For Immediate Release
Contact: Lauren Schregardus
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 21, 2016) – Indiana Competes, a coalition of nearly 425 Hoosier businesses and associations, released analysis today of 2015 economic investment and job creation numbers from across the state. Based on figures released by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the overwhelming majority of tracked economic investment since April of 2015, and nearly all announced ‘high-wage’ job commitments since that point, are located in communities with human rights ordinances (HROs) that ensure protection from legal discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“We can never take Indiana’s economic successes for granted,” said Peter Hanscom, Indiana Competes Initiative Director. “We saw last year that our state’s economic reputation is fragile, so we must take decisive action to ensure that no community is forced to answer the question of whether legal discrimination is allowed within their city limits.”
The direct tie between civil rights for LGBT employees and expanded economic investment is evidenced by the data showing that communities with HROs protecting all members of the LGBT population from legal discrimination received 82.7 percent of the new economic investment commitments announced by the IEDC from April through December 2015. More than 58 percent of new jobs—and nearly all ‘high-wage’ jobs—announced in Indiana were created in communities with comprehensive HROs.
“When Indiana found itself in the spotlight for passing RFRA last spring, we were incredibly disappointed by the measure — so much so that we put our growth plans on temporary hold,” said Chris Barbin, CEO of Appirio. “Thankfully, Indianapolis has strong protections to defend LGBT people from discrimination and it was important for us to see lawmakers acknowledge the value of that local ordinance. Appirio celebrates, supports, and values diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We hope Hoosier lawmakers continue to take measures to highlight the state as a progressive center of business in order to attract the best talent and strongest investments.”
“It’s no surprise that companies are choosing to invest and locate in areas where leaders have taken steps to show inclusivity and ban discrimination of any kind,” said Michael Huber, CEO of the Indy Chamber. “While a local HRO protecting individuals from legal discrimination may not be the sole determining factor for a business looking to expand or relocate, the evidence points to a common thread among these cities. Today, we are in tough competition for jobs and talent and Indiana cannot afford to take any action that puts roadblocks in the way of investment.”
Indiana Competes released this report just one day after Visit Indy shared data reflecting a significant negative impact felt by the tourism industry in Indianapolis over the past year. This survey showed that of 40 convention hosting cities polled, Indianapolis ranked second worst in the nation for recent negative publicity.
Click here to see the full report of IEDC announcements.
Indiana Competes is a coalition organized by Hoosier business leaders. The purpose of the campaign is to highlight positive economic impact to be realized by creating protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Indiana Competes supports the growth of Indiana’s economy by ensuring that all Hoosiers have equal protections in the workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations. To sign the pledge joining Indiana Competes, visit the website – www.indianacompetes.org.