Annie Ropeik

IPBS Economy Reporter

Annie Ropeik is the economy and business reporter for the Indiana Public Broadcasting network, based at WBAA. She’s covered farming, fisheries and other industries at public radio stations from Massachusetts and Delaware to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and earned accolades from the Alaska and Delaware Press Clubs for her reporting on rural business issues. Originally from Silver Spring, Md., Annie has a Hoosier mother and a degree in classics from Boston University. She also performs a mean car concert, boasts a worryingly encyclopedic knowledge of One Direction lyrics and is a Hufflepuff.

A Silicon Valley tech company is relocating to Carmel, in what state officials are touting as a win for Indiana's business-friendly climate.


San Mateo, Calif.-based Determine uses cloud technology to help companies store and manage contract data from start to finish. Its clients include AOL, Kellogg's and Sony Music Entertainment.


David Wilson /

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal, whose largest North American mill is at Indiana Harbor in East Chicago, is introducing a new high-strength steel for cars.

It's part of an effort to boost profits at the world's largest steel producer by volume -- amid an uncertain time for the industry.

The new steel is designed for the interior rails and pillars that make cars safer during a crash.

A spokesperson from Arcelor says it should make cars lighter and cheaper to produce when it's rolled out next year.  

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana is seeing a boom in manufacturing job creation – outpacing most of the country. And even more jobs will open up as baby boomers retire.

Many businesses are working harder to fill those jobs with military veterans, like 57-year-old Tim Turner.

Right now, he shares a house on a quiet street northwest of downtown Indianapolis with two other formerly homeless veterans.

Peter M Graham /

For the first time since 2013, Indiana's Farm Service Agency is running out of loan funding for banks and farmers.

A spike in loan applications has put the FSA close to its own lending record.

The agency lends money in two ways: directly to farmers for costs such as equipment upgrades or crops, and to local lenders as a sort of insurance on loans those groups give to farmers.

United Soybean Board

Farmers will soon have one place to store and share all the data they need to do business --  from crop yields to soil samples.

The Agricultural Data Coalition's new service is modeled after an online banking system.

The group of farm service companies and land grant institutions hopes it will refine workflow across a broad business network, where reliance on data has grown with technology.  

Carmel-based nursing home developer Mainstreet is now trading publicly in Canada as they expand nationally -- but not in Indiana, which has a moratorium on new nursing homes.

The company's new public affiliate, Mainstreet Health Investments, is worth almost half a billion dollars. It'll be traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Annie Ropeik


Subaru is ahead of schedule on hiring 1,200 new workers at its only factory in the U.S., in Lafayette.

A thousand new employees are already at work at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), gearing up to start making new Outback and Impreza models later this year.

Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R) visited the plant on Thursday and praised the hire:

"It's a lot more fun if you're an elected representative to go to a building where they're adding people rather than subtracting them," he said.


Wikimedia Commons

A federal court in Chicago handed down a big win for workers last week. It said a Wisconsin tech company cannot stop employees from filing group labor lawsuits -- and that could have effects in Indiana.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Madison-based Epic Systems couldn't make employees waive their right to team up in court.

It nullified the arbitration agreement workers signed when they were hired, on the grounds it infringed on a federally protected right.

Center for Land Use Interpretation

A federal commission is launching an investigation into whether China stole trade secrets to fix steel prices.


It's a major victory for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, which made the complaint that sparked the probe.

The major Northwest Indiana employer alleges that China broke the law to flood the steel market with cheap exports -- that it drove down American steel prices and cost thousands of U.S. jobs.

The state is looking for small towns in need of some rebranding to apply for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, now in its third year.

The program tries to help communities of fewer than 25,000 residents revitalize their economies.


In their first two years, Hometown Collaboration coaches helped train local leaders and plan new amenities in 10 small towns and counties.