Region celebrates Manufacturing Day

MFG DAY logoBusinesses, educators, economic development professionals and others throughout our region are taking time to celebrate National Manufacturing Day, which is Friday, Oct. 3.

There’s no doubt manufacturing is one of our most critical industry sectors. Last year, manufacturing supported one in six private-sector jobs and contributed $2.08 trillion to the national economy. That’s 12.5 percent of GDP.

It’s exciting to see our region’s existing manufacturers expand and new companies locate here, bringing more opportunities to workers and families. And these are not just any opportunities.

Advanced manufacturing is creating more and more technology-driven, high-paying jobs in fields such as robotics, information technology, physics, chemistry and more. Today’s workforce and the workforce of the future must be aware of these career prospects and the training that will prepare them for success. As manufacturing grows, so does its demand for employees with technical and analytical skills. In fact, according to the Manufacturing Institute, more than 82 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers.

Across our region, people are working together to address this challenge and help students and job seekers take full advantage of these career opportunities. And as Manufacturing Day approaches, some are paying special recognition to this innovative, promising sector.

Among those recognizing Manufacturing Day are Grayson County Schools, the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce and local manufacturers, who recently wrapped up their Manufacturing Week. A long list of activities included bringing 300-plus eighth-graders into manufacturing facilities to learn more about a variety of careers, from production to engineering to business administration.

Also, Hardin County Schools’ Early College and Career Center is set to host Manufacturing, Business and Industry Day on Oct. 2. Students will be able to interact with the district’s business and industry partners and learn more about the vibrant career paths of the manufacturing sector.

Elsewhere, One Southern Indiana’s Metro Manufacturing Alliance members, along with regional partners, will come together on Oct. 3 to educate the public about the numerous opportunities available in our diverse manufacturing industry. The day begins with area manufacturers exhibiting for area students at 8:30 a.m. A press conference is set for 9 a.m. at the Perkins Technology Center at the Ivy Tech Jeffersonville Campus. A tour of the center and its mobile STEM training laboratory will follow the press conference.

Additionally, as part of the Southern Indiana regional activities, students, parents, educators and the public are invited to take advantage of tours and open houses hosted by a number of area manufacturers including Owings Patterns in Sellersburg, Amatrol, Key Electronics, Flow Aero, BriovaRx and Transformation Network in Jeffersonville, S&J Precision and ERL, Inc., in New Albany, Diverse Woodworking in Corydon and Knight School of Welding in Louisville.

Our hats are off not only to the businesses and talented employees of this vital industry sector, but also to the community partners who agree the great things happening in manufacturing are worth celebrating and sharing.

They’re Looking for a Few Great Ideas

Attention Indiana Entrepreneurs — Mark August 28 on your calendars. That’s when the 2nd Annual Risk-It Competition, sponsored by the Southeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), is being held.

“The competition is a great opportunity for Indiana entrepreneurs to show off their best and most innovative ideas,” said Blayr Barnard,  Regional Director, ISBDC. “So if you’re an entrepreneur with an exceptional idea for a new business, product, or process, you are encouraged to enter.”

Six to eight finalists will be chosen by members of the Southeast ISBDC, from entries received prior to July 15, 2013, and contacted by email. And all entries will be eligible for no-cost counseling from ISBC’s knowledgeable staff.

Finalists will travel to historic Madison, Indiana’s Venture Out Business Center on August 28 to present their ideas to assembled guests and a select panel of judges. Each finalist will have five minutes to make their pitch to the audience and judges, and both the audience and judges will vote on the idea that they believe to be the best and most marketable.

Three awards will be given: the Judge’s 1st and 2nd Place Awards, and the People’s Choice Award. The Judge’s winners will receive cash awards: $2500 for 1st place, $1000 for 2nd, as well as other valuable benefits including the opportunity to work with the ISBDC and other local business professionals to develop their idea into a viable business venture. The People’s Choice winner will receive half of admission fees (based on audience size).  Winners be announced that night and further honored at the LEADS Indiana Awards Luncheon in Jeffersonville, Indiana on November 13, 2013.

To learn more about the Risk-It competition, and to submit your entry, visit It’s a great opportunity to help bring your best idea to fruition, and a great way for Indiana to encourage entrepreneurial thinking.

Disney Institute Coming to Ivy Tech, Teaching Creativity and Innovation

Our region is a place where innovation and creativity are encouraged and valued. And this year, we again have the opportunity to learn from one of the most creative, successful and innovative organizations in the world.

That’s right The Walt Disney Company is coming back to Indiana. The professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company, Disney Institute, will be at Ivy Tech Community College in Southern Indiana on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

The Disney Institute operates to engage organizations in time-tested best practices, sound methodologies, and real life business lessons that facilitate corporate culture change.

Ivy Tech Community College is offering the program, “Disney’s Approach to Creativity and Innovation.” Learn how the company continues to successfully engage and organize the creative power of its employees.  This interactive full-day event will teach participants skills to analyze their own organizations, and innovative ways to  create action steps that will maximize the flow of creativity among their employees.

Who Should Attend
Managers and those interested in benchmarking the business practices of the highly regarded Disney Company, learning more about their well deserved reputation for creativity and innovation, and how to foster this type of culture within your organization.

You will learn how to:

  • Adapt Disney concepts and practices for optimizing creativity and innovation.
  • Structure a foundation for a collaborative culture within your organization.
  • Promote an organizational identity that unites employees in a common purpose.
  • Encourage risk taking with a strong, well-communicated organizational identity.
  • Improve business results through effective structural systems.
  • Evaluate the links between leadership and organizational creativity and innovation.

Here are more specifics, including registration and cost information:

Who: Organization Executives, Business Managers & Team Leaders

When: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Where:  Ivy Tech Community College Ogle Hall, Horseshoe Community Room

8204 Highway 311, Sellersburg, IN  47172


Early Bird Special……..$359.00
After July 2, 2013……..$399.00
Group of 4……………..$1,400.00 ($350.00 per person)
Group of 8……………..$2,500.00 ($312.50 per person)

Groups/Registration: Angela Henderson (800) 321-9021 ext. 4704 or

Additional Questions: Michael Wolf (812) 248-4232 or

Register Online:

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Standard Register Company Expands Footprint into Southern Indiana

In a press release issued yesterday, One Southern Indiana announced that a new digital print and distribution center will soon open in River Ridge Commerce Center, creating more than 300 new jobs. Read the press release in its entirety below:

Jeffersonville, Ind. (March 26, 2013) – One Southern Indiana (1si), the chamber of commerce and economic development organization serving Clark and Floyd Counties, today announced Standard Register, a national workflow, communications and analytics solutions provider, will locate a new national digital print and distribution center in River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville, Ind. creating up to 360 new jobs by 2016. 

“The business climate in Indiana and desirable central location combined to make this a very attractive investment for Standard Register,” said Joseph P. Morgan, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Standard Register. 

“Our business climate provides cost, workforce and location advantages that put Indiana on the map as a state that works for business,” said Governor Mike Pence. “We’re honored that Standard Register has chosen the Hoosier State to expand and more efficiently operate its business, creating many new career opportunities for southeast Indiana workers.” 

The Dayton, Ohio-headquartered company will invest nearly $10 million to lease and renovate a 335,000 square-foot facility in the River Ridge Commerce Center, a state-certified shovel ready site in Clark County. The center, which is expected to be operational this summer, will house digital printing and distribution operations. Some operations from existing Standard Register facilities will be transferred to the new center. 

“This is further evidence that having a state-certified Shovel Ready Site matters when it comes to business attraction,” said Crossdock Development, Inc. President Lee Wilburn. “Through the Indiana Shovel Ready Program, we developed a state-of-the art facility that will benefit Standard Register. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome this outstanding company to our facility.” 

“It’s extremely exciting to have Standard Register join the growing list of diverse and vibrant companies discovering the many advantages a location at River Ridge Commerce Center affords,” said Jerry Acy, Executive Director of River Ridge Commerce Center. “We celebrate their location decision and look forward to their future success as our latest corporate resident.” 

“We are overjoyed Standard Register chose River Ridge Commerce Center as its location for this exciting project,” said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore. “The opportunities these 360 positions provide for our citizens are remarkable. And turning a vacant facility into an enhanced asset for both the company and the community is a definite win-win. The City of Jeffersonville wholeheartedly welcomes this dynamic company to our business community.” 

Founded 100 years ago, Standard Register has grown to more than 2,200 employees at 30 locations nationwide. The new Jeffersonville center will be the company’s second Indiana location. The company also has a facility in Shelbyville, Ind. which employs approximately 85 full-time associates. 

“Economic development is a team sport,” said Wendy Dant Chesser. “The benefits southern Indiana gains with Standard Register’s decision to locate here is a perfect illustration of a committed group of partners working toward shared results. On behalf of all 1si members and investors, I want to welcome Standard Register as southern Indiana’s newest corporate citizen.” 

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered The Standard Register Company up to $2,300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $175,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning that until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. At the request of 1si, River Ridge Development Authority will consider additional property tax abatement through the business park’s enterprise zone. 

Standard Register is 1si’s 91st economic development announcement since its creation in July 2006. Collectively, these projects have committed to the creation of 8,707 new jobs representing $300,627,118 annually in new payroll dollars into southern Indiana’s regional economy. Together, these companies are investing $558,246,579 in new capital in Clark and Floyd Counties. 

About Standard Register:
Standard Register (NYSE: SR), celebrating 100 years of innovation, helps its customers optimize enterprise workflow and adapt to the rapidly-changing communications landscape with a portfolio of printed and digital communications and marketing solutions. In an environment where communication is more interactive than ever, faster than ever, delivered through more channels than ever and with results more measurable than ever, Standard Register provides value with industry-specific insights and by developing, executing and analyzing compelling communications campaigns to engage with targeted audiences. More information is available at

About One Southern Indiana:
One Southern Indiana (1si) was formed in July of 2006 as the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization serving Clark and Floyd Counties. 1si’s mission is to provide the connections, resources and services that help businesses innovate and thrive in the southern Indiana/Louisville metro area. 

Since its inception, the organization has evolved to include a three-prong approach to serve its members and investors. Business Resources, as the chamber side of the organization, encompasses membership, signature events and programs which support and encourage business growth; Economic Development works to grow the regional economy through the attraction of new commerce and assists with retention and expansion of existing businesses; Advocacy supports businesses at the government level by engaging in initiatives to preserve, protect and promote a business friendly environment free of obstacles to growth and development of commerce.

From Rail to Trail—Big Four Bridge Opens to Pedestrians and Bicyclers

Big Four Bridge openingIt’s a project that has been in the works for more than two decades for the Waterfront Development Corp., but now the vision has become a reality. The Big Four Bridge that formerly served as a railroad bridge, officially opened to pedestrians and bicyclers today, February 7, 2013. This monumental development serves as a tremendous effort to connect the region between Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana, and to promote health and wellness.

Waterfront Development Corp. Executive Director David Karem said that this is “clearly the most anticipated project of Waterfront Park.”

The bridge originally got its name in 1895 from the railroad cities that were serviced through this railroad bridge—Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis—but a train hasn’t chugged across this bridge since the late 1960s.

Work on the Louisville side totaled $12 million to convert the railroad bridge to a cross-river bridge. The Indiana ramp, which is still under construction, has an estimated cost of $10 million. New cables for light installation were added along with metal benches, control boxes, and finishing wire for lights extending the Kentucky-side ramp.

Although Karem said that this 2,525 foot long bridge may still undergo some “fine tuning,” it is ready for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The informal ceremony this morning was presided over by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore. A dedication service is planned for mid-2013 when the Jeffersonville approach to the bridge is complete.

Pedestrians and bicyclers will have direct access to the bridge 24 hours a day, except on special occasions. What a great opportunity to connect and explore our region on both sides of the river! Hope to see on the Big 4!


image courtesy of Mayor Greg Fischer 

New Albany Celebrates Bicentennial in 2013

Our region has a rich history – one that needs to be remembered and celebrated. Communities throughout the region are doing just that and New Albany is a great example.

New Albany, Indiana's BicentennialNew Albany, Indiana, a 200-year-old scenic river town, was founded in 1813 by Joel, Abner, and Nathaniel Scribner, who purchased the land on which to found the town. That land lies along the banks of the Ohio River, and this year, New Albany celebrates its bicentennial.

There are no shortage of events and projects being planned throughout the year to honor this important achievement. In fact, despite having numerous events planned from now through September, the Bicentennial Commission is still busy putting together additional celebratory events for 2013.

Some of the 2013 Bicentennial Events planned are listed below. Be sure to check out New Albany’s Facebook page to stay up to date when additional events are added to the calendar. The first event of the new year starts today.

  • Friday, January 25—Wonderland Way Exhibit Opening
  • Saturday, January 26—DNA’s “Through the Decades Ball” at The Grand
  • Saturday, April 6—New Albany’s Bicentennial Style Show “200 Years of Style” at the Grand
  • Sunday, May 5—The Padgett Museum Brunch at the Floyd County Museum
  • Saturday, June 22—Division Street School’s Neighborhood Ice Cream Social
  • Saturday, June 22—New Albany’s Public Art Walk
  • Saturday, August 10—Vintage Baseball/Old Fashioned Day on the Park
  • Saturday, September 14–DNA’s Historic Home Tour
  • September 20, 21, 27, 28–“Stories Behind the Stones” Historic Fairview Cemetery Tour
  • Saturday, November 2— Historic Governor’s Ball

In addition to the events listed above, there are also numerous projects that residents are invited to participate in. These include:

  • New Albany and Floyd County First Families Project—Can you prove that you had a direct ancestor living in the New Albany area prior to December 31, 1840?
  • Bicentennial Scrapbook Project—“40,000 Pages of Memories”
  • Bicentennial Museum Mania Cards
  • Historic House History Certificates—If can prove your house was built prior to 1963, you can get a Historic House Certificate from the New Albany Floyd County Library.

You can find out more information about each of these projects by visiting the website. We hope New Albany area residents enjoy participating in the historical events planned this year, and learn something about their town they never knew!

image courtesy of

Skating in a Winter Wonderland: Discover Outdoor Ice skating Adventures in Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Louisville iceskatingThe spirit of the season is beaming this year, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than outdoor ice skating? Families in our region can enjoy several outdoor ice skating wonderlands, including a brand new rink in downtown Louisville.

Louisville’s new outdoor skating rink, smack in the middle of Fourth Street Live, has the area all a buzz. Enjoy the crisp air of winter as you glide across this new attraction for the residents of our region.

The rink is made of synthetic ice which will ensure complete availability throughout the holiday season, even if temperatures drop below freezing. For a romantic evening with your sweetie or just a stroll around for some exercise, the ice skating rink at Fourth Street Live is a must see.

Hours of operation:
Sunday, 11:30-8:00 pm
Monday – Thursday, 11:30-9:00 p.m.
Friday — Saturday 11:30-Midnight

The cost is $5 for adults for one hour, $3 for children under 18. Daily rates are $10 and season passes are $40. If you need to rent skates, bring an extra $2.

Just across the river another Winter Wonderland awaits on the corner of Spring and Market Streets in Jeffersonville, Indiana. After a successful 2011 year and more than 10,000 skaters, Jeffersonville’s outdoor rink will re-open to the public.

You can skate with Santa on Sundays from 1-4 p.m., or make Tuesday nights local nights as kids can skate for $4 with a local Jeffersonville merchant receipt.

Until December 21, skaters can glide around:
Sunday – Thursday, 4:00-8:00 pm
Friday & Saturday, 12:00-9:00 p.m.

  • The rink is opened on Christmas Eve from 12-4, but closed on Christmas day. After January 6, the rink will only be open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Friday will be teen night with a DJ from 7-10 p.m.
  • Join the festive fun on December 22 as we celebrate with an “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.” Get $2 off admission if you wear an ugly sweater.

Skating in Jeffersonville will run you:

  • $8 per person
  • 6 for a group of 10 or more
  • Get a $2 discount if you bring your own skates.

Take advantage of our local outdoor fun and skate the night away in Louisville or in Jeffersonville.

Get a Taste of Your Local Community—Clarksville’s Festival of Flavors

Clarksville festival of flavorsThe KIX region has no shortage of great places to eat, and each city, town and village has at least one “special” place where local residents can find a traditional favorite food. Sometimes these places gain a following from out-of-towners, who recognize a good thing when they eat it.

Clarksville is one of those local cities with a long history of great eating, and after a season of economic stress largely brought on by the several month closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge, the Clarksville Town Council decided to “bridge the gap” by starting a new tradition — Thus, the 1st annual “Festival of Flavors” was born.

The event will showcase the city’s multitudinous dining pleasures, and serve as a gastronomic reminder to the eating public of all that Clarksville has to offer. The purpose of the event is not to raise money, but to create an evening of culinary enjoyment and family fun for city residents and nearby communities. At the same time, the event will serve to highlight Clarksville’s many outstanding local restaurants.

The evening will begin at 6:00 on December 6th with cocktails at: The Montrose, 318 West Lewis and Clark Parkway,
Clarksville, Indiana.

Dinner will follow from 7:00-9:00 p.m. with a tasting of offerings from the several area restaurants including: Chuy’s, Cheddar’s, Olive Garden, Senor Iguanas, Roosters, Sweet Frog, Williams Bakery, Stumler’s Catering and Zaxby’s.

All proceeds from the event will go towards hosting more events similar to this one, with the goal to boost business in the city.

Tickets are available online at or from AAA.

Come and taste what a great community has to offer. And keep your eyes open for other similar events that will be occurring in the KIX region throughout the holidays.

Indiana Caverns Takes Visitors Back to the Ice Age

Indiana CavernsOn the south side of Corydon, Ind., in Harrison County, an extensive cave system lies beneath the rural landscape. The area’s longest system, the Binkley Cave System, will open to the public for the first time next spring, thanks to cave explorer Gary Roberson and his friends. Roberson and his team are developing the cave’s first man-made entrance to offer show tours as Indiana Caverns. Prior to now, Binkley Cave was only accessible to those owning land with private entrances.

At approximately 35 miles, the Binkley Cave System is the 11th longest in the U.S. and one of the 50 longest caves in the world. With 21 different species of animal life, Binkley Cave has also been designated a biodiverse hotspot, making it one of four caves in the country on the list.

Indiana CavernsRoberson says that Indiana Caverns, discovered just two years ago, has a lot of character. Visitors will enjoy beautiful water features, including a 30-ft. waterfall, an underground boat ride, interesting formations and Big Bone Mountain.

Explorers discovered Big Bone Mountain after traveling four hours through the cave from a private entrance. Here, they found a collection of bones from the Ice Age in a dome-shaped structure where animals may have fallen in or gotten pushed through and were unable to exit. The animal remains appear to be from bears, birds, bison and peccaries. After touring the cave with a paleontologist, Roberson says it was determined that Indiana Caverns could end up being one of the best bone caves in the country.

Indiana Caverns is significant to the Kix region for many reasons. “Showcaves are educational and recreational, and they are good family entertainment. You may not go four times a year, but you go repeatedly over a lifetime – on school field trips as a child and with your children and grandchildren as an adult,” said Roberson. He added, “These days, kids are taught to be environmentally sensitive, and caves are an important part of the ecosystem.”

Indiana Caverns During their exploration, Roberson and his team discovered a sinkhole that had been bridged over by trash. When it rained, contaminated run-off would travel to nearby rivers, springs and creeks. The Indiana Caverns crew was able to dig out the sinkhole and do their part to clean up the environment.

Roberson, originally from New Albany, Ind., began exploring caves at the age of 11 as a Boy Scout. While attending Vanderbilt University, he contacted an Indiana landowner who allowed him to begin mapping Binkley Cave from a private entrance more than 40 years ago.

Indiana Caverns is expected to open on April 15, 2013. There are some 4,000 known caves in Indiana.

Realizing a Dream and Honoring Two Lives

I’ve had the good fortune of being selected as a member of the 2013 class of Leadership Louisville and wanted to share some of my experiences on the kix blog.

We talk about our region being a place where imaginations and individuals thrive — A place with great entrepreneurial spirit. Well, thanks to Leadership Louisville and my classmate, Dr. Pat Murphy (of the Murphy Pain Center), I met a particular entrepreneur whose story is both tragic and inspiring.

At one of our first meetings this year, we spent the day exploring the neighborhoods of Louisville. And those neighborhoods include Southern Indiana, which is the region my group selected to explore.

We began the tour on New Albany’s “mansion row”, which is quite impressive, and then visited Indiana University Southeast, followed by lunch at “Ann’s on the River” in Jeffersonville. After that we dropped by the future site of the East End Bridge. These were all great stops, but the destination I’ll remember most was a brand new bakery on Eastern Boulevard in Clarksville.

Marlyce  and Dr. MurphyThat bakery is called “Marlyce’s Place”, and we got to meet Marlyce. Her cupcakes are divine, but she’s not just about selling fabulous baked goods, she’s sharing her heartfelt story with everyone who pays her a visit. And what an inspiration, the bakery has been a long time dream of hers and her son, Jon.

At age 24, Jon tragically lost his life to an overdose of the prescription pain medication, Opana. And just a few months later, Marlyce buried her daughter, Autumn, 28, also a victim of drug addiction. Where others might have given up on life, Marlyce found the strength to start a new chapter in hers. On August 18th she opened the bakery.

Marlyce says in addition to selling sweets and treats, she wants to honor the memory of her children, and maybe help others while doing so, by sharing information about the growing problem of addiction to prescription painkillers.

Marlyce believes in what she’s doing — So much so that she gave up her well paying job at the VA hospital to pursue this dream.

During our visit, Marlyce reflected on what good kids Jon and Autumn were. She said that Jon was an Eagle Scout. “I just don’t want my children to be forgotten. They matter and I will tell everyone.”

So she told our group and I wanted to be sure to tell all of you. And we left “Marlyce’s Place” that day with several dozen of the best cupcakes you can imagine.

Beth Avey is the Executive Director of Kix