Conexus Indiana honors Gov. Eric Holcomb with 2023 Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award for his commitment to Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has been named the 2023 Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award recipient, joining an exclusive group of Hoosiers recognized for extraordinary leadership and impact in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. Under his leadership, the state has seen steady growth in advanced manufacturing and logistics; in 2022 alone, the state worked with over 130 advanced manufacturing and logistics companies to commit to add 15,800 new jobs and invest $11.9 billion in Indiana.
Conexus Indiana presents the Vanguard Award each year to a Hoosier leader who champions the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. The award is named in honor of philanthropist and business leader Andre B. Lacy who left a large footprint on Indiana as a third-generation leader of his family business, Lacy Diversified Industries Ltd. (LDI). He passed away in November 2017.
Previous winners of the Vanguard Award, now in its sixth year, include Thomas V. Easterday, retired senior executive vice president of Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.; F. Joseph Loughrey, former president of Cummins Inc. and a founding member of Conexus Indiana; Cathy Langham, president and CEO of Langham Logistics Inc.; Robert Koch, chairman of Koch Enterprises Inc.; and Albert Chen, founder and executive chairman of the Board for Telamon.
“Since he first took office in 2017, Gov. Holcomb has seized every opportunity to strengthen the sector that powers a full third of the state’s GDP: advanced manufacturing and logistics,” said Fred Cartwright, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. “In keeping with the attributes of previous Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award honorees, the Governor also is innovative in his approach to investing in Indiana’s makers and movers and attracting new employers.”
Gov. Holcomb has dedicated himself to building on Indiana’s strengths by investing in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. Under his leadership, the state has added thousands of jobs and attracted investments from international operations while also nurturing growth in smaller, home-grown businesses.
In June 2020, Gov. Holcomb oversaw the creation of the Manufacturing Readiness Grants (MRG) program, which provides grants to help Indiana small- and mid-size manufacturers adopt smart manufacturing technologies, such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), cobots, artificial intelligence and machine learning known as Industry 4.0. As of May 2023, the program had distributed 425 grants totaling $45 million to companies in 73 counties, resulting in an estimated $629 million in capital investment. While the program was launched with funding through the COVID-19-era Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement Act (EASE) program, it has since been sustained and funded through two legislative budgets and will distribute another $40 million in grants over the next two years.
Building on the success of the MRG program, in 2022 the state launched the Education Readiness Grants program, which aligns high school education standards to the demands of Industry 4.0. To date, nearly $1 million has been awarded to high schools to purchase Industry 4.0 technologies, creating foundational exposure for high school students to today’s smart manufacturing technology.
Acknowledging Indiana’s success as an economic hub for advanced manufacturing and logistics depends on a robust talent pipeline. Governor Holcomb created Next Level Jobs, a first-of-its kind program that supports Indiana’s goal of having at least 60 percent of Hoosiers with a quality credential beyond a high school diploma by 2025. By 2021, 50,000 Hoosiers had enrolled to complete a high-demand certificate program through tuition-free certificates in five of the state’s most sought-after sectors, including advanced manufacturing and logistics.
Other milestone initiatives include:
- Strengthening the state’s computer chip industry, attracting Taiwan-based MediaTek, which plans to establish a new semiconductor design center in partnership with Purdue University, and U.S.-based SkyWater Technology, which is building a $1.8 billion semiconductor R&D and production facility in West Lafayette. The state is also investing in WestGate One, a new microelectronics hub in Daviess County, to advance American-made microelectronics. The new campus has already attracted four semiconductor companies investing more than $300 million and creating up to 549 new jobs in the coming years.
- Investing in the development of Indiana’s electric vehicle (EV) industry, securing more than $3 billion in investments from companies to build EVs and EV batteries here.
- Establishing the first research and innovation district – LEAP (Limitless Exploration / Advanced Pace) – in Lebanon, Ind. anchored by Eli Lilly and Company, which is investing $3.7 billion and creating nearly 700 new jobs.
- Investing $500 million in quality of place projects and programs through Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) Grants, transforming Indiana communities, attracting talent and fueling $9 billion in expected investment.
- Signing into law, legislation that will generate $1.2 billion annually in new funding for infrastructure investments – buttressing the network of roads and bridges that the advanced manufacturers and logistics companies rely on every day.
Learn more about the Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award, which is announced annually in May.
About Conexus Indiana
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to innovate, invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, visit conexusindiana.com.