Indianapolis – Today, Governor Mike Pence highlighted Indiana’s recent growth and innovation in flight and space at the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Aviation & Aerospace in Indiana” symposium, which drew more than 550 industry stakeholders.
“Here in Indiana, we know that success in aerospace and aviation isn’t something you achieve by working alone,” said Governor Pence. “We appreciate that global aviation companies are picking Indiana because our cost of doing business is affordable and our workforce is the nation’s best. We also know that Indiana’s unprecedented success in the industry is because of the consistent and collaborative teamwork between policy makers, employers, suppliers, educators and researchers with a common goal of propelling innovation forward.”
This principle is evident as top Hoosier companies in aviation, aerospace and defense continue to grow. In the last two years, industry leaders like GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Alcoa and Raytheon have announced plans to invest more than $900 million and create more than 1,200 new Hoosier jobs in the coming years. According to the Indiana Aerospace & Defense Council, careers with companies manufacturing aircraft engines and related components offer average salaries of $89,000 annually.
Since 2002, Indiana’s defense contracts have doubled, accounting for $2.54 billion in contracts from the Department of Defense. During that same time, Indiana exports for the aircraft and spacecraft industries have expanded at an average annual rate of nearly 30 percent.
“Indiana’s higher education institutions are training some of the top scientists and engineers in the world, while working to tackle 21st Century challenges in flight head-on,” said Governor Pence. “Universities like Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, Vincennes University and Indiana State University are working collaboratively with the private sector and are developing innovative solutions that are changing the face of aerospace and aviation on a global scale.”
Last year, Purdue University broke ground on its new 980-acre Purdue Research Park Aerospace District, which will encourage collaboration between Purdue students, researchers and the technology and commerce sectors. And in South Bend, the University of Notre Dame partnered with General Electric to build the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory, which has become the nation’s top research and test center for advancing technology in gas turbine engines.
Vincennes University recently opened its new, state-of-the-art Aviation Technology Center at the Indianapolis International Airport to better prepare its students for careers in aircraft maintenance and flight, while Indiana State University is one of the first universities to offer unmanned systems education and training.