On March 15, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Whitley County’s Park 30 to celebrate the opening of Iotron Industries Canada/USA Inc. $15 million investment in northeast Indiana’s newest technology-based industrial facility.
During that ceremony, I offered my remarks for the basis of our decision to open this facility in your region. I assure you that our firm has taken the decision to locate a site, community and employees for this major investment very seriously.
It is no small achievement for your region to become the home to our first U.S. facility. Despite Hoosiers’ honest humility, I am writing this letter to congratulate the leaders and residents of northeast Indiana that they might appreciate why they are well-positioned for economic growth in the future.
When Iotron Industries Inc. began working on our expansion project, we were not initially aware of the strategic factors that would ultimately lead us to northeast Indiana, but please allow me to list them for you, as I think that sometimes Hoosiers are a bit too modest about touting or even acknowledging their major assets.
We were not aware of Indiana’s nationwide success on all significant economic indicators or that the state has been in a surplus position fiscally while other states have struggled to remain solvent.
We were not aware of the strategic, surprisingly energetic engagement and collaborative approach that the state of Indiana, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the regional business community would be employing to unify, optimize infrastructure assets and capitalize on business opportunities.
We were not aware of Whitley County’s and Kosciusko County’s economic development corporations’ aggressive approach to developing cluster industry strategies and to building solid relationships.
We were not aware of Indiana’s focus on entrepreneurship — the partnering of academia, industry and the business community to stimulate innovation and growth.
We were not aware of the emphasis on capacity building — the efforts taken to attract, train, educate and retain talent in the area.
Finally, we were not aware of Indiana’s reputation as a great place in which to live, work and invest.
I had a conversation with our chairman of the board many months ago in which I asked him what the fundamental tipping point was on the decision to locate in Indiana. This is how he responded: “It was simply the people we met, the values they stand for and how they have embraced our company. I want to do business with people I can trust!”
Based on this simple principle and effective decision, Iotron will endeavor to become a Hoosier-based company that is run by Hoosier values.
So now, we’re here, and we’ve turned the lights on in our new facility. We expect that our new dimension of service will impact and enable many companies to grow in the orthopedic, medical device, disposable materials, plastics, aerospace/defense, food safety and agribusiness sectors.
The opening of Iotron Industries USA was indeed a day for celebration and personal satisfaction for our company, but the work has just begun. It is only the start of our promise and a pledge to the “Crossroads of the Midwest.”
We will be building a new company here in northeast Indiana that will employ highly skilled labor, that is profitable and that will give us the capacity to be good corporate citizens that give back to the community.