INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's commerce agency already has topped its prior record for annual job commitments with seven weeks still to go in the year.
State Commerce Secretary Jim Schellinger said the 270 companies recruited by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. so far in 2017 have pledged to create 28,846 jobs for Hoosiers.
That surpasses the previous peak of 27,620 pledged jobs reached in 2012 on the eighth anniversary of the IEDC's establishment by Republican former Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Schellinger said the positions promised this year will have an average hourly wage of $27.38.
He noted that's well above the $21.52 average hourly wage for all jobs in the state.
In addition, he said companies working with the IEDC have promised to make more than $6.7 billion in capital improvements to their Indiana facilities.
"Hoosiers across our state will benefit from this achievement," Schellinger said.
Typically not every job that companies pledge to the IEDC will be created. That's one reason why Indiana only awards tax incentives to companies once they begin employing Hoosiers.
Records show the bulk of the 2017 jobs and investment incentivized by the IEDC are due to be located in central and northeast Indiana.
At the same time, Northwest Indiana was home to one of the most significant single job announcements of the year.
In August, HMD Trucking, a transportation and logistics service provider, announced that it will move its corporate headquarters from Chicago Ridge, Illinois, to a new, $6 million building in Gary, and hire up to 500 new workers by 2021.
"Locating at this site in Gary is a perfect match and we look forward to a long and valued relationship with the city and the state of Indiana," said Henry Malukas, HMD Trucking president and founder.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said deals like that are proof that "Indiana's pro-business environment continues to be heard around the world."
The Republican vowed that in 2018: "We will take Indiana to the next level with an unwavering focus on the issues that matter most to Hoosiers and our state's vitality."