor Greg Ballard’s decision in January to give the Association $1.5 million returned to the city by companies that failed to fulfill job-creation promises tied to tax abatements. “Our biggest issue last year was holding onto 66,000 jobs in the region,” Ballard told Indianapolis hospital industry executives at the ICVA’s annual meeting in January. “We know you need to grow, which is why we thought that $1.5 million would help to show that Indianapolis is a destination city.” That annual meeting also served to announce another infusion of funds to market the city, a $5.4 million grant, which will be disbursed over the next three years, from the Dean and Barbara White Foundation. Dean White, founder of Merrillville-based Whiteco Industries, put up $300 million of his own money to finance the Indianapolis Marriott Place development, and specifically the new 1,000-room J.W. Marriott, set to become the hotel chain’s flagship property when it opens there in 2011. “I said ‘you’re crazy – you’re putting your entire fortune, everything you’ve worked for, on the line,’” Dean White’s son Bruce, President of White Lodging Services, recalled during the meeting. “He said, ‘I’m a Hoosier and I’m damn proud of it, and I know the quality of the people and the leadership in Indianapolis.’” The Foun48
When finished next year, Indianapolis Marriott Place will give the city the kind of hotel facilities needed to attract major conventions, shows and events. Photo: Dustin Louderback
dation grant, White says, further reflects his father’s commitment to the success of not just the Marriott venture, but the city as well. “We know that we are only as good as the hospitality industry in Indianapolis,” he said. “If we open up and bookings at other hotels go down, we haven’t accomplished anything.” According to ICVA’s Welsh, these additional funds will allow the Association to hire additional staff to help meet its increased room night bookings goals; increase trade advertising from $75,000 to $400,000; expand its leisure campaign from 10 to 22 weeks in length and from four to 11 markets; and to target the new markets of Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. Additionally, the Association has inked a pact with online travel provider Expedia to offer hotel, airline and rental car packages through its Web site, visitindy.com, and plans capitalize on the Indianapolis Airport’s new $1.1 billion terminal by targeting its first international market, the United Kingdom. All this activity in 2010 is in order to set www.buildingindiananews.com
the stage for 2011. Not only is the J.W Marriott slated for completion next year, but so is the $725 million expansion of the Indianapolis Convention Center, whose 420,000 new square feet will make it the 16th largest convention center in the nation. Combined with the new Lucas Oil Stadium, the ICVA will have 1.2 million square feet of convention space – 65 percent more than it had in the unexpanded convention center and the RCA Dome.
And then, in 2012, comes the biggest of the Big Shows, the Super Bowl. “What’s happening in Indianapolis is amazing,” Dow says. “When the Super Bowl comes to town, it’s not only going to be the Super Bowl for football, but the Super Bowl for Indianapolis as well. Now, you’re playing with places like Chicago and Orlando. Indianapolis is in a new league now.” For more on tourism and events around Indiana in 2010, turn to page 82.
The demand for industrial space along the I-80 corridor in Northwest Indiana remains strong, but a lack of financing is limiting development.
Northwest Passage I
ndustrial real estate activity along the I-80 corridor in Northwest Indiana had begin to pick up at the tail end of 2009, and brokers in the region are optimistic about 2010, at least as far as filling existing space is concerned. New construction, however, remains very limited, primarily due to the reluctance of banks to issue loans backing speculative development. As a result, space in some segments, such as heavy industrial space, is in short supply, though rents have yet to rise to a level where it makes sense to build new facilities. High vacancy rates in nearby 50
Chicago are also keeping pressure on the Northwest Indiana market. The rock-and-hard-place nature of the market was illustrated in February when BP Products North America signed a lease for more than half a million square feet at the Ameriplex at the Port complex in Portage. BP needed the space, only minutes away from its Whiting refinery, to service the modernization work going on there, which when complete in 2012 will make the refinery the largest in the U.S. outside of the Gulf Coast. According to Tom Keilman, BP Director of Public Affairs, the 574,249-square-
foot Midpoint USA building at Ameriplex at the Port “provides all the conveniences we were looking for, including its ideal location, size and immediate access to the major transportation routes.” Keilman says the building will provides additional logistics flexibility for warehousing for the refinery project, including the storage of material and equipment such as pumps, valves and instrumentation that need to be kept indoors. “There is nothing like it in size or scope close to refinery,” he says. The irony? Midpoint was a speculative www.buildingindiananews.com
project built by Chicago-based Tobin De- “It was one of the last ones up, and one of velopment – exactly the kind of thing that the first ones leased,” he says. Banks are more willing to lend for buildcan’t find traction right now. “We lined up the financing before the markets collapsed,” to-suit (BTS) projects at the moment, but says Principal Kevin Tobin. “The type of financing we used doesn’t exist Industrial Real Estate: right now.” Northwest Indiana and Chicago Metro, 2009 “The speculative market is dead, CHICAGO METRO NWI CAUSE primarily due to financing,” agrees 1,148,472,771 60,929,618 Total Inventory (SF) 238,954 0 New Supply Tim Healy, Senior Vice President and 13,937,169 314,695 Came on Market Partner at Holladay Properties (South 12.45% 9.87% Vacancy Rate Q409 Bend). Banks are looking for develop12.21% 8.80% Vacancy rate Q408 -3,886,978 -142,294 Net Absorption Q409 (SF) ers to take upward of 50 percent equity -20,471,278 -542,671 Net Absorption 2009 (SF) stakes, and have half of any specula5,633,577 87,275 Leased SF Q4 tive development pre-leased, before 3,135,710 54,456 Sold SF Q4 they will become involved, he says. 93,300 0 Under Construction Q4 $4.39 $3.15 Avg. Annual Asking Rate (SF) Brain Vanosky, Principal in Lee & $49.92 $16.49 Avg. Asking Sales price (SF) Associates (Chicago), which repreSource: Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler sented Tobin Development in the BPMidpoint deal, notes that the relatively short eight month between the completion of the building and its full occupa- “tenants are looking for space they can oction by BP speaks to the continuing demand cupy quickly,” Healy says. “They don’t have for quality facilities in Northwest Indiana. time for build-to-suit.” As a result, available
space in prime locations like Ameriplex at the Ports is scarce. “We have under 10 percent vacant,” Healy says. North along I-80 in Gary and Hammond, heavy industrial space is in equally short supply. “I have people waiting for spaces with specific sizes and uses to come open,” says Lori Tubbs, President of Commercial Advantage Realty in Chicago. She was able to place a couple companies recently only because of other companies which went out of business. If a company needs rail access, high ceilings, and heavy cranes there is some availability, but for the most part, she says, “it’s going as fast as it comes on the market.” The challenge to adding more capacity, she says, is that lease prices per square foot are still only half what it would cost to build and equip new facilities. Moreover, “Chicago is at an all-time high industrial vacancy rate,” she adds – and Northwest Indiana’s traditional cost advan-
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In February BP Products North America leased more than half a million square feet at the Ameriplex at the Port complex in Portage. BP needed the space, only minutes away from its Whiting refinery, to service the ongoing modernization work. tage over Chicago is eroding. “Northwest Indiana always had cost savings versus Illinois, but one effect of the recession is that landlords have lowered rents in Chicago, so the cost advantage has shrunk,” notes Christopher Gary, Vice President with Elmhurst, IL-based Darwin Realty & Development.
Indeed, according to Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler’s 2009 year-end report on the metro Chicago industrial real estate market, there was little more than a dollar’s difference in the per square foot asking price of industrial space: $3.15 in Northwest Indiana versus $4.39 for the total metro Chicago region. And vacancy rates were still higher in
Chicago at the end of the year, 12.45 percent for the overall metro area as compared to 9.87 percent in Northwest Indiana, so that gap could narrow further. Still, rents are just one factor in a company’s choice of where to locate. “Historically, what brings companies to Northwest Indiana is a combination of, one, the quality
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of the building; two, the economics; and three, how the region works for the rest of the business, such as the quality of life for employees,” Gary says. And those other factors continue to be strong draws. “The parks have been slow, but we have had a substantial uptick in the last few months,” he says. Darwin is the exclusive agent for the NorthWind Crossings industrial park in Hobart, where just one of the six buildings on the site has space available. At press time, the company was talking with three manufacturers and one distributor about both leasing and build-to-suit projects. “They are all going ahead, it’s just whether they pick our facility,” Gary says. “I suspect we will have some announcements in the next couple of months.” While construction has slowed, communities around the region continue to lay the groundwork for future development. In December, seven lots in NorthWind Crossing were designated “shovel ready” under the state program of the same name, which seeks to pre-certify sites to expedite the permitting and development process. “These are the only shovel ready sites in Lake County,” notes Denarie Kane, Director of Development for the city of Hobart. In La Porte, the North Point Business Park also has a shovel ready designation, and Timothy Gropp, Executive Director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, says that the Chicago SouthShore Railroad Industrial Park at the intersection of the Indiana Toll Road and state route 39 “has also gone through the shovel ready 54
Area Residential Market Strengthens Residential real estate in the northern Indiana counties of Lake, Porter and La Porte entered 2010 with a good head of steam, according to the most recent Indiana Association of REALTORS’ “Indiana Real Estate Market Report.” The number of existing single-family homes sold in the final two months of 2009 and January of 2010 increased by doubledigits versus year-ago in all three counties. Median sale prices jumped by more than 43 percent in La Porte, and almost 25 percent in Lake. Only Porter – the priciest of the three counties – saw median prices decline, and that was by only 1.6 percent. Notably, the total number of units sold in the three counties combined accounted for more than 10.5 percent of all existing single-family homes sold statewide during the period. The full IAR report can be found online at www.indianaishome.com
Of six buildings at the NorthWind Crossing industrial park in Hobart, five are completely full.
program.” Sewer, water, power and a rail spur connecting to the South Shore Freight lines are all already in place at the 105-acre park. “So far in 2010, there have not been a lot of leads or a lot of building,” he says, “so it’s important to have these properties ready to go in advance of a recovery.” Healy believes that development and construction in some sectors is going to pick up
as the year goes on, pointing to medical-use buildings – two of which his company had under development – and steel-related facilities. He doesn’t see any quick end to the financing crunch, but says that, “eventually, the banks will come to the conclusion that if they want to make money, they’re going to have to lend it. In my mind, the pendulum has swung too far.”
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BP uses up a weekend and all the concrete in Northwest Indiana to lay the base for its new coker at the Whiting refinery.
By Brad Etlin, Director, Government & Public Affairs, BP
n January 22nd and 23rd of this year, BP’s Whiting Refinery Modernization Project conducted its largest concrete pour, consisting of 55 trucks, 500 deliveries, and 4,760 cubic yards of concrete, which now forms the base mat foundation for Whiting Refinery’s new coker, scheduled to come online near the end of the project in 2012. “This is like filling a football field with concrete,” says Jacobus Nieuwenhuijze, Construction Director for BP’s modernization project in Indiana. The new state-of-theart petroleum coker will replace the existing coker at BP’s Whiting Refinery, bolstering process safety at the plant through increased automation, while increasing coke and naphtha output. Coke is used by some utilities as fuel to generate electricity. Naphtha can be reprocessed to produce propane and butane, and is also used in gasoline blending. The foundation base for the new coker
is 66 feet wide, 280 feet long, and seven feet deep, resting on auger-cast concrete piles sunk 70 feet below the surface. Ultimately, pillars will rise from this base to support a concrete platform which will hold six new coker drums, each weighing in at nearly 147 tons. The concrete platform will also house a drilling rig which will lower a high-pressure water jet to carve coke out of the drums before transferring the product to an adjacent rail-loading facility. The entire coker structure will be 350 feet tall. This concrete pour for the coker was the product of several months of detailed planning, including extensive safety, quality control, traffic and weather considerations. “Our pour used all of the concrete supplies available in the region, which is why we scheduled the event at night and on a weekend, when there would be no competing demand. Having the pour on a weekend was also advantageous in that it was a time of lighter traffic, reducing the chances of delays to the 57
About the Project
BP is investing $3.8 billion in Northwest Indiana to modernize its Whiting Refinery. Construction on the Whiting Refinery Modernization Project began in May of 2008. The project is now 46 percent complete and will wrap-up mid-2012. Following the modernization, Whiting Refinery will have the capacity to process heavier crudes.
BP’s investment is the biggest private sector investment in Indiana history. The Whiting Refinery Modernization Project is essential to the long-term viability of the refinery, and is helping to sustain roughly 1,750 employees in Northwest Indiana over the longterm. The project is also contributing thousands of temporary contractor jobs to the community.
This year, there are about 2,500 contractors hard at work on the modernization project. Next year, this number will peak at about 3,500 contractors. Those figures exclude contractors that are working on scheduled maintenance and other capital projects in the plant – another 2,600 workers in 2010.
work, and minimizing traffic congestion for the local community,” explains Nieuwenhuijze. The pour involved the principal concrete supplier, Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, with support from Smith Ready Mix. Four area concrete plants supplied 58
the material. Foster Wheeler and Baker Concrete Construction managed pour and site logistics. Equipment managers, electricians and mechanics were all assigned to the site. Flaggers worked key intersections to direct truck drivers and maintain traffic flow. Andersen Concrete Pumping and
Masterlink Concrete Pumping provided four pumper trucks with a fifth on standby. Some 60 people were involved from BP and various contractors, such as ironworkers, carpenters, concrete finishers, laborers, teamsters, quality-control personnel. Preparation and excavation of the site www.buildingindiananews.com
1. Aerial view of the coker foundation base prior to the concrete pour in January. The base is 66 feet wide, 280 feet long and seven feet deep. 2. Workers during the pour. The finished product is pictured on page 57. In all, 4,760 cubic yards of concrete were used. 3. A walkway over the coker structure mat prior to the pour. 4. The coker structure mat required more than 500 tons of steel reinforcing.
Other key components of BP Whiting’s modernization project: • Gas Oil Hydrotreater: Whiting Refinery is building a modern hydrotreater that will remove more sulfur and nitrogen from gas oil at the refinery. • Sulfur Recovery Complex: BP is enhancing its existing sulfur recovery capabilities at Whiting Refinery, creating a more efficient system that will remove more sulfur from its fuels product streams. • Distillation Unit: BP is reconfiguring Whiting Refinery’s biggest crude distillation unit (12 PipeStill) so it will be able to process heavier crudes as conventional light sweet crude becomes more difficult to source. • Environmental Improvements: BP is investing $1.4 billion in environmental enhancements to the facility as part of the modernization project. This investment includes waste water treatment improvements, changes to reduce regulated air emissions and systems to remove more sulfur from gasoline and diesel.
was handled by several contractors. Surveying, materials testing and drilling was conducted by DLZ Industrial. Badger Daylighting worked the perimeter to locate and backfill buried pipelines and utility lines. Excavation of the foundation base itself was done by Superior Construction. Augur-cast piles were placed by Case Foundation Company. The American Group of Constructors installed more than 500 tons of steel reinforcing in the coker structure mat. BP is quite pleased with the progress on the Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. And in an economy where people are still losing jobs, BP is pleased to be investing billions of dollars to keep people working today, and tomorrow. Few businesses are investing on this scale, if they are investing at all, making the project a sign of BP’s commitment to the people and businesses of Northwest Indiana. Local businesses tell us all the time how critical BP’s modernization project is to this community. These are obviously some real tough economic times. But we hear that things would be much worse here without this modernization project. www.buildingindiananews.com
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SR 15 Road and Bridge Widening Project Contractor List
Designer The Schneider Corporation
General Contractor E&B Paving
Construction Engineering Bertsch-Frank and Associates
Construction Signs & Pavement Markings Roadsafe Traffic Systems
Excavation Deichman Excavation
Existing Bridge Removal R. L. McCoy
Bridge Deck Steel Tie Fort Wayne Reinforcing
Bridge Surface Seal Bridgesmith
Roadway Milling Mathew Milling
Modular Walls Decorative Paving
Traffic Signals Martell Electric
Seed & Sod Slusser’s Green Thumb
A Smooth Road A paving and bridge construction project in Wabash shows how cooperation and communication can save time, money and aggravation.
By David Wellman
ew things hold the potential to fray more nerves than a construction project on an existing, heavily-traveled road. Traffic is detoured and delayed, inconveniencing commuters and residents alike. Utilities have to be rerouted, a process subject to unexpected delays by Mother Nature. Contractors also face weather challenges, time and budget constraints, and the inevitable snafus caused when the plan and reality collide. And, of course, the phones at City Hall are ringing off the hook as everyone involved or affected wants their concerns handled right now. Recent road and bridge work on State Route 15 in the east central Indiana community of Wabash provides some insights on overcoming these difficulties. “You hear horror stories,” says Wabash Mayor Robert Vanlandingham, “but this project went great. I’m proud of the way everyone handled it.” SR 15, Vanlandingham explains, is the most heavily traveled street in town, and needed to be widened to incorporate
a center turn lane in order to relieve a “severe” incidence of accidents, as well as to accommodate increased traffic in general. This included expanding an existing bridge over Charley Creek from two lanes to three. At the same time, a separate road resurfacing project was also being planned by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to the immediate north of the widening project. The two projects would eventually be combined after The Schneider Corporation’s design for the road and bridge widening resulted in significant savings from the original budgeted amount.
One Side Versus Two
“One of the things we focus on is finding innovative, creative solutions to bring projects in under budget,” says Craig Rogers, Senior Project Manager for the Indianapolis-based multi-discipline engineering firm. As initially scoped in the Engineer’s Report developed for INDOT, the bridge would be widened to each side. The total road reconstruction project budwww.buildingindiananews.com
get was $2.7 million. However, Schneider quickly realized that it would be easier and cheaper to limit the widening to just one side of the bridge, and shift the road over to match. “Now you have one construction site instead of two,” Rogers says. “That saves in materials and labor. Also, when you are crossing just one side of the creek, you are limiting the area of disturbance, which reduces the environmental impact. You also limit the impact on utilities, since you are only moving those on one side of the street. We were able to avoid moving a 10-inch gas main, which increased safety on the project.” The changes resulted in a total construction cost of less than $2 million, and that savings allowed INDOT to add the resurfacing of SR 15 from the northern end of the Schneider-designed segment further northward for a distance of about 3,500 feet. In the end, the cost of the combined projects was about $300,000 less than the original $2.7 million estimate for the road and bridge reconstruction alone. The road shift presented its own challenges. “We had to minimize the impact to homeowners and businesses along the route,” Rogers said. The plan also required acquiring some right-of-way from the local high school, but also managed to avoid completely closing the dangerous intersection with Albers Street. The design changed to allow one-way traffic from SR 15 to Wabash High School and Wabash Middle School. Of course, not everything went as planned. For example, “we had a retaining wall to put up in front of some homes, and the original plan didn’t match the existing field conditions,” says Gregg Koppelmann, project manager for E&B Paving (Anderson), the general contractor on the project. E&B got back with Schneider, and worked out a fix that satisfied everyone. “Every project always has unforeseen items that you don’t necessarily plan for,” he notes. “This one had a few more because it was in town, but through our www.buildingindiananews.com
partnership with the city of Wabash and INDOT, we were able to work through them.” Key to that partnership was a commitment to communication and involvement by Mayor Vanlandingham. “My thinking was, INDOT is doing something to improve my community, so why shouldn’t I
In the end, the cost of the combined projects was about $300,000 less than the original $2.7 million estimate for the road and bridge reconstruction alone. support it?” he says. Prior to the start of the work, Vanlandingham assembled key police, fire and utility officials, and they all spent a day with INDOT officials going over the project and establishing lines of communication to resolve problems as quickly as possible. “Being a mayor and a former elementary school principal, I didn’t have any experience in projects like this,” he says. “So I went with them to the meeting, and stayed all day. After that, we had weekly meetings, and I tried to participate in all of
Overall, the project was a classic reminder of what can happen when those involved leave themselves open to more than one solution. those as well. What I learned was that, if the mayor is involved, these things tend to go smoother.” One example was the cooperation between local utilities and E&B Paving. “Whenever you have a rehabilitation project like this, there are always utilities to be moved, and it took a coordinated effort to get that all out of the way before we could do our work,” Koppelmann says. Unfortu-
nately, harsh winter weather had the utility companies stretched thin just trying to keep up with residential service and repair demand, and E&B was falling behind schedule because utility moves weren’t getting done. A meeting of principals was called at which the need to speed up the utility work was laid out, and a location-based strategy developed. “We ended up in constant contact with them, so as soon as the utilities finished work in one area, we could move right in,” Koppelmann says. “That way, we were able to make up some days.” Originally slated to be completed in May of 2010, the job was basically complete by December 2009. SR 15 and the bridge reopened ahead of schedule, with just some minor traffic signal work being held up by the cold weather.
Safer and Better
“You hear the word partnership a lot, but this was a true partnership,” Vanlandingham says. “It really went very smoothly.” Since the reopening, he has received a lot of positive feedback from doubtful residents as well. “Initially, some people didn’t like it because it was such a big change, but the road is much safer, traffic has been a lot better, and now people say it’s been an improvement,” he says. Vanlandingham intends to apply this experience to future projects. “We have a $3 million project coming up this year and I plan on being involved in the same way,” he says. “I think the people in charge on both ends have to make the communication happen, and I know on my end that if I’m going to the meetings, others will, too.” Overall, the project was a classic reminder of what can happen when those involved leave themselves open to more than one solution. “We always try to ask, ‘what does a project need?’ not ‘what has been defined for us,’” Rogers says. “People have a tendency to constrain themselves to ‘the way we’ve always done it.’ Yes, it’s safe – but it locks you into one course of action.” 61
Safety Statistics The good news is that the workplace has become far safer over the last several decades. The bad news is that workplace injuries continue to cost U.S.
Real Growth Trends of the Last Ten Years (Percent change by category)
Fall to lower level
employers billions in worker’s
compensation costs every year.
Struck by object
But with some attention to the
Caught in/compressed by
details, many common causes
of workplace injuries could be
avoided, providing a boost di-
rectly to a company’s bottom
line. For example, slips, trips and
Fall on same level
In 2008, three event or exposure categories accounted for 65 percent of the total injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work:
17.7% 13.6% 5.6% 4.4% Highway incident
• contact with objects and equipment • overexertion • fall on same level
Overexertion Struck against object Repetitive motion
falls in the workplace continue to be the cause of many workplace
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety 2009
injuries and illnesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor
the source of 20 percent of all
Nationally in 2008 carpenters, for whom the number of daysaway-from-work cases decreased by 24 percent from 2007 levels, had fewer than 20,000 injuries and illnesses for the first time since 2003.
days away from work cases, an
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Statistics, in 2007, floors, walkways and ground surfaces were
increase of seven percent from 2006. In addition, in 2008, the number of fatal falls on the same level, to a floor, walkway or an object, increased from the year before to a total of 84 deaths.
Nonfatal Illnesses and Injuries by Day of the Week, 2008 Saturday 7.7%
According to the 2009 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, injuries from same-level
Source: National Safety Council, Injury Facts, 2009 Edition
From 1912 to 2007, unintentional-injury deaths per 100,000 people fell
falls had a direct cost of $6.2 billion in workers compensation costs in 2007, ranking second to
overexertion as a leading cause of disabling injury. The index also noted that from 1998 to
2007, falls on the same level increased by 36.7 percent. 62
Unintentional injuries were the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (figures for private industry only)
even as the U.S. population has tripled. Source: National Safety Council, Injury Facts, 2009 Edition
The top-10-most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2007 amounted to more than $52 billion dollars in direct U.S. workers compensation costs, averaging more than a billion dollars per week.
The Top 10 Causes of Disabling Injuries in 2007 ($ Billions)
Overexertion Falls on same level
Source: 2009 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index
Falls to lower level Bodily reaction
Caught in/ compressed by
Struck by object
Highway incident $2.5
Struck against object
Indiana Occupations with the Highest Nonfatal Injury Rates in 2008 Assaults/ violent acts
14.6% 11.7% 10.2%
Source: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety 2009
RATE PER 100 WORKERS
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
Wood Product Manufacturing
Couriers and Messengers
Source: Indiana Department of Labor (figures for private industry only)
Days Away From Work - 2008
Odds of Dying by… ODDS
1 in 6,348,148
1 in 11,934,519
1 in 3,978,173
1 in 29,836,297
In private industry, four industry sectors accounted for three-fourths of injuries and illnesses with days away from work in 2008 All Other 27%
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 30%
Source: National Safety Council (based on 2006 U.S. population figures)
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) offers these basic tips aimed at helping prevent slips, trips and falls at work: • Remove slip, trip, and fall hazards from the work area. • Establish a no-running policy. • Make sure workers wear proper footwear with good traction that is kept in
Education and Health Services 17%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
good repair. Slip-resistant footwear should be considered where necessary. • Make sure that all walking surfaces are kept free of spills. • Provide adequate signage regarding hazards such as spills, surfaces and debris. Also ensure that your company has a process that documents incidents and reports slip and fall hazards.
Indiana Occupations with the Lowest Nonfatal Injury Rates in 2008
• Make sure that staff is trained on how to properly clean/remove slip, trip
RATE PER 100 WORKERS
and fall hazards. Also ensure that staff and management are trained in slip, trip
and fall prevention.
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
• Make sure all areas have adequate lighting to illuminate any potential hazards.
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities
• To prevent surface water accumulation, ensure that there are adequate drainage
Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores
systems and pumps in place. • Be aware of the floor types in your company to help determine the degree of hazards for slips, trips and falls.
Source: Indiana Department of Labor (figures for private industry only)
Title insurance protects real estate buyers from title defects that crop up in more than a third of real estate transactions.
By Kristin Burch, Northwest Indiana Commercial Account Manager, Ticor Title
itle insurance is one of the more unique aspects of the U.S. real estate business. Globally, it’s far less common because, in most countries, the determination that a seller does indeed hold clear title to the property they are selling is made by the government. So, even if discrepancies arise later, the government determination usually sticks. While the same system is used in a few states, in most of the U.S. – including Indiana – the buyer is responsible for making sure that a seller holds title to the 64
property they are selling, and that no other party can make a claim to it. If they don’t, and a problem arises, they could lose their entire investment, or at the very least face a lengthy and expensive court battle to recoup it. Problems with titles are far from rare. In fact, they are found in more than a third of all real estate transactions. The most common problems are existing liens, unpaid mortgages and recording errors involving names, addresses or legal descriptions. All these “defects” need to be resolved prior to closing – assuming, of course, that they are
discovered beforehand. And that, in brief, is the purpose of title insurance. Title insurance companies such as Ticor conduct a thorough search of existing records to identify all possible defects, in order to resolve them prior to issuing a title insurance policy. That policy subsequently protects the owner for as long as they have an interest in the property. The premium is paid only once, at closing. As such, title insurance is subtly different than other forms of insurance, because it insures against events that occurred before the policy was issued, as opwww.buildingindiananews.com
The 30 Most Common Title Problems 1. Impersonation of the true owner of the land. 2. Forged deeds, releases, etc. 3. Instruments executed under fabricated or expired power of attorney. 4. Deeds delivered after death of grantor/grantee, or without consent of grantor. 5. Deeds to or from defunct corporations. 6. Undisclosed or missing heirs. 7. Misinterpretation of wills. 8. Deeds by persons of unsound mind. 9. Deeds by minors. 10. Deeds by illegal aliens. 11. Deeds by persons supposedly single but secretly married. 12. Birth or adoption of children after date of will. 13. Surviving children omitted from will. 14. Mistakes in recording legal documents. 15. Want of jurisdiction of persons in judicial proceedings. 16. Discovery of will of apparent intestate. 17. Falsification of records. 18. Claims of creditors against property sold by heirs or devisees. 19. Deeds in lieu of foreclosure given under duress. 20. Easements by prescription not discovered by a survey. 21. Deed of community property recited to be a separate property. 22. Errors in tax records, such as listing payment against the wrong property. 23. Deed from a bigamous couple. 24. Defective acknowledgements. 25. Federal condemnation without filing notice. 26. Corporation franchise taxes, a lien on all corporate assets. 27. Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials. 28. Administration of estates of persons absent but not deceased. 29. Undisclosed divorce of spouse who conveys as consort’s heir. 30. Marital rights of spouse purportedly, but not legally divorced. Source: FNF
posed to insuring against future events, as health or life insurance do. Researching titles is extremely labor-intensive, since only about 15 percent of public records are computerized. Over time, the title insurance industry has invested a substantial amount of time, money and energy in collecting and evaluating title records. As a result, title insurance claims are low compared to other lines of insurance. On a combined basis, the total of operating expenses and loss expense (claims) of title insurance amounts to 98.3 percent of revenue, while the remaining 1.7 percent represents the inwww.buildingindiananews.com
dustry’s historical profit margin. Most states regulate, and some actually set, the rates title insurers can charge, as well as the premium split between insurers and agents. Since regulators pay close attention to the rates filed by insurance companies, title insurance is among the best dollar-for-dollar investments a buyer can make to protect themselves from any surprises. Title insurance insures the real estate investment, unlocking its potential as a financial asset, and playing a key role in maintaining confidence in the nation’s real estate market and economy.
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Track to Growth Short line railroads are an important but rarely noticed piece of the economic development puzzle. By David Wellman
The Indiana Southern Railroad, one of six short line railroads operated by RailAmerica in Indiana. Photo: Brian Wiggins 66
ention “short line railroad” to someone and the first thing they are likely to think of is the classic board game “Monopoly.” But short line railroads are not only quite real, they play an often-unrecognized role in regional economic development. “Short-line railroads exist to preserve and protect service to customers and communities that otherwise would have lost rail service,” says Dave Arganbright, Assistant Vice President, Government Affairs for RailAmerica. “The real economic value we bring is to provide a hometown presence and what they need to be competitive.” Short line railroads, like the six lines across Indiana operated by RailAmerica, (Jacksonville, FL) are, he says, “the first mile and last mile” between businesses and the big railroads. For the most part, they are a modern creation produced by the 1980 deregulation of the railroad industry. The Staggers Act “allowed class 1 railroads a more expedited method to shed regional lines that weren’t profitable,” Arganbright says. However, many of these lines could still make money locally. “What we see as a good customer is a lot smaller in scope than what a class 1 railroad sees as a good customer,” says Chuck Compton, Vice President of Business Development for the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad. “We’re more customer-focused and more willing to do things on a smaller scale than a class 1 railroad.” Moreover, companies are increasingly interested in locations with competitive rail access, meaning places where their goods can reach tracks operated by more than one of the seven major railroads, so they can bargain for better rates. “American Honda located its facility in Greensburg on our line for just that reason,” says Arganbright. “Customers can leverage short line railroads to get the best rates.” The Michigan City-based Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad offers something few short lines do, namely access to a major rail hub, Chicago. “Most short line railroads can get you to one or two class 1 railroads,” Compton says, “but we can get to any railroad in the country, as well as to the Chicago River, which gives you access to the Mississippi River system, www.buildingindiananews.com
and the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.” The railway, which as its name suggests, runs from Chicago to South Bend, is a separate company from the betterknown South Shore commuter line, though they share the same tracks. The freight and passenger operation were
Fifteen Indiana counties and 86 communities are served exclusively by short line railroads. Source: Indiana Railroad Transportation Group
separated in the late Eighties, and the passenger side of the business is now run by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD). “That’s still a challenge,” Compton admits. “People just think of the commuter line. Most people don’t realize there’s a freight operation, even though we have been sepa-
rate for so long.” In addition to helping attract and retain businesses, short line railroads also play an unheralded role in building and fueling the infrastructure that keeps Indiana a competitive state. “Indiana and Ohio have some of the largest high-sulfur coal reserves in the U.S.,” Arganbright says. “Today, scrubbing technology has made that coal competitive again.” One of RailAmerica’s short lines, the Evansville-to-Indianapolis Indiana Southern “moves Indiana coal from the mine mouth over Indiana railroad tracks to Indiana power plants,” he says. “So the cost of energy is cheaper because they can take advantage of an existing network.” Likewise, the hundreds of towering wind power turbines that line I-65 through White and Benton counties got there via a RailAmerica short line, the Toledo, Peoria & Western, which serves the company’s Hoosier Lift intermodal facility in Remington. “Those projects were facilitated by rail access,” Argranbright says. “Those turbine blades are
very hard to move on a highway because they are so large. If you don’t have someplace to ‘land’ something like that, you don’t have a product.” In the northern part of the state, RailAmerica serves multiple grain elevators “which otherwise probably would have had to close,” he adds. Over the past two years, rising fuel costs have made Indiana’s extensive rail network – the state ranks ninth in the U.S. in terms of total track miles, according to the Association of American Railroads – an increasingly important tool in its economic development arsenal.
of opportunity, we can make the price per acre much more attractive,” Comptom explains. “We can incent the end-user based on the volume we get out of it.” Likewise, if a company needs to lay its own track, the railroad can offer a rebate per car up to the cost of the rail laid down. “Basically it comes down to being more flexible and agreeable” than a larger railroad, he concludes. The state draws a nod from Arganbright for its support (if modest) of the short line industry. “At the state level, things are all over the board, but the Indiana Department of Transportation does recognize the value of short lines,” he says. Rail Demand Up Among INDOT’s annual programs is the “In the last three or four years, there Industrial Rail Service Fund, a grant prohas been a huge jump in site selectors gram for track repairs. Last year, the Fund whose requirements include rail,” notes awarded $1.7 million to seven short line Compton. “It used to be that only the railroads (see box). While the fund isn’t heaviest of industries were concerned with large enough to deliver “game-changing rail access.” grants, it does help you chip away at the The Chicago South Shore & South work,” Arganbright says. Bend Railroad owns a fair amount of propRailAmerica also continue to chip erty along its length which is available for away at an intermodal yard in Fort Wayne, development. “Depending on the degree Arganbright adds. The project, originally announced in 2007, involved the creation of a 300-acre intermoS erving northweSt i ndiana For o ver 30 YearS dal ramp and logistics park by Transpoint LLC, which would be serviced by RailAmerica. The yard Commercial Trucking Service would give companies shipping to destinations in parts of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky an option for avoiding delays in the congested Chicago area. “Cargo can lose one or two days just getting out of Chicago, and eliminating that delay can 219-972-0193 make products more www.pctruckinginc.com competitive,” Arganbright says. Citing Dumps • FlatbeDs • lowboys • stretch Flats the sensitive nature of tippers/walking Floors • construction aggregates ongoing discussions, RailAmerica declined comment on the status of the project.
Serviced with Integrity... Done with Pride
The Indiana Industrial Rail Service Fund The Industrial Rail Service Fund, administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) awarded $1.7 million to short line railroads in 2009. The grants can be used for the rehabilitation of railroad infrastructure to better meet the needs of their customers. According to INDOT, “short line railroads serve as critical links connecting many agricultural areas and smaller communities to higher density rail lines. These lines provide access to major cities, rivers and ports. The benefits of assisting short line railroads include providing more potential sites which need rail access for economic development, assisting short lines to preserve their lines, decreasing truck traffic and reducing congestion on highways.”
What Indiana Ships by Rail • Coal 26% • Iron or steel 21% • Grain or other field crops 16% • Autos or auto parts 12% • Food products 8% • Intermodal 5% • Scrap paper or metal 4% • Chemicals 3% • Petroleum or coal products 2% • All other 5% What Comes to Indiana by Rail • Coal 45% • Iron or steel 13% • Petroleum or coal products 9% • Scrap paper or metal 8% • Chemicals 7% • Intermodal 3% • Pulp or paper products 2% • Gravel, crushed stone, sand 2% • Food products 1% • All other 10% Source: Association of American Railroads
Covering the Bases Don’t let these common worker’s compensation pitfalls trip up your company.
By David Wellman
n what should come as no surprise, worker’s compensation claims have been on the upswing in Indiana. “With the downturn in the economy, people have been more likely to file claims, there has been an increase in the number of questionable claims – just an increased incidence of claims in general,” says Miriam Rich, Partner with Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan (Indianapolis). At the same time, many companies find they now lack internal expertise on worker’s compensation issues. “So much of that middle-management expertise has been stripped away,” notes Tricia Bellich, Partner in the Crown Point office of Kopka Pinkus Dolin & Eads. “Look how much used to be invested in things like diversity training. Companies used to send people away to seminars. Not now.” 70
Fortunately, the worker’s compensation system itself is in good shape. “Indiana worker’s compensation has been a happy place for so long because the benefits have been so well-managed,” says Rich, who credits the state Worker’s Compensation Board with making great strides to smooth the process. For example, “when I started 20 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see claims take four, five, six years to resolve,” she says. “Now, they don’t grant any continuances after three years.” However, there remain some common pitfalls for unwary or harried companies. One example is the relationship between independent contractors, a company and worker’s compensation. “When a company is ‘hiring’ a contractor, Indiana law requires that the contractor have worker’s compensation insurance for its employees
– and that the company confirms that fact with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board,” notes Robert Fanning, Partner in Indianapolis-based law firm Due Doyle Fanning. “If the company does not obtain from the Board a ‘Certificate of Compliance’ for the contractor, the company may become secondarily liable for an injury or death to the contractor’s employee.” Fanning also notes that, under Indiana law, a company must have worker’s compensation insurance, or be authorized by the Board to be self-insured. “A company may not decide to just pay its own claims rather than to buy worker’s compensation insurance,” he says. “That is uninsured, not self-insured.” Changes in other employment laws over the last couple of years are also a source of potential issues for employers. Resolving www.buildingindiananews.com
a worker’s compensation case doesn’t necessarily mean that they have satisfied their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which have their own rules about the treatment of sick or injured workers. Complicating the issue is that, in many cases, the exact interaction between these pieces of legislation and existing worker’s compensation law are still being hashed out. “It takes a while for cases to work through the system, so we’re still seeing how far-reaching these regulations are going to be,” explains Tina Bengs, a Partner with Hoeppner Wagner & Evans (Merrillville). “I think their impact will end up being bigger than expected.” Among the FMLA provisions that the experts say have tripped up companies is that the Act
Communication and education play a key role in avoiding worker’s compensation pitfalls. grants employees up to 12 weeks leave under certain circumstances, such as a birth or a serious health condition. During this period, the employer must also maintain the employee’s health coverage. Some injuries covered by worker’s compensation may also qualify under FMLA, and as a result an employer who quickly resolves a claim for someone who isn’t returning could cut off benefits prematurely, opening themselves up to a lawsuit. On the other hand, an employee who does return after an injury covered by worker’s compensation, but is subsequently let go because they can no longer perform their job, can file suit under the ADA if the employer www.buildingindiananews.com
didn’t try to reasonably accommodate their disability. The first step in avoiding stumbles is communication. “A lot of times, people on staff know these things, but not all the circles overlap,” Bengs says. “You have a worker’s comp person and a human resources person and a benefits person and they are all just trying to get their job done and are not thinking about those other positions.” By the same token, “one of the pitfalls is a lack of communication between a company, the insurer and counsel,” says Bellich. “If you have that communication, there’s so much that can be avoided.” Echoes Beng, “one thing I have noticed is that most employers are fully insured, and so it’s their insurance company that hires a worker’s compensation attorney to deal with claims,” she says. But if that attorney deals only with worker’s compensation claims, and not other areas of employment law, the company could still run afoul of the FMLA or ADA. The second step is education. “You have to have your internal person or people educated enough to know that these statues are coming up,” she says. To that end, a company’s own counsel can be invaluable, especially given cuts in staffing and training over the past year. “They can get a wealth of knowledge from their own counsels,” Bellich says. She advises companies to set up basic seminars to bring managers up to speed on these issues, identify areas where there is potential for exposure and create a checklist of things to do in case of on-the-job injuries. “Companies need to educate supervisors, keep accurate records and put reporting policies in place,” she says. 71
Knee New medical technology developed in Indiana provides a less invasive answer to traditional knee replacement procedures.
ot all injuries are created equal, and for employers knee injuries are among the most costly and time-consuming type of injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, knee injuries were involved in more than a third â€“ 35 percent â€“ of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses that led to 31 or more days away from work. That was second only to shoulder injuries, present in more than 42 percent of cases that kept employees sidelined for a month or more. Likewise, the median number of days missed due to a knee injury was 15, second only to 20 days for shoulder problems. In addition to lost productivity, knee procedures can be costly. For example, in 2000, Liberty Mutual Insurance estimated that knee claims were 7.1 percent of all claims, but represented 9.7 percent of all claim costs. Thus, finding ways to lower the costs of, and speed recovery from, knee surgery has been a priority for medical professionals. One company in Indiana on the cutting edge of new procedures and technology in the field is VOT Solutions, founded by Dr. Ron Clark, an orthopedic surgeon on staff at Pinnacle Hospital in Crown Point. The Warsaw-based company has developed novel solutions to surgical problems faced by orthopedic surgeons in the treat72 72
Physicians at Pinnacle Hospital in Crown Point have developed better and less invasive methods for repairing damaged knees.
ment of diseases of the knee. The company’s long-term vision is for the design and development of an arthroscopically placed partial knee implant, providing a less invasive option for patients needing a partial knee or, potentially, as an early alternative to total knee replacement. “After several years of partial knee product design, testing and regulatory submissions, we launched our first arthroscopically assisted uni-knee in December of 2008, called the VOT Solo Partial Knee. The partial knee surgery is completed through a very small incision with minimal bone resection to reduce soft tissue trauma in an effort to minimize recovery and rehabilitation time,” Dr. Clark says. In partial knee replacement surgery, only the damaged bone and cartilage on the affected portion of the femur and tibia is removed. Such surgery is fairly routine, with more than 70,000 procedures performed every year in the United States. The Solo Partial Knee Implants are designed to repair only the inner surfaces. The implant is intended to prevent or delay the need for a total knee replacement by relieving pain and correcting the alignment of the bones. The benefits of Solo partial knee replacement typically include a less invasive surgery and a smaller incision compared to other partial knee replacements. And since the Solo implant saves more tissue, a future total knee replacement can be more easily performed, if it should become necessary. Most patients walk on their surgical www.buildingindiananews.com
leg the same day as surgery and are sometimes discharged within 23 hours of surgery. Most need to use a walker or a cane for the first week or two after surgery. Every person’s recovery time will vary, but most people should be able to drive after two weeks, garden after three to four weeks, and golf after six to eight weeks. In addition to the small incision for this partial knee surgery and the conservation of native bone, the company has developed a patent-pending VOT LiquiFlo Cementing Technology. This improved cement interdigitation with the native bone and improved mechanical stability provide an improved pull-off strength compared to that of traditional thumb pack techniques used by other devices in the industry. The mini-knee replacement is designed for the young person who does not need a total knee, as well as for the 90 year old who has minimal knee damage. “It’s exciting to be able to offer alternatives. A good analogy would be a remodeling project for a house; why put both a roof and siding on a house when you only need the roof?” Dr. Clark explains. A recent patient, Collene Young of Wanatah, enthusiastically endorses the procedure. “For the past three years, I have had problems with my knee,” she says. “I tried arthroscopic surgery, but it only provided temporary relief.” When an orthopedic surgeon suggested a total knee replacement, Young was wary, and the family physican recommended a consultation with Dr. Clark. “The idea of a less invasive surgery, quicker recovery time
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A $43 million investment by electric car maker Think has raised hopes that Indiana will be “the electric car state,” but upgrades to the nation’s power grid are necessary to build the market.
tate and local officials in Indiana were understandably pleased by the early January announcement that Norwegian electric car manufacturer Think would locate its first North American production plant in job-hungry Elkhart. The company’s plans include $43 million in equipment and building investments to create a facility capable of producing more than 20,000 vehicles a year. “We’ve said we’re out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said at the announcement. “It’s beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County.” In order to accomplish that goal, however, the infrastructure to charge a nation of electric cars needs to be built. The United States’ electrical power infrastructure – also known as “the grid” – is not set up to allow millions of electric cars to charge simultaneously, or to let these cars act as a battery back-up to cover peak periods. A smarter grid is essential for the success of electric cars, and Indiana’s hopes of becoming a manufacturing hub for them. Indiana has also jumped up among the leading states for wind power generation. In 2009, Indiana added 905 megawatts of wind power, second only to Texas, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). This followed 2008, when the state recorded the fastest wind power growth in the nation. Today, Indiana ranks 13th nationally in wind power generation. Five “wind farms” currently operate in the state, with a www.buildingindiananews.com
GREEN & SUSTAINABLE
sixth under construction and more being contemplated. According to the AWEA, by 2013, there could be approximately 3,000 megawatts of wind power in operation in Indiana. But again, there’s a hitch: wind farms are, naturally, built where the wind is – not where the grid is. As a result, it is often difficult to integrate such alternative energy sources into the existing power grid, despite an ever-growing demand for power. Like its hopes for an electric car industry, the future of wind farm construction and development in Indiana rests in part on creating a smarter grid. Building Indiana News asked Warwick Stirling, Global Director of Energy and Sustainability for Whirlpool Corporation, which has pledged to produce one million smart appliances by the end of 2011, to explain the “smart grid” in more detail.
A Modern Marvel
A modern marvel of electrical engineering, the grid is recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as the single most important engineering achievement of the 20th century. More than 100 years after its development, the grid now consists of more than 9,200 electric gen-
erators with more than 1 million megawatts of generating capacity, connected to 300,000 miles of transmission lines. Even more remarkable, the grid, with its multitude of components, today operates at approximately a 99.97 percent reliability rate, according to the U.S. De-
1982, the growth in peak demand for electricity – a product of population increases, larger houses, bigger appliances and more air conditioners and computers – has exceeded power transmission growth by almost 25 percent each year. This has caused more frequent blackouts and interruptions in service, which cost American consumers at least $150 billion annually, as well as higher utility costs and more greenhouse gas emissions. These factors have encouraged the DOE to develop a new strategy to prevent the overburdening of the national power grid and to make it more efficient for the future. This new strategy is commonly known as the “smart grid.”
The Smart Grid
Smart grid-compatible appliances will communicate directly with utilities to reduce power consumption during peak periods. partment of Energy (DOE). However, this rate could very well be headed for a sharp decrease. The DOE reports that since
The smart grid strategy involves a massive grid overhaul which will transform the U.S. electric industry from a centralized, producercontrolled network to a broader, more consumerinteractive network. Using two-way digital communication technology, electric utilities will be able to “talk” with the consumer’s home to save energy, reduce utility costs and increase the reliability and transparency of the grid. The smart grid leverages an intelligent monitoring system that keeps track of all electricity flowing through the system and can quickly identify faults. Over time, superconductive transmission lines will be built, which lower power transmission losses and better allow the integration of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, from all over the country. When power is least expensive, the smart grid would request that major home appliances turn on. At times of peak electrical demand, the smart grid would request that these appliances curtail their energy consumption. (Of course this would all be done at the consumer’s discretion.) Thus, one important step in implementing smart grid technology is the introduction of appliances that are compatible with the proposed future electrical infrastructure.
Smart Grid Compatible Appliances
Today, manufacturers are racing to develop new appliances that will be compatible with the smart grid. Whirlpool Corporation’s recent commitment to produce one million smart appliances by the end of 2011 is a significant step toward the company’s larger commitment to make all 76
the electronically controlled appliances it produces, throughout the world, smart grid-compatible by the end of 2015. Smart grid-compatible appliances are equipped with electronics hardware and software that make them capable of receiving communication signals from a utility. When the regional grid reaches a critical peak of energy use, the appliances can respond by either delaying or minimizing appliance power consumption. For example, if a clothes dryer was running during a peak usage period, the smart grid would send a signal and the dryer would
react by turning off its heating element for a short period of time, while continuing to tumble the clothes. This may seem like a small change, virtually unnoticeable to the consumer, yet such an act could reduce dryer power consumption by 80 percent or more for a specified period of time. And, if all American consumers connect their refrigerators to the smart grid, they can reduce refrigerator energy consumption by up to 97 percent for limited periods of time. The benefits for connecting and coordinating with other home appliances, such as hot
water heaters, are even larger. To help consumers make smarter energy decisions, smart appliances will also be able to provide real-time information about the costs of energy consumption, such as delaying the start of a dishwasher to an off-peak period.
Promoting Benefits and Incentives
To accelerate the acceptance of smart grid technology among consumers, it is anticipated that government and non-government institutions, utility companies and appliance manufacturers will need to offer incentives to consumers buying smart grid-compatible appliances. The federal government started the incentives ball rolling last fall with grants totaling $3.4 billion for smart grid projects. According to the DOE, some of this money will fund the installation of at least 18 million advanced digital electrical meters, which should bring the United States’ total to about 40 million, or enough to provide for 31 percent of the nation’s housing units. States now actively exploring ways to increase the use of tools and technology to make the grid smarter include: Illinois, Hawaii, California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and New York. Home builders will play a crucial role as an educator for the consumer, to explain the options available and how smart appliances within a home energy management system can save real dollars. This is consistent with the overall sustainability movement where builders have guided their customers toward wiser, more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly building products and appliance choices. It will be crucial for all key players – the government, utility companies, appliance/electrical equipment manufacturers, building and design professionals and consumers – to work together toward the common goal of bringing the smart grid online. Their collective influence will make a huge difference in a massive, new technological advancement that may well turn out to be the most important electrical engineering achievement of the 21st century. The smart grid will be a benefit to the entire nation, saving money, ensuring more efficient use of valuable energy and helping preserve the environment for generations to come. www.buildingindiananews.com
Planning for Growth The Indiana Plan looks to expand its reach – and its benefits – to new parts of the state.
By David Wellman
n 1970, “Hometown Plans” sprang up in communities across the nation. Created by an Executive Order from President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Plans were a federally funded initiative under the Department of Labor aimed at increasing minority representation in the building trades. “They were everywhere,” says Dax Ramsey, Labor Coordinator for the Indiana Plan. “Now, we are one of the last ones left.” Once the federal dollars for the Plans stopped flowing, most of them folded their tents. “We survived because we got funding from the private sector,” Ramsey explains. Today, more than 200 Indiana-based contractors support the activities of the Indiana Plan around Indianapolis and northwest Indiana, and the organization’s goal is to increase that number and expand its outreach, education and training activities into new markets like Elkhart and South Bend. The Indiana Plan’s educational mission starts in high schools and at career fairs, extolling the virtues of a construction industry career. “We want to get the information into the minority community about how you can make a living in construction,” Ramsey says. Those interested can sign up for the Plan’s 100-hour “pre-apprenticeship” training program (see page 80), which includes everything from building basic work habits to OSHA first aid training, electrical and welding skills, and a firm grounding in mathematics. The end result is a pool of trained minority candidates ready to move into apprenticeship programs from which building contractors can draw. www.buildingindiananews.com
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The Indiana Plan’s 100 Hour Curriculum First 40 Hours Orientation to the building trades and required paperwork Representative Speakers of participating trades: • Who we are • What we do • What we are looking for OSHA 10 Construction First Aid and CPR Basic Needs of all trades: • Tape Measure Reading • Communication Between Employee and Employer • Expectations of Employee Math Skills – Based on McGrawHill’s Top 50 Math Skills for GED Success, Skills 1-16
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Remaining Time Math Skills – Based on the McGraw-Hills Top 50 Math Skills for GED Success, Skills 17-37 Source: indianaplan.org
“The Indiana Plan gives contractors an outreach program into the minority community without having to develop one of their own,” notes Phil Gillespie, Executive Director of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association of Central Indiana and an Indiana Plan Board Member. “You can get qualified people just by calling. We do the pre-training, drug testing, etcetera, so we make it as easy as possible for contractors to hire minorities.” Workforce diversity is rising in importance because so many construction projects are now being funded with federal stimulus dollars, which bring with them increased scrutiny by federal regulatory agencies such as the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Moreover, Ramsey predicts that federal diversity mandates will, if anything, be strengthened in the coming months. Without something like the Indiana Plan, those goals would be tough for contractors to meet. “It’s more difficult than you might 80
think to find qualified minority candidates,” Gillespie says. Ramsey points to recession-fueled education cuts, which
The Indiana Plan The Indiana Plan is a pre-apprenticeship training program sponsored by the Indiana State Building Trades. The Indiana Plan recruits, informs and educates eligible program participants on the steps to take to become accepted into construction apprenticeship programs. Trainees participating in the Indiana Plan program can work toward completing their GED studies, prepare for the apprenticeship aptitude test, work on good interviewing techniques, job readiness and resume preparation, and receive counseling on upcoming apprenticeship openings in the construction trades.
have gutted high school programs aimed at encouraging interest in building-related careers. “They can’t afford the tools or equipment,” he notes. On top of that, adds
Joree Richards, Area Coordinator for the Indiana Plan in Northwest Indiana, the economic downturn has severely limited what contractors can spend on their own minority outreach efforts. “Indiana Plan is their voice into the community so they can find individuals who would prosper in their company,” Richards says. Those involved with the Indiana Plan have seen it work. “The very first job I was ever on, I met a kid who was there on the Indiana Plan,” recalls Jim Patterson, Director of the Electrical Training Institute and Co-Chairman of the Board of the Indiana Plan in Indianapolis. “He ended up moving up and raising a family on good union wages. I’ve been in our trade for 32 years, and the Indiana Plan has played a crucial role for minorities and women to see if they like the construction trade.” In a typical year, the Indiana Plan in Indianapolis trains about 150 candidates, while the Gary branch trains about 80. Not surprisingly, those numbers declined drastically in 2009 as the construction in-
dustry ground to a halt, but both Ramsey and Richards believe that things will perk up in 2010. “We will be involved with Wishard Hospital, and that will open up some opportunities,” Ramsey says. “I think there will be an increase, but it will be a small increase.” In Gary, Richards is hoping to get to at least 75 percent of an average year. With the need for more qualified minority candidates not limited to the Gary or Indianapolis metro regions, the Indiana Plan is also looking to expand this year. “We want to increase our contractor members and branch out,” Ramsey says. In addition to Indianapolis and Gary, the Indiana Plan currently has a limited presence in both South Bend and Evansville. “We’re here to assist,” Richards says. “We are not pushing this as a mandate. This is to assist them in getting their message out and partnering with the community. On the heels of all the federal money coming in, it is definitely to their benefit to take advantage of the Indiana Plan.”
Touring Indiana 3
Through conventions, expositions, meetings and sporting events, convention and visitors groups around the state are driving dollars into the local economy.
By David Wellman
ixty million dollars. Thatâ€™s the projected economic impact from an estimated 70,000 college basketball fans who are pouring into Indianapolis 82
as you read this for the NCAA Final Four. Thatâ€™s 30,000 more fans, and $20 million more in economic impact, than the tournament recorded in 2006, says NCAA Executive Vice President Tom
Jernstedt, an increase made possible in part by the greater capacity of the new Lucas Oil Stadium compared to the old RCA Dome. The hardwood at the nearby Conwww.buildingindiananews.com
1. The first International Motor Sports Industry Show in Indianapolis drew 10,000 people in 2009. Organizers hope to attract 20,000 in 2010. 2. & 3. The South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority expects more than 370,000 people at this year’ Air Show in Gary. Photos: Sam Zhou. 4. This year, Evansville will again host more than 7,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses attending their annual regional convention. 5. The Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau anticipated more than 10,000 visitors for the Indiana High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Tournament Finals in March.
seco Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, will be busy as well, with 525 events in 2010, according to Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris. The 18,165-capacity arena will host more than two million visitors in this, its 11th year, including the Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, which left Chicago for a five-year run in Indianapolis in 2008. “Indianapolis has become one of the most important tourism destinations in the country,” Morris says. “It’s astounding that the most significant hotel under construction in the United States, if not North America, is the J.W. Marriott right here. It will help define Indianapolis as the regional capital for the Midwest.” Along with the new hotel space, the doubling of the size of the Indianapolis Convention Center, scheduled to be finished in 2011, is already reaping rewards by allowing the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) to lure back events that had outgrown the old facilities. One example is the CEDIA Expo, a trade show for new technologies, training, and networking in the residential electronic systems
industry. “They had outgrown the city,” says Don Walsh, President and CEO of the ICVA. But after holding their convention in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center, the Expo will be returning to Indianapolis in 2011. In the meantime, the Indianapolis Convention Center will stay busy. “We have booked 80 conventions that are either new, or would have outgrown the city without the building of Lucas Oil Stadium,” Walsh says. He is particularly excited about the International Motor Sports Industry Show (IMSIS), which drew 10,000 enthusiasts in 2009, leading organizers to double the space for this year’s Show December 1-3. Cars and sporting events will also play an important role elsewhere around the state. Evansville will host the Indiana State U.S. Bowling Congress Association Open Championship each weekend in March and April. “We expect a total of 7,500 attendees during this competition,” says Laura Libs, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau (ECVB). Other sporting events in the city in 2010 include the Southeast Great Lakes Figure Skating Cham-
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pionship, expected to draw 600 attendees, as well as several youth softball and baseball tournaments. And on the automotive front, late summer will witness the return of Evansville’s largest leisure travel group – the Frog Follies, a street rod show that has drawn over 4,000 cars and their families to Evansville every August for three days since 1975. Up north, the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau has renewed its contract with Super Boat International and will bring the Great Lakes Grand Prix offshore powerboat race back to Michigan City in 2010. The second annual race will take place Aug. 5-8. The Bureau plans to extend the event into an additional day in 2010, adding several ancillary events, including a kickoff event at Michigan City Harbor Grill, a silent auction for charity, a rescue and boarding demonstration by the United States Coast Guard, and a Venetian Night boat parade. It’s not all fun and games in Indiana this year. The Jehovah’s Witness’ annual regional conference will be held in Evans-
ville on two consecutive weekends again this summer. “Over 7,000 people attend these meetings each weekend,” Libs says. “We will also host quarterly and semi-annual meetings for large local employers, such as Berry Plastics and Mead Johnson and large organizations, specifically Illinois Oil & Gas Association with over 300 members in attendance.” Likewise, the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority (SSCVA) projects that the Fraternal Order of Police convention in June will bring 400 people, 535 room nights and an economic impact of more than $53,500 to northwest Indiana. To date, the SSCVA says booked conventions for 2010 are expected to bring more than 8,000 people and more than 6,000 room nights to Lake County, with another 3,000 room nights still possible pending decisions by meeting and convention planners. The SSCVA is also expecting large crowds this year at the annual Air Show, and is working with local partners to build hotel deals and packages to maximize the impact of the event. Last year, the show lured more than 371,000 people who, ac-
cording to exit surveys, came from 29 Indiana counties and 15 states. The SSCVA expects even larger crowds in 2010 with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headlining the show. The 2010 show will also feature crowd favorites such as the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the Lima Lima Flight Team, the Dacy-Kazian Wingwalking Team, the Lucas Oil Pitts and Bill Stein. Officials at the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau anticipated more than 10,000 visitors would arrive in March for their biggest event of the year, the Indiana High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Tournament Finals, held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Other events scheduled for 2010 include a pair of bowling tournaments, the national conference of the Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association, the Indiana County Auditors Association annual meeting and the United States Specialty Sports Association’s national championships. “We have some very exciting business lined up for 2011 and beyond,” adds Communications Manager Betsy Perry Patton.
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Promotional specialties are a great way to stay in front of your best customers without breaking the bank.
henever the economy takes a turn for the worse, the marketing budget is always one of the first targeted for cuts. Last year was no exception, with total U.S. advertising spending down more than 15 percent through the first half of the year, according to The Nielsen Co. (Chicago). That isn’t likely to rebound any time soon – but not staying in front of their customers isn’t an option for most companies, either. The question then www.buildingindiananews.com
is, how to get the most value out of limited resources? One option is promotional specialties, which provide a lot of bang for not a lot of bucks – but which, like any other media, also have strengths and weaknesses as marketing tools, making them better for some applications than others. Specialties’ strengths were recognized by marketers in 2009. While budgets for specialties got cut like everything else – specialties sales dipped nearly 20 perceent
to $15.9 billion last year, according to the Advertising Specialties institute (ASI) – spending on such items still outpaced radio advertising, was about 26 percent larger than Internet advertising, and nearly four times greater than outdoor advertising spending. Specialties, and especially wearables, have been a cost-effective way for companies to get their name out. For example, according to a study by ASI, the cost per impression (CPI) for shirts is roughly equal to that of syndicated daytime television. Caps, 85
Number of Recipients Who Display... CALENDARS:
bags, pens and calendars were, comparably, even less expensive and more effective than daytime TV as well. On average, the CPI for promotional specialties is about 0.004 cents per impression, according to ASI. Specialties also have a decent shelf-life and good pass-along potential. The average respondent in ASI’s study owned 10 promotional specialties items, and more than 75 percent kept items for more than six months. And when they received something they didn’t want or need, more than half – 51 percent – reported giving it to someone else, versus just 29 percent who threw it away. Queried by ASI, most respondents (84 percent) were able to identify the advertiser on a promotional specialties item, and more than four in 10 said they had a more favorable view of the advertiser after receiving the item. So: competitive cost, great recall, solid impact, and good shelf life. What’s the catch? Actually, there are two.
#1: All specialties are not created equal. Source: ASI
Bags and wearables, such as shirts, caps and jackets were the most likely to be kept,
used and so generate the most impressions. However, while very competitive on a CPI basis, they also tend to have more expensive up-front costs. Some promotional items can be boomor-bust. For example, desk/office/business promotional specialties came in second only to writing instruments in ASI’s study in terms of how often per month they were used: 64 times per month for writing instruments, versus 50 times for desk/office/business accessories. However, the latter type of specialty was also by far the most likely to be “never” used, with 36 percent of respondents saying they never used such items, versus just five percent for writing instruments. As a general rule, the value of a promotional specialty rises in proportion to its usefulness. More than eight in 10 of those surveyed by ASI kept a promotional item because it was deemed useful. The best example of this phenomenon was bags. Promotional bags, deemed “useful” by 91 percent of respondents, were kept for an average of about seven months, generated the highest number of impressions, and made more than half of recipients (53 percent) more favorably in-
#2: Specialties are just the first step.
Impact: Specialties v. Media Specialty/Media
Cost Per Impression (CPI)
• Caps • Bags • Writing Instruments • Calendars • Billboard (city/national) • Glassware/ Ceramics • Shirts • Spot Radio • Other Specialty • Syndicated (Day) TV • Cable TV • Desk/Office/ Business Accessories • Other Wearables • Prime Time TV • Newspaper ad (1/2 page BW) • Recognition-Awards • National Magazine
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clined to the giver. By contrast, recognition awards may be pretty, and even appreciated, but represent a questionable investment. They come at a premium price compared to most other specialties, putting their CPI about five times higher than average (roughly the equivalent of prime time television!). Only 23 percent of respondents said such items gave them a more favorable impression of the giver, and just 24 percent even bothered to display the award. That compares to a far less flashy, but also far less expensive and more useful, item in calendars, which were displayed by more than three-quarters of those who received them. www.buildingindiananews.com
Specialties are just one element in the sales and marketing mix. They can create a good impression and get your company’s name out into the marketplace at a low cost, but alone are unlikely to drive much new business into your arms. Most companies employ promotional specialties in order to keep themselves in front of already valued clients. Among buyers of specialties items surveyed by ASI, more than half – 53 percent – employed them primarily as part of customer loyalty and retention programs. And
among specialties recipients surveyed by the institute, 65 percent had done business with the giver in the past, and more than eight in 10 were familiar with the specialty item’s advertiser. While clients who had already done business with the giver continued to do so – 62 percent of recipients indicated they had done business with the giver since receiving the item—among those who had not done so, fewer than one-quarter (24 percent) said that receiving the item would make them more likely to do business with the giver. Most, 74 percent said it would have no effect.
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Meeting the Test A northern Indiana microbial testing firm eyes growth through new capabilities and a new product.
By David Wellman
uilding a small business is rarely an easy task, and of late the economy has been of little help to most startups. One exception to that rule has been Microworks, a provider of microbiological testing services to the pharmaceutical industry. The Crown Point-based company specializes in studies such as custom-designed disinfectant efficacy studies, challenge studies, preservative effectiveness testing and validation of new rapid methodologies. It has also developed a series of training courses on Environmental Monitoring, Validation of Microbiology Methods, Aseptic Training, Microbial Limits, Bioburden and Sterility Testing, Basic Microbiology and Rapid Microbiological Methods, which have been used nationwide. “It sounds terrible to say, but the recession hasn’t been bad for us,” says Ed McIver who owns the business along with wife Dawn. Tight budgets have drug makers even more willing to outsource product and facilities testing, and in turn Microworks, which currently employs six people, is looking at adding staff this year. This comes only a little more than a year after the company bought and equipped a 10,000-square-foot building in Crown Point with the aid of a 504 small business loan arranged by the Regional Development Company (Valparaiso). “It was important that we buy the building, not just rent, because every piece of equipment we have has to be re-qualified every time it’s moved,” Ed says, which meant increased costs if the company outgrew a rental space. The 504 loan “also meant we could be fully functional immediately,” Dawn adds. Drug makers have a wide variety of testing 88
needs, including testing to ensure that surfaces in their facilities are free of harmful microbes, that cleaners and disinfectants they use are effective and that packaging seals on their products provide a sufficient barrier against microbial contamination. “If a lab can’t provide all the testing services they need, they will just go somewhere else,” she says. “The loan allowed us to get everything we needed to get going quickly.” In total, the duo estimate that they have invested about $1.6 million in the business over the past two years. The other advantage to having their own facility was to provide plenty of room for expansion. Only about half the facility is dedicated to labs; the other half provides future space for a new product the McIvers have developed, an improved type of swab for pharmaceutical facilities testing. The current industry standard is known as a “contact plate.” It is basically a flat pad that’s put down on a surface, such as a countertop in a lab, then picked back up, sealed and sent off for testing. The alternative developed by the McIvers resembles a large,
singleended QTip in a testtube-style package. One end of the swab is attached to the bottom of the cap, so the user simply unscrews the cap, pulls out the swap, swipes an area, screws the cap back on, and sends it off to the lab. The advantage of the swab over the contact plate is that plates don’t work well on irregular surfaces or around corners, while the swab can used just about anywhere. The McIvers have also developed an irradiated packaging system for their swab which prevents the package from accidentally bringing contaminants into the lab itself, another improvement over normal contact plate packaging. At the moment, the new swab continues to fight something of an uphill battle. “The pharmaceutical industry is very conservative, and to drive change you have to have data, and even then they don’t buy off on it until it’s published in a peer-reviewed journal,” Dawn says. www.buildingindiananews.com
Which is precisely what will appear in the March/April issue of The PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology. The study, which validates Microworks’ claims that the swabs improve processes and provide better microbial recovery, is based on work done with one of the company’s clients. “They let us publish their data, and that’s very unusual,” Ed says. Currently, most of the production of the swabs is outsourced, but “our goal is to bring everything in-house,” he says. In addition to the swab, Microworks also continues to expand its testing capabilities. In early 2010, the company received its Food
and Drug Administration registration, which allows it to provide more services to pharmaceutical companies, and is on course to receive its Drug Enforcement Administration license by the middle of the year. That would allow Microworks to expand testing to legal controlled substances, such as morphine and various painkillers. At the same time, requirements that businesses perform testing continue to grow. Prior to founding Microworks, the McIvers spent 13 years doing similar work for the pharmaceutical industry as independent consultants, Ed says, “and we never had a downturn on the consult-
ing side,” in part because new regulations are always popping up. “There is a new requirement that hospitals do environmental monitoring if, for example, they will be compounding drugs for a patient,” Dawn notes. All these increased opportunities mean that Microworks “will probably add a couple more new people throughout the year,” Dawn says. Both she and Ed are natives of Hammond, and are pleased at the prospect of helping to reduce the “brain drain” from Indiana. “There are some really smart kids at Purdue,” Ed notes. “It’s great to be able to keep them here instead of watching them go away.”
Training Day Advanced Worksite Solutions, a division of Advanced Physical Therapy helps companies manage insurance and heath care costs through innovative injury prevention programs.
“Employers have begun to realize that they need to look beyond traditional occupational medicine if they want to really impact the bottom line.” Sheila Denman, Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Worksite Solutions
he field of physical and occupational therapy has changed substantially in the past 15 years. When Advanced Physical Therapy was founded in 1985, the focus was on the treatment of employees who had been injured in the workplace. But since the midNineties, the company has been on the leading edge of a nationwide move by physical and occupational therapy providers toward injury prevention as opposed to injury treatment “We are seeing more and more people adopt this model across the country,” says Sheila Denman, Chief Operating Officer for Advanced Worksite Solutions. “Employers have begun to realize that they need to look beyond traditional occupational medicine if they want to really impact the bottom line.” The key lies in enforcement of early reporting and changing how companies react to this early report of discomfort in the workplace. “Every company says they encourage early reporting,” Denman says, “but here’s what usually happens: an employee goes to a manager and says, ‘hey, my shoulder is bothering me.’ The manager asks, ‘do you need to see a doctor?’ The employee says, ‘nah, it’s not that bad yet,’ and the manager says, ‘well, if it gets worse, let me know.’” And so a golden opportunity for an early intervention is lost. Once that shoulder gets
worse, it’s too late. “Once more pain enters the picture, it’s now a case management issue,” Denman says, “and you have to deal with insurers and clinics and record keeping – so the cost has just increased substantially.”
u On-Site Solutions To address these types of issues, and many others, Advanced Physical Therapy established a division dedicated to innovative injury prevention solutions in 1995. Today, that division, Advanced Worksite Solutions boasts 25 full-time On-Site Injury Triage Specialists, all of whom are certified and licensed athletic trainers. These trainers spend virtually all their time at clients’ worksites throughout Indiana in order to address such early reports, and even identify situations which could lead to a more serious injury. These Specialists spend a significant portion of their day in “job coaching” and “body mechanics.” Job coaching is a matter of looking at how an employee performs a task, and then developing ways to mitigate the risk for injury. For example, a right-handed worker has a job that involves repeatedly taking items out of boxes, and is reaching into those boxes with the right arm. To reduce the chance of a repetitive stress injury, the employee is coached to alternate the use of each www.buildingindiananews.com
At A Glance Company: Advanced Physical Therapy and Advanced Worksite Solutions Founded: 1985 No. of Employees: 155 Headquarters: Indianapolis, services provides throughout Indiana, in Ohio, Tennessee and Califorrnia Web Site: www.advancedpt.com www.advancedworksitesolutions.com Phone: 317.390.5590 Primary Clinical Services: • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Work Conditioning • Consulting & Ergonomics • Progressive Work Centers • Functional Capacity Evaluations Services Available At: • 17 clinics statewide • 5 work conditioning centers • 8 major industries Primary Worksite Solution Services: • On-site Injury Prevention • Post-Offer Test development and implementation • Funtional Job Description Development • Job-site Assessments
arm. While this seems obvious, these easy changes are rarely enforced. Body mechanics involves education in proper lifting, and in reviewing the work space for potential ergonomic issues that could lead to injuries.
u Huge Dividends The Specialists also see any employees who want to report a problem, either work related or non-work – a part of their job that routinely surprises companies. “We had one company with about 75 employees, and management was intrigued by the program,” Denman relates. “So they said, ‘let’s give it a try.’ In the first week – the first week! – 25 www.buildingindiananews.com
percent of their workforce signed up to see the Specialist. They had no idea they had that many people with low-level complaints.” Sometimes, those complaints turn out to be something that does require additional medical attention or treatment, but about 80 percent of the issues employees bring to Specialists are fully resolved without any other medical care, Denman says. “For a small investment, this program pays huge dividends.” It also provides employers with a way to segue into wellness programs and, potentially, further reduce health care costs. “Say an employee was playing basketball the day before, and when he comes in, his hamstring has tightened up,” Denman says. “Even though this is not a work-related injury, if I were the company I would want that employee to see the Specialist, because I’m paying his health insurance, too.” Having the Specialist show the employee some stretching exercises to loosen up the hamstring may save a visit to the doctor’s office or a workrelated injury.
u Everyone Benefits Even companies that routinely maintain medical staff on site can benefit from adding a Specialist to the mix. “We have been doing this at multiple sites for a large Indiana employer for a very long time, even though
they have doctors and nurses everywhere,” Denman notes. Company doctors and nurses tend to concentrate on disease and illness, while the Specialists focus on costly musculoskeletal issues. Having an On-Site Injury Triage Specialist in an organization also frees up supervisors so that they can concentrate on the core responsibilities of their job. “Many employers have cut back on safety and human resources departments because of the economy, and they expect supervisors to take care of these kinds of issues,” Denman says. “But a supervisor’s job is to make sure that the work gets done, not how it gets done in a safe manner.” Could Advanced Physical Therapy’s injury prevention program benefit your company? Denman suggests a simple test: evaluate your ratio of minor reports to serious injuries. “For most companies, serious injuries will be far higher,” she says – in which case the company is positioned to reap long-term savings with an investment in injury prevention. “The bottom line is, companies don’t just have to keep paying premiums,” Denman says. “They can take steps to reduce injuries up front, which in turn will help control health care and worker’s compensation insurance premiums.” If your company is interested in these programs, contact Shelia Denman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enhanced Screening for New Hires As the economic recovery takes hold and companies begin hiring again, demand for Advanced Worksite Solutions’ post-offer testing program is also growing. Using this, companies can extend a job offer to a prospective employee that is contingent on them passing a test to see if they can actually perform the work for which they are being hired. “Right now, the pool of applicants is huge, and companies need some way to screen out those who can’t do the job,” Denman says. The failure rate for post-offer tests averages 18 percent. “So nearly two in 10 people that these companies were going to hire couldn’t even do the job,” she says. “I had one client tell me, ‘I’m going to see if I can guess who will and won’t pass based on my interviews,’ and he couldn’t. We have had people come in hiding serious injuries; if they had been hired, those companies would have just assumed a new worker’s comp case.”
Japan and Indiana,
the Lands of the Rising Sun Japanese investment and contributions to Indiana will be recognized at this year’s State Fair.
By Mike Murphy, President/CEO, Premier Consulting Services Inc.
his August, the 154th Indiana State Fair will, for the first time, devote exhibition space in the Grand Hall to an in-depth exploration of a place half a world away, yet at the same time closely connected with the Hoosier State: Japan. “The exhibit will feature displays on the Japanese family and culture, while capturing the positive economic impact of the partnerships between the state and Japan,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels. “The Indiana State Fair draws one million visitors annually, with the Japan Exhibition expected to be one of the largest Japan events to take place in North America in 2010.” The announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Daniels’ fifth trade mission to Asia last fall, after which the state and executives from Japan-based ITOCHU Corporation, a $1.6 billion trading and investment company, signed an official Memorandum of Understanding to signify joint collaboration toward economic growth. According to a 2009 Indiana University report, Japanese transplant companies and their capital investments have already made significant contributions to Indiana’s economy. Conducted by the Indiana Business Research Center at IU’s Kelley School of Business for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), it found that firms where a foreign investor or company had at least a 50 percent stake accounted for 4.6 percent of Indiana’s total private sector employment as of 2006, ranking the state ninth nationally and well above the U.S. average of 3.5 percent. Japan was the state’s single-largest source country, accounting for 22 percent of the 92
total employment by majorityowned U.S. affiliates (MOUSA) in Indiana. The study also found that investment commitments by Japanese companies will have the largest effect on future Indiana employment. Nearly 40 percent of Indiana’s FDI announcements in 2006-08 came from Japan, compared to 12 percent for other Midwest states and the U.S. There were at last count more than 220 Japanese transplant companies located in Indiana. Jointly, they have invested approximately $9 billion in the state, and now employ more than 43,000 workers. Among these transplants are Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Sony, Aisin, TBK America, Tomasco and TS Tech. Indiana is the only state which has three Japaneseowned final assembly plants within its borders. Stephen Akard, Director of International Development with the IEDC, reports that some Japanese transplant companies estimate that for each person directly em-loyed by these plants, three other jobs are created. Indiana also has the Japan-American Society of Indiana (JASI). Located in Indianapolis, JASI is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization with more than 1,200 individual and corporate members. JASI is set to play a key role in the Japan Exhibition at the State Fair. “The
Indiana Companies with Japanese InvestmenT
Source: Duke Energy, 2006
State Fair has already started that process by partnering with the Japan-America Society of Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in planning the exhibition.” said Daniels. “The Japan Exhibition will provide a family-friendly forum to engage thousands of Hoosiers on the value of our partnerships in a global economy and strengthen our partnerships with Japan and establish a new international tradition.” www.buildingindiananews.com
Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Directory Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP
135 North Pennsylvania St., Suite 1740 Indianapolis, IN 46204 (317) 686-9800 • Fax (317) 686-9821 www.gshllp.com Miriam A. Rich, Attorney at Law Miriam_rich@gshllp.com Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan provides workers’ compensation, labor and employment, insurance coverage and defense, contract support, corporate and transactional, environmental, and energy and regulatory legal counsel. We provide employers with litigation defense in areas including construction, real estate, transportation, property damage, and product liability. Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan is an MBE certified law firm with thirteen offices nationwide, including Indianapolis.
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP
103 East Lincolnway Valparaiso, IN 46383 (219) 465-7005 • Fax (219) 465-0603 www.hwelaw.com William F. Satterlee III, Managing Partner email@example.com Hoeppner Wagner & Evans exclusively represents employers in all employment areas, including worker’s compensation. HWE has extensive experience with fully insured and selffunded worker’s compensation plans in numerous industries. HWE handles all aspects of a claim including affirmative defenses and lien recovery. HWE also helps employers navigate through FMLA and ADA issues that routinely arise with claimed work injuries.
Kopka Pinkus Dolin & Eads, LLC
Schreiner, Malloy & Etzler P.C.
Our firm has a dedicated group of attorneys specializing in the practice of workers’ compensation defense vigorously protecting the rights of employers throughout Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. We are committed to providing litigation management strategies in a cost-conscious manner for insurance carriers, third party administrators and employers. Visit www.kopklaw.com to read our workers’ compensation newsletter.
Attorneys licensed in Illinois and Indiana, specializing in personal injury, worker’s compensation, social security disability and veteran’s disability benefits.
9801 Connecticut Drive Crown Point, IN 46307 (219) 794-1888 • Fax (219) 794-1892 www.kopkalaw.com Gene Pinkus, Partner firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Diagnostic Imaging
9635 Saric Court Highland, IN 46322 (219) 922-3901 Fax: (219) 922-3908 www.smelaw.com Timothy O. Malloy, Senior Partner email@example.com
521 E. County Line Road, Suite D Greenwood, IN 46143 (317) 846-0717 • Fax (317) 882-9423 www.indycdi.com Amy Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
703 Shotgun Rd., Building E Sunrise, FL 33326 (800) 996-1997 • (877) 674-7588 www.diagnosticsplus.org Cecelia I. O’Donnell, RN President/ CEO email@example.com
CDI has six convenient outpatient imaging centers in Indianapolis. Led by doctors specialized in the area of the body being imaged, we offer a full-range of medical imaging services, including high field wide-open MRI, CT and injections/pain management. What’s more, CDI can be 30-50% less expensive than other providers. Visit www.IndyCDI.com today to learn more about or locations and services!
Diagnostics Plus is the leading provider of quality medical imaging and electrodiagnostic services available including MRI, CT Scan, Bone Scan, Arthrogram, Discogram Lumber, Epidural Injections. Age of injury Assessments to assist you in adjusting your claims. Retrospective Bill Review conducted to negotiate reduction of previous bills for savings deeper than usual bill review companies provide.
Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute, Inc.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Orthopedic surgery, spine specialists, hand specialists, podiatry, pain management, rheumatology and clinical psychology.
The Indiana Wesleyan University College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers many programs geared towards the working, experienced adult. These programs are accredited and designed with quality standards. Programs of study include: business, education, nursing, criminal justice and accounting.
601 Gateway Blvd. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 921-1302 Fax (219) 921-0533 www.lbji.com Debbie Hemler, COO firstname.lastname@example.org
8415 Georgia St. Merrillville, IN 46410 (219) 769-5101 • Fax (219) 769-5104 http://merrillville.indwes.edu Mimi Schultz, Enrollment Manager email@example.com
Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Directory EDUCATION
Indiana Worker’s Compensation Institute, Inc.
PO Box 90320 Indianapolis, IN 46290 www.iwci.org Lisa Napier, President firstname.lastname@example.org IWCI’s mission is to promote and conduct programs of general education in worker’s compensation and related areas, assist members in improving their skills so they continue to be an asset to their employer, and provide financial support for charitable organizations and educational institutes that benefit the area of worker’s compensation.
8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1300 Indianapolis, IN 46240 (312) 965-9114 • (269) 469-3843 www.wcguru.com Cathi Rogers, President email@example.com WCGuru.com is a FREE interactive community, news and information portal dedicated to the workers compensation professional in Indiana. When you have questions, come to The Guru for answers. WCGuru is focused on material that will give you insight into practical issues and help maximize your time when searching for answers regarding news and contacts within Indiana.
EMPLOYER HEALTH SERVICES
Infinity Employer Health Solutions
Infinity brings to you, the employer, the only integrated medical model available that can be customized to meet the specific needs of your organization. Bringing together health promotion and wellness services, occupational health and safety services, prescription drug management program consultation, and onsite clinics / onsite services; this comprehensive model enables you to address all health care needs for your employees and dependents.
Pinnacle Hospital is a collaboration of multispecialty physicians and medical practitioners that bring together excellent medical and surgical care. Pinnacle Hospital has complete imaging and lab services, as well as Pinnacle Express Medical Care.
9301 Connecticut Drive Crown Point, IN 46307 (219)796-4151 • Fax (219)756-8626 www.pinnaclehealthcare.net Tonia Amaloo, Family Nurse Practitioner firstname.lastname@example.org
A Community Health Network Product 7240 Shadeland Station, Suite 110 Indianapolis, IN 46256 (317) 621-9599 • Fax (317) 621-1899 www.ecommunity.com/infinity Spencer Milus, RN, Executive Director of Sales email@example.com
Braman Insurance Services
8001 Broadway, Suite 300 Merrillville, IN 46410 (219) 738-2526 Fax (219) 738-1833 www.bramaninsurance.com Carla Cohen Employee Benefits Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org
130 S. Main St., Suite 400 South Bend, IN 46601 (574) 245-3546 • Fax (574) 236-6399 www.gibsonins.com Tania Bengtsson, Director of Marketing TBengtsson@gibsonins.com
Commercial, Employee Benefits, Personal, Home, and Auto Insurance
Community Healthcare System Occupational Health
Gibson Insurance Group is a leading regional, independent broker providing employee benefits, commercial, personal, and life insurance along with fully integrated risk management services of loss prevention and claims management. Our goal is to reduce your total cost of risk while maintaining a superior level of security to protect what matters most.
3 Convenient Locations St. Catherine – East Chicago (219) 392-7424 St. Mary Medical Center– Hobart/Portage (219) 947-6495 • Fax (219) 759-4604 www.comhs.org/occ_health/ Sandra Gazler, Regional Manager • Sgazler@comhs.org Community Healthcare System is a leading regional occupational health provider. We specialize in the prevention, treatment and management of work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as regulatory compliance services. We are committed to maintaining a close working relationship with you and providing professional, unbiased medical care. Injury Care – DOT Physicals – Drug Screening – On-site Wellness Screenings 94
Workforce Health, LLC
LaPorte and Michigan City, Indiana (219) 851-3827 • Fax (219) 325-6446 www.myworkforcehealth.com Brian McKee Sales & Marketing Representative email@example.com Workforce Health provides employers with one-stop shopping for all of their occupational health and wellness needs at our 2 La Porte County locations. We also offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), as well as ergonomic consulting and loss control services by our Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist. Ask for our reference list of satisfied employers. www.buildingindiananews.com
Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Directory Working Well
5 locations to serve you in NW Indiana - 5 after hour care locations 866-552-WELL (9355) www.workingwell.org Tim Ross – Regional Administrative Director - firstname.lastname@example.org Diana Bridges – Business Development Supervisor – email@example.com WorkingWell A Network of Occupational Healthcare is the leading provider of quality medical care for your workers compensation needs. We also take a proactive approach in wellness offering many programs to serve you. We are the only NAOHP Certified Occupational Health Program in Indiana and are rated among the Best in the Nation. We have been Voted Best Occupational Health Provider 5 years in a row by Northwest Indiana Business Readers (2006 – 2010).
Diveris Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, PC (DOSM)
8450 Northwest Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46278 (317) 802-2442 • Fax (317) 802-2131 www.orthoindy.com John Orr firstname.lastname@example.org
Specializing in knee disorders. PHYSICIAN
601 Gateway Blvd. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 921-1302 Fax (219) 921-0533 www.lbji.com Debbie Hemler, COO email@example.com
Orthopedic surgery, spine specialists, hand specialists, podiatry, pain management, rheumatology and clinical psychology.
South Bend Orthopaedics
53380 Carmichael Dr. South Bend, IN 46635 (574) 247-9441 • Fax (574) 247-9442 www.sbortho.com Kelly Gates firstname.lastname@example.org
Nationally, more than two-thirds of all worker’s compensation cases involve the musculoskeletal system, including the shoulder, elbow/forearm, wrist/hand, knee, foot/ankle or neck/spine. With more than 60 orthopaedic specialists, OrthoIndy can handle any musculoskeletal medical condition or injury. Whether the worker’s problem is an aggravating repetitive motion injury or a potentially devastating injury from an on-the-job accident, OrthoIndy is committed to restoring function and health to the injured worker.
Experienced Physicians in general orthopedic, hand, spine and podiatry specialties. Comprehensive services available for return to work: diagnostic imaging, industrial rehabilitation, work conditioning and hardening, job analysis, functional capacity evaluation, on-site return-to-work consultation. Assist employers with injury prevention, employee education, ergonomic consultation and post-offer employment testing.
1516 N. Main St. Crown Point, IN 46307 (219) 226-1500 • Fax (219) 226-0500 www.f1advantage.com Kevin Elo, Therapist/ Owner email@example.com A therapist owned and operated clinic, with over 11 years of experience. We take pride in providing our patients with the highest quality of care. In addition to outpatient physical therapy, we provide specialized and personalized services within industrial rehabilitation including work conditioning, FCE’s, injury prevention, post-offer employment screenings, onsite ergonomic analysis, and excellent communication with physician/ case managers. www.buildingindiananews.com
211 N. Eddy St. South Bend, IN 46617 (219) 395-4964 • Fax (574) 237-9259 www.specialtycare4u.com Ron Clark, M.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute, Inc.
Dedicated to treating work related injuries throughout Northwest Indiana for the past 17 years. Diveris Orthopedics is proficient in providing independent medical evaluations. DOSM is able to see injured workers within 48 hours or less utilizing an integrated scheduling and EMR services, comprehensive work status reports completed the same day and faxed within 24 hours.
1st Advantage Physical Therapy
Ron Clark, M.D.
333 W. 89th Avenue, Suite W1 Merrillville, IN 46410 (219)755-4448 • Fax (219)755-4454 www.diverisorthopedics.com Trudy Tieman, Practice Administrator email@example.com
RETURN TO WORK SERVICES
Advanced Consulting & Ergonomics 5949 W. Raymond St. Indianapolis, IN 46241 (317) 390-5590 • Fax (317) 486-2194 www.advancedergo.net Sheila Denman, Chief Operating Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
ACE offers a full range of services to promote wellness, post injury return to work, and safety on the job as well as Post Offer testing. ACE specializes in Workers’ Compensation injury management. 95
Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Directory Structured Settlements
10333 North Meridian, Suite 234 Indianapolis, Indiana 46290 Phone: 800-359-2924 • Fax 317-573-2444 www.ringlerassociates.com Charlene R. Johnson, Certified Structured Settlement Consultant email@example.com Ringler Associates assists in settlement negotiations in worker’s compensation cases. Ringler prepares settlement offers that include future tax-free, guaranteed periodic payments that address the needs of the injured worker within the parameters of the defendant’s liability and damage evaluation. Structured Settlements help settle cases faster, resulting in a win/win for all parties. There is no charge for Ringler’s services.
Community Healthcare System Occupational Health
3 Convenient Locations St. Catherine – East Chicago (219) 392-7424 St. Mary Medical Center– Hobart/Portage (219) 947-6495 • Fax (219) 759-4604 www.comhs.org/occ_health/ Sandra Gazler, Regional Manager • Sgazler@comhs.org Community Healthcare System is a leading regional occupational health provider. We specialize in the prevention, treatment and management of work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as regulatory compliance services. We are committed to maintaining a close working relationship with you and providing professional, unbiased medical care. Injury Care – DOT Physicals – Drug Screening – On-site Wellness Screenings
Coming May/June, 2010:
The Leading Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Professionals Directory Contact: Desiree@buildingindiananews.com
At SSS Fabrication We Are Building Our Future With Steel Commercial, Industrial, & Architectural Steelwork 96
Real Estate Marketplace 45TH ST. PROPERTIES LLC 2846 45th St S-b Highland, IN 46322
MUNSTER, IN FOR LEASE
1330 ARROWHEAD CT. 1330 Arrowhead Ct. Crown Point, Indiana 46307
CROWN POINT, IN FOR LEASE
Phone: 219-922-4554 Website: www.thepavilionon45th.com Broker Name: Marty Shreibak Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Square Feet Available: Option#1 21,300 sq. ft., Option#2 Outlot 16,000 sq. ft. Option#3 Outlot 3.5 acres Property Type: PUD Description: On 45th St, 1/2mile from US41, this location is Prime for Retail/Office with stoplight access. Great Signage and exposure. Outlot 1 on corner facing intersection.
Phone: 219-736-0014 ext. 127 or anytime cell 219-808-9635 Website: http://listingsbyjoel.wordpress.com Broker Name: Commercial Advantage, Inc. Building Size: 18,600 sf (+/-) Lot Size: 1.65 acres (+/-) Warehouse: Main 11,000 sf (+/-), North Wing 4,000 sf (+/-) Property Type: Light Industrial with 3,600 sq. ft. office Description: 7-10’ x 10’ Drive-in Doors - Lighted Parking Lot for 50+ Vehicles - 12’ Ceilings Multi-Tenant Friendly - Lease with Option to Purchase or Sale Option is also Available 3 Miles from I-65 & Hwy. U.S. 30 - Rear & Front Access to Gated Rear Parking Lot
BULK TRANSPORT CORP. BUILDING II
EAST CHICAGO INDUSTRIAL CENTER
4333 Ohio Street Michigan City, Indiana 46360
MICHIGAN CITY, IN FOR SALE
425 West 151st East Chicago, IN 46312
EAST CHICAGO, IN FOR LEASE
Phone: 219-879-7985 Website: http://www.icrex.net/listing/2004440 Broker Name: Commercial Investment Transactions, Inc. Email: email@example.com Total Square Feet: 92,800 Square Feet Available: 92,800 Property Type: Manufacturing Zoned M-2 of which 25,200 Sq. Ft. Office on 2 floors Description: Sturcture Sited up to 13.5 acres - 22 ft. clear height - 2,000 AMP 480,277 3 PHASE. Located next to 421, 20 I-94, I-65 (30 minutes), Chicago (60 minutes) Michigan State line (15 minutes).
Phone: 312-642-1800 ext. 11 Website: www.commercial-adv.com Broker Name: Commercial Advantage of Chicago, Inc. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Total Square Feet: 76,045 Industrial Square Feet: 74,229 Office Square Feet: 1,243 Property Type: M-1 (Industrial) Description: Building B, Bay 1 - Space is Divisble - Outdoor Storage - 5 Minutes from Major Interstate Highways - Enterprise/TIF Zone/Empowerment Zone - 75 Ton Crane and 57 Ton Crane, Both with 20 Ton Auxilary - Additional Units are Available up to 150,000 Square Feet
3001 Leonard Drive Valparaiso, IN 46383
VALPARAISO, IN FOR SALE/FOR LEASE
Phone: 219-879-7985 Website: http://www.icrex.net/listing/2004493 Broker Name: Commercial Investment Transactions, Inc. Email: email@example.com Total Square Feet: 27,000 Square Feet Available: 15,000 Property Type: Multi Tenant - Office Building Description: Three story, sited on 6.23 acres, within EASTPORT CENTRE Valparaiso 2009 Community of the Year. Located next to Porter County Airport, Hwy 30, 49 & 2, Port of Indiana (30 minutes) Chicago via I-94 Toll Road (60 minutes).
400 East State Hwy 212 FOR SALE Michigan City, IN 46360 Phone: 219- 879-7985 Website: http://www.icrex.net/listing/2067124 Broker Name: Commercial Investment Transactions, Inc. Email: Citi1@earthlink.com Total Square Feet: 97,362 Square Feet Available: 97,362 Property Type: Manufacturing, Distribution Description: 97,362 sq. ft. of which 92,362 sq. ft. manufacturing with office and a mezzanine of 4,460 sq. ft. containing office and storage. The improvements are in two structures built in 87 and 89 & broom clean with attractive finish located within a small industrial park. Ceiling heights 18 to 23 feet / Truck Docks: Building # 1: 3 dock height, 1 – drive in / Building #2: 3 dock height. Airport, I80, I94, Michigan State line within minutes of location.
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Contact us at 219-226-0300 or 317-632-1410 or email Desiree@buildingindiananews.com. www.buildingindiananews.com
MICHIGAN CITY, IN
358 W. Division St. Schererville, IN 46375
SCHERERVILLE, IN FOR SALE
Phone: 219-322-3030 Website: www.3-d-sales.com Broker Name: For Sale by Owner, contact: Russ Derderian Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Total Square Feet: 54,000 Square Feet Available: 3,000 office space, 2,400 warehouses Property Type: Industrial Distributor, Zoned Light Industrial Description: Office includes beautiful new interior with 6 private offices & conference room. Isolated office space, could sub-lease. Two warehouses, 1,200 sq. ft. each. Ample parking, room for semis. Space for expansion available. Located on major trucking route, low taxes. 97
LastWord opinion page
The Value of Responsibility Contract with responsible contractors on public work projects to ensure quality construction, on time and on budget.
By Marc R. Poulos and Melissa Binetti, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting
e’ve all heard that “lowest” doesn’t always mean “best.” It usually means lower cost, but this may also mean cutting corners with lower quality, poor performance and a decrease in safety, especially in the construction arena. So why do we presume that the “lowest” bidder will be the “best” contractor to perform work on a public work project? Certainly, our state, counties, cities, towns and school districts are struggling to save money and manage budgets. But is building a city hall, school addition, bridge or road that will need immediate maintenance or repair because it was constructed with low-quality materials or by less experienced workers providing greater taxpayer value? The simple answer is no. And the key to quality construction the first time, completed on time and on budget, means contracting with the lowest responsible contractor. Further, using quality materials and a well-trained work force does not mean paying top dollar. It means awarding a public work project to the lowest responsible contractor through the competitive bidding process. How does a public entity determine who is the lowest responsible bidder? Title 36 of the Indiana Code, discussing public work projects, lists the following factors: (1) the ability and capacity of the bidder to perform the work; (2) the integrity, character, and reputation of the bidder; and (3) the competence and experience of the bidder.
By adopting specific, objective criteria as minimum standards to be eligible to bid on a public works project, a public entity has greater assurance that each contractor seeking to perform the work is a responsible contractor. A few examples of criteria that a public entity may adopt through resolution or ordinance are: A copy of the contractor’s current Certificate of Existence from the Indiana Secretary of State. It seems obvious, but a responsible contractor is one that is registered and eligible to do business in the state. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for a contractor to change its name and operate as a different entity, with the same employees and equipment, to avoid liability for past violations of tax, workplace or other laws. Participation in a U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship program. USDOL-approved apprenticeship and training programs typically require thousands of hours of on the job training and hundreds of hours of classroom instruction. Participation in these programs helps ensure workers receive the skills, training and experience necessary to produce the highest quality construction in a safe and efficient environment. And training is not limited to apprentices; programs also offer journeypersons ongoing training as technology changes or as individuals seek to expand their skills. Information showing that individuals performing work on the project are properly classified as employees or independent contractors. Employee
misclassification is a local, state and national problem. Contractors have an incentive to misclassify individuals as independent contractors because misclassification relieves the contractors obligation to pay their share of social security taxes, federal unemployment taxes, workers’ compensation premiums and state unemployment insurance contributions, reducing payroll costs by 15 to 30 percent. Individuals who are misclassified do not have the protections of these and other worker protection laws. And it is probably not surprising that individuals filing taxes as independent contractors are more likely to underreport their personal income. Until there is comprehensive reform at the federal level, misclassification is an issue that must be addressed at the state and local level. Other responsible criteria may include a written program for employee drug testing; disclosing violations of workplace, tax and other laws; and evidence that the contractor provides health care and other benefits. While this final factor may raise some eyebrows, the fact of the matter is, workers without health benefits are net users of public services, whether it’s a trip to the emergency room that could have been avoided with preventative care, or reliance on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In short, establishing objective responsible bidder criteria helps ensure greater taxpayer value. Contracting with a responsible contractor will result in greater productivity, quality and reliability to get a public work project done safely, on time, and on budget.
The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the authors. We welcome your response. If you are interested in writing an opinion piece, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
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