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Gov. Eric Holcomb told Indiana factory owners Wednesday that he and the state legislature will do more this year to help find and train new workers.

At the Indiana Manufacturers Association’s annual legislative briefing, Holcomb said he knows factories are struggling to find enough qualified employees.

A northern Indiana RV-maker will add more than 400 new jobs in LaGrange County in the next two years, as the region’s mainstay industry continues to rebound.

Forest River is one of northern Indiana’s leading recreational vehicle manufacturers, employing 11,000 Hoosiers in Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

It now plans to repurpose several empty factories in the small town of LaGrange and add 425 jobs. It’s receiving tax incentives from the town and state to do so.

 

President-elect Donald Trump is doubling down on his criticisms of U.S. trade relationships with China and Mexico, which has some wondering if a trade war is in the works.

Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer says the hallmark of a trade war is retaliation.

For example, higher U.S. taxes on Chinese steel imports could make China chooser to buy fewer American products, including those from Indiana, like soybeans or engine parts.

But DeBoer says even threat of a trade war is already affecting Hoosiers.

A Minnesota steel company is spending almost $9 million dollars to grow its operations at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor, as state officials say they’ll prioritize Indiana ports and infrastructure investment in 2017.

Ratner Steel Supply plans to double the size of its four-year-old operations in Portage, just east of Gary.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says Ratner will add a few dozen jobs and expand its ability to ship steel across the Region.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

State leaders have pinned Indiana’s economic fortunes to regional economic development initiatives.  

Many programs have been created in the last few years to foster cooperation between nearby counties and cities.

But as WBAA’s Chris Morisse Vizza reports, at least two West Central Indiana mayors say the inherent instinct to compete for jobs and corporate investment is an obstacle.

Workers celebrated at Indianapolis’s Carrier factory Thursday when President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced a deal to save more than 1,000 of their jobs.

Dawnn Kinnard is a second-generation Carrier worker whose father still works there too, after 44 years. After listening to Trump speak, she says she was heartbroken when she first found out they’d lose their jobs.

“Today I’m elated, really just to get my dad to be able to retire when he wants to retire,” Kinnard says.

 

Carroll County will be home to a $350 million, first-of-its-kind recycling plant that will turn old plastic car parts into diesel fuel, officials announced Tuesday.

The GEP Fuel & Energy plant will employ about 250 people in Camden by 2020.

That represents about one job for every four Camden residents – something Jim Staton of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation noted at the packed factory announcement in the town’s community center.

A judge has thrown out an antitrust claim against China by U.S. Steel. It’s the latest twist in the Northwest Indiana steel giant’s months-long bid to ban Chinese steel imports.

International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord rejected the Pittsburgh-based company’s antitrust complaint against China. But it’s not the only trade case that U.S. Steel has in the works with the ITC.

 

After decades of manufacturing job losses, some Hoosier cities with majority white populations are bouncing back. But Gary, which is mostly black, is still struggling to stabilize.

It’s where former steelworker Mike Mitchell grew up. He pulls up to an empty lot on a quiet side street and stops his car.

“That’s where we used to stay,” he says.

The house where he grew up was torn down years ago. Now, it’s just weeds and wood scraps.

The first Impreza rolled off the line at Subaru’s only North American factory, in Lafayette, on Tuesday.

The car-maker hired 1,400 people, for a total staff of 5,500, and invested $1.3 billion to start producing the new model.

Subaru’s Lafayette capacity has grown 55 percent in the past two years, to nearly 400,000 vehicles a year.

They’re all made with parts from 28 Indiana suppliers, and steel from Northwest Indiana, says executive vice president Tom Easterday.

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