The South Central Indiana Economic Development Group (SCIEDG) is comprised of the local economic development organizations (LEDOs) in a 10-county area and the River Ridge Commerce Center, with strong support and assistance from partners such as Duke Energy and Hoosier Energy. Members collaborate regularly with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and other regional organizations in an effort to increase marketing of the South Central Indiana region.
Within each issue of our newsletter, we enjoy highlighting one of our member communities or partners. This month, we highlight Matt Hall, the executive vice president of One Southern Indiana, the chamber of commerce and economic development office for Clark and Floyd counties; the counties, which include the communities of Jeffersonville, New Albany and Clarksville, lie within the Louisville, Ky., metro area.
When Southern Indiana business leaders took on the task of creating One Southern Indiana by combining the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Indiana Economic Development Council (SIEDC), and the visioning group SI2020, they had the forethought to know economic development is the key to unlocking Southern Indiana’s future. After 15 years with the SIEDC, Matt was selected to head up One Southern Indiana’s (1si) new economic development efforts in July 2006.
Matt has worked in various capacities to bring an array of commerce and jobs to Southern Indiana’s economy. Among the companies Matt and his team have attracted and expanded are Amazon, Autoneum, BriovaRx, Caterpillar Logistics, Denso, Heartland Payment Systems, Hitachi Cable Indiana, Niagara Bottling, NIBCO, TG Missouri, Toyota Tsusho, MedVenture Technology and Connextion Inc.
This winter, Matt announced One Southern Indiana’s 180th successful project location since the organization’s founding. Collectively, these 180 projects are investing more than $1.5 billion in new capital and have committed to creating more than 15,000 new Hoosier jobs, representing nearly $600 million annually in new payroll dollars in Southern Indiana.
Matt recently was named one of North America’s top 50 economic developers by Consultant Connect and was recognized for 30 years of work in economic development. He also was named one of the Louisville, Ky., region’s 20 People to Know in Economic Development.
As One Southern Indiana is a long-time member of the South Central Indiana Economic Development Group, Matt has participated in a number of marketing and outreach trips to Japan and Europe with his colleagues and friends from other communities in Southern Indiana.
“You couldn’t ask for a better group of partners than my colleagues in SCIEDG,” Matt said. “They are all outstanding professionals with a passion to bring the message of South Central Indiana to the world.”
Reflecting on the changes and challenges Matt has experienced over the years, he said he believes the potential for economic growth and business development in South Central Indiana has never been greater.
“We have plenty of reasons to be excited about the future of our region. Making the case for why South Central Indiana is poised for tremendous growth and opportunity is not a stretch,” he said.
“Here in South Central Indiana, we pride ourselves on making the most of our opportunities and our assets, and we’re looking for folks with like minds,” he said. “We seek to attract hard-working, forward-thinking people who want a welcoming location for their company to grow or expand. Whether you own and operate a small mom-and-pop business on Main Street or you manage the North American headquarters facility for a multi-national conglomerate, South Central Indiana is the place you and your family would be proud to call home.”
Several major infrastructure projects were completed in Southern Indiana and throughout the Louisville metro area within the last few years, with positive outcomes found in much smoother driving over shortened routes. You may not even realize you’re driving between cities and states, thanks to the ease and convenience resulting from the completion of two new interstate bridges across the Ohio River and the detangling of several knots of congestion.
“The East End bridge across the Ohio River, between Southern Indiana and Louisville, came at the perfect time,” said Matt, given the bridge’s northern end lies between two bustling centers of industry and activity in Southern Indiana: the River Ridge Commerce Center and the Port of Indiana – Jeffersonville.
High levels of interest continue to surround the River Ridge Commerce Center (www.RiverRidgeCC.com) a prime, 6,000-acre business and industrial park on the east side of Jeffersonville, extending northeast to Charlestown, with fantastic logistics and serious infrastructure cred. Now about 30 percent developed, the River Ridge Commerce Center is home to approximately sixty companies. Development also is underway on a significant office campus – dubbed the Gateway Project – within the property. And rail access also lies within the park, while proximity to Interstates 265, 65, 64 and 71 is convenient and only a few minutes away.
Nearer the river, nearly five miles from the River Ridge Commerce Center, lies the Port of Indiana – Jeffersonville (www.PortsofIndiana.com/Jeffersonville), an industrial property of approximately 1,000 acres, and the Louisville area’s most active river port. The port’s location at Mile Marker 597 on the Ohio River offers excellent access to the Mississippi River and points downriver, such as New Orleans, and markets in Asia and elsewhere. The port’s substantial rail infrastructure is another key attribute, as is the port’s operation of Foreign Trade Zone #170, which allows companies to compete globally through savings on certain import duties.
“Plus, we’re fortunate our communities lie only 20 miles or less from the Louisville International Airport (SDF), the home of UPS’ largest global air hub,” said Matt.
Given the combination of assets within and near the River Ridge Commerce Center, the port, the Louisville airport and the Clark County Regional Airport (KJVY), the area is the heart of what Matt refers to as the “Fouridor,” a business corridor on the move thanks to the “Four Rs” – rail, river, roads and runways.
“We weathered the latest recession, and our diversity of businesses and innovations has a lot to do with it,” Matt said. “We make or process everything from red-hot cinnamon candies to light-up novelty toys to corn and soybeans to auto parts.”
“The events of the last few weeks have led to turmoil and uncertainty across the country and the world,” Matt said, “but I’m confident our people and our industries will come back and be stronger than ever throughout South Central Indiana.”