Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Industry experts are being joined by state and federal officials for the 10th annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit May 30th.

Assistant Vice President for Industry Research and Outreach John Schneider says the university is often perceived as a leader in the sector.

Alcoa breaks ground on new aluminum casting facility

May 17, 2012

Alcoa is celebrating the launch of construction of its state-of-the-art aluminum lithium casting plant.

The company held a groundbreaking this morning at its plant in Lafayette.

Alcoa’s president of Forgings and ExtrusionsEric Roegner says the expanded facility will allow the company to manufacture products that will revolutionize the airline industry.

The new venture will create approximately 75 full-time jobs, as well as approximately 150 additional jobs during the course of construction.

Production is expected to start in 2014.

Larger plant, more jobs planned for SIA

May 16, 2012

As many as 100 new jobs are coming to Lafayette due to an expansion at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant.

SIA is investing approximately $75 million over the next two years to increase production capacity. Construction is expected to begin this summer on a 52,000 square-foot build out of the body assembly section.

Executive Vice President Tom Easterday say there is strong customer demand for the Outback and Legacy models.

Hackathon aims to help Lafayette area businesses

May 4, 2012


Technology developers in Greater Lafayette are coming together to address local business issues.

Local non-profit Lafayettech is hosting a “Community Apps Hackathon” Saturday, May 5. It’s at its hub 580 N 36th St, Suite A, Lafayette.

Organizers are calling on participants to develop software using city data on building permits, code violations, and utilities.

Lafayettech President Nelu Lazar hopes the event will help integrate technology into local business efforts.

Construction is beginning soon on a new manufacturing plant in Lafayette.

Heartland Automotive is building on Veterans Memorial Parkway so it can expand its business. The company makes car parts for Subaru and Toyota, and currently is on Kepner Drive in Lafayette.

Senior Vice President Ronan Miot says they’re running out of space at that facility.

"We want to be closer to our customers, to better service them as well. So, in the past couple years, we've expanded our production and we feel the need to expand and be closer to them is the right time, right now."

Mann Foundation backs out of Purdue partnership

Apr 26, 2012

A foundation that pledged $100 million to Purdue will come up about $80 million short of its commitment.

The Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering is backing out of its agreement with Purdue on the Mann Institute on the West Lafayette campus. The entity helps commercialize life science technologies through early-stage funding and business guidance.

John Hertig is the executive director of the Institute. He says he was surprised when the Mann Foundation announced its decision about a month ago.

Dow AgroSciences unveiles new lab

Apr 24, 2012

A new facility in the Purdue Research Park will develop new technologies for the seed industry.

The Dow AgroSciences Seed Quality Control Lab was dedicated Tuesday.

Work at the 35,000 square foot greenhouse research center will aim to improve seed quality for crops.

Purdue Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge  says the facility is important for the future of farming not only in Indiana, but around the world.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation provided a $2.2-million grant to assist in the construction of the greenhouse.

Indiana added 5,300 private sector jobs last month, and its unemployment rate dropped for the fourth straight month to 8.2% in March, its lowest level in more than three years.  It’s also the first time since last year that the state and U.S. unemployment rates were at the same level.

Ball State economist Michael Hicks says Indiana’s economy is showing good growth compared to other states, particularly those in the Midwest.

Mike Loizzo / WBAA

The Wabash Commons retail development in West Lafayette is getting another tenant.

Farmers & Merchants Bank is opening a new branch at the Sagamore Parkway site. The bank has branches in Boswell, Otterbein, and West Lebanon.

President Grant Whaley says many existing customers have moved to the West Lafayette area or do much of their business here.

"Our bank is a small, locally owned bank, but we want to keep growing. So, we looked around and said, 'Where's a market we can come into, and keep growing?' And West Lafayette is just ideal."

Equal Pay Day

Apr 17, 2012

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, the day when an average woman’s earnings catch up to her male counterpart’s earnings from last year. 

A new report from the National Women’s Law Center, a women’s advocacy organization, shows that women in the United States earn 77 cents to every dollar men earn.  And Indiana is worse – its wage gap is 72 cents to the dollar, fifth worst in the country.