Indiana Economic Development Corporation
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is a body corporate and politic (i.e., a public-private company) in Indiana that focuses on encouraging business to set up shop or expand their existing operations within the state with tax benefits, grants, and other incentives authorized by the state.
When Mitch Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana, he stated his number one priority was job creation. To achieve that goal, he created the quasi-public Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), became chairman of its board, and ordered it to “act at the speed of business, not the speed of government” to attract new jobs. During its first year, the IEDC closed more transactions than similar efforts had during the previous two years combined. Between 2005 and 2008, 485 businesses committed to creating more than 60,000 new jobs and investing $14.5 billion into the Indiana economy. In 2006, the IEDC topped its 2005 results. It landed three high profile automotive investments from Toyota, Honda, and Cummins. In 2007, the IEDC announced its third consecutive record-breaking year for new investment and job commitments in Indiana with its largest deal being made with BP to construct $3.2 billion in facilities to assist in recovery of fuel from the Canadian tar sands.
Unemployment dropped during Daniels' first years as Governor, increased during the 2008 recession, and gradually came back down in the following years. Daniels was able to make progress on his clean energy agenda during his early years in office with support from the Democrats in the General Assembly. Indiana subsequently became one of the leading states in biofuel production with 15 plants, including the world's largest soybean bio-diesel plant.
In March 2010, WTHR Indianapolis News published a story claiming that up to 40% of the jobs the corporation reported to have helped create never came to fruition, and questioned the job numbers produced by the IEDC. The news story cited changes in companies' plans as the primary reason for the failures and criticized IEDC's annual report for prematurely claiming credit for the job creation. The IEDC revised the numbers in response to the report and found that 13% of the job commitments they had received had not come to fruition.