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Indy Partnership continues to push the product with numerous marketing events and sales calls on behalf of its local economic development partners, and this week offered another opportunity to deliver the message as the partnership played host to several site selection consultants who visited Indianapolis April 2-3. This 2019 Familiarization Tour – known as a Fam Tour – focused on women leaders in site selection who learned about our regional economy while enjoying camaraderie centered around a Justin Timberlake concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The tour was designated again this year as an opportunity to meet and network with local economic development professionals and to learn more about the metropolitan product beyond the usual scope of abundant economic data that are part of the site selection process.

MCEDC participated in a briefing for the consultants that was held April 3 rd at Indianapolis International Airport, and a brief overview of Morgan County was presented to highlight our proximity to the airport and downtown Indianapolis as well as notes on current activities including Martinsville and the I-69 construction project, the development of the Pauley property by the Mooresville Redevelopment Commission, and data regarding local workforce and commutation patterns.

Each year, MCEDC participates in a variety of activities led by Indy Partnership that expand the region’s network of corporate and consulting contacts, and the regional team continues to push the product on behalf of MCEDC and other partners to prospects throughout North America and around the world as Indiana’s global presence continues to expand. For more information about the role that Indy Partnership plays in supporting MCEDC, please contact our staff at 317.831.9544.
Having participated in the 2019 Fam Tour hosted this week by Indy Partnership, it was my privilege to listen to and learn from other local economic developers as they briefly presented perspectives on their respective locations in the Indianapolis metropolitan region. One particular presentation had my attention with regard to its potential impact upon Morgan County.

Eric Anderson, the property director for Indianapolis Airport Authority, shared perspective with the Fam Tour guests – several women leaders who are site selection consultants – about the Indianapolis airport’s current and potential economic impacts on the region, and his comments were just oozing with opportunity for Morgan County growth.

Eric’s summary was a simple statement in the form of a question: “What is your product?”

What is the Morgan County product?

To be succinct, Morgan County has an opportunity to attract new residents who will be part of the 3,000 new jobs that Infosys has committed to create on property near the former airport terminal site that has been processed for the Infosys project.

3,000 new jobs – within minutes of Morgan County.

These are technology-based jobs with higher-than-average wage opportunities.

People will be desirous of housing in close proximity to their new workplace just off of I-465 at the east end of the international airport along High School Road.

The international airport knows its product – available space for development at one of North America’s premier airports. 

What is Morgan County’s product? What do we have to offer? To this, my present answer is, “Untapped capacity for residential and commercial growth.”

Our schools are funded on a per-student basis. I suspect that Morgan County schools could use a few of those families with children in tow. Our local governments certainly could benefit from additional income taxes paid by a growing workforce in Morgan County. Or, how about our local small businesses that need more consumption to ensure business profitability and growth? If we had more housing starts underway in Morgan County, would that potentially ease the concerns of our own industrialists who continue to express concerns about labor availability? (Note: that is a concern everywhere – everybody else is addressing this issue, and Morgan County should be no exception.) What would it do for our wage economy?

A local industrialist recently told me that seventy-five percent of the company’s workforce commutes into Morgan County each day – taking their talent and wages elsewhere at the end of the day. (The company employs hundreds of workers.) What if we had local housing opportunities for those commuting workers rather than watching their talent and money come and go each day? Conversely, the largest community in Morgan County – over 15,000 Morgan County residents – leaves the county to earn an income each day. What if we had the capacity for those workers to seek employment in the county instead of losing their talent to another locale for ten hours or so each day?

What if the Morgan County market offered the type of housing that would attract more of our own young adults who, for whatever reason, choose to live on the other sides of our county lines?

And to think – this doesn’t even take into account the continued growth of FedEx at the airport – more technology workers will be streaming to the west side of Indianapolis, seeking a quality of life that we should want them to find in Morgan County. It all starts with housing opportunities – if we are willing, there is a need. Can we capitalize it?


By: Lance Gideon,
Reporter -Times

During her fourth — and final — State of the City address Tuesday evening, Martinsville Mayor Shannon Kohl spent time looking back at the three years she’s served as the city’s executive, while highlighting the bright future of the city.

One of the first topics she discussed to those gathered at the Martinsville High School cafeteria was her five building blocks, which include safety, neighborhoods, economic development, communications and citizens voice.

“Having a focus on each building block enabled us to undertake key goals of my administration,” Kohl said.

Reducing crime, strengthening neighborhoods, expanding business, operating openly and seeking involvement from residents were some of the items Kohl listed in her speech as accomplishments during her term as mayor.

“Under each building block, with each goal in mind, the needs of our community have always been top priority, with constant improvement being the driver of all our work,” Kohl said. “We have faced the last three years head on and ready for anything thrown our way, and we will continue to do so for a fourth year.”

Kohl believes the success of the city during her administration boils down to the strong partnerships that have been built.


Reporter-Times Staff Report
For Bare Feet, Inc., otherwise known as FBF Originals, announced this week that the sock-manufacturing company was recently sold to a New York investment firm for an undisclosed sum.

The sale is not expected to impact any of the 110 production and front office jobs at the Martinsville-based company, and the executive team and staffers will also remain.

“It’s business as usual regarding day-to-day operations,” said FBF Originals Chief Executive Officer Kelly Baugh, the youngest daughter of company founder Sharon Rivenbark. “We are excited about the opportunity Taglich Private Equity (TPE) provides to invest further and develop the FBF brand.”

TPE, headquartered in Long Island, N.Y., closed on the sale of the company in late December 2018, which followed the retirement of founder Rivenbark and the desire by three of her four daughters to get out of the sock business.

According to the FBF news release, TPE’s decision to purchase FBF was due to the company’s solid footing in the industry.

“FBF Originals was of immediate interest to us given their sturdy market position and unmatched experience in licensed sports and novelty sock categories,” said TPE Managing Partner William Morris.
“They have a great management team and we look forward to supporting them in growing the business.”

Youngest daughter Baugh is partnering with TPE as part of the purchase agreement and will remain on as CEO.

Started in 1984, FBF was started by Rivenbark in Nashville, steadily growing into an international player in the sock industry that enjoys the longest-tenured sock licensing of the National Football League, in addition to licensing with hundreds of colleges, the National Hockey League, NASCAR, and Fortune 500 companies like Hershey, Wrangler and Mossy Oak.

After a fire destroyed its Nashville manufacturing facility in 2011, FBF relocated to the 225,000-square-foot facility at 1201 S. Ohio St. in Martinsville that previously housed Harman-Becker Automotive up until 2008.

FBF Originals’ Martinsville headquarters and factory produces high-quality socks, headbands, wristbands, scarves and other items sold by retailers across North America.

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Morgan County Labor Market Update- February 2019
Click the image above to download the full list of labor force estimates provided by the DWD
*Not seasonally adjusted

February 2019 Unemployment Rate IN: 4.1%, US: 4.1%
Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Labor Force does not include retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work.  

Click here to view the February 2019 Labor Market Review
Check  Visit Morgan County 's handy calendar to find all sorts of fun events coming up throughout the county. Take a look at what's going on  this month , or search by date, event category, keyword or location.

April 6th
Martinsville, IN

April 12th, 7PM - 10PM
Mooresville, IN

April 20th, 11AM
P ioneer Park
Mooresville, IN

April 21st, 10AM - 2PM
Martinsville, IN

April 9th, 3-5PM
Evansville, IN

April 18th, 9AM-1PM
Hammond, IN

April 25th, 12PM-1PM
West Lagayette, IN

May 3rd, 8:30AM-9:30AM
Richmond, IN

See the full list of upcoming workshops by visiting ISBDC's website
Click here to read the latest news from the Morgan County Business Leader
You know who founded Citizens Bank in 1931? It wasn’t some international conglomerate of wealthy investors, that’s for sure. It was a simple group folks from Mooresville, Indiana.
The Great Depression was in full swing and banks across America were closing their doors. Rather than surrender to hard times, a few dedicated locals banded together to create a new kind of bank—one that put people over profits. Fittingly, they named their new bank Citizens.
Over the years, our industry has changed quite a bit. So have the products and services we offer. But when it comes to the important stuff, we haven’t changed a bit. Around here, people come first. Period.

Click here to learn what else Citizens Bank has to offer

Officer: 317.831.9544
Fax: 317.831.9548
Mike Dellinger
Executive Director

LeeDa Allen
Director of Business Operations
The MCEDC works to attract new companies to the county and assists existing companies by providing educational opportunities and resources that foster growth.