$2.5 Million EDA Grant Results in $39 Million in Private Investment and 200 New Jobs in Indiana
Due to the severe downturn of the automotive manufacturing sector in 2009, economic development leaders in north central Indiana were looking for ways to help diversify their economy. In Miami County, the former Grissom Air Force base facility featured an existing aircraft hangar that could be renovated to serve prospective businesses looking to locate in the area.
To capitalize on this asset, the Miami County Economic Development Authority submitted a formal economic development proposal to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Their proposal included expanding the existing 130,000 square-foot hangar to 180,000 square feet so that it could accommodate large civilian aircraft. In addition to interior and exterior renovations, the investment would also provide upgrades to the onsite waste water pre-treatment system and install an enhanced HVAC system to support aircraft painting.
In November of 2010, EDA invested $2.5 million to advance the community’s economic development strategy.
“The assets the Miami County Economic Development Authority received as a result of the BRAC process are viewed as regional assets among all communities within our six county regional partnership in North Central Indiana,” said Jim Tidd, Executive Director, Miami County Economic Development Authority. “These assets include Hangar 200, and offer our region an opportunity to diversify its regional economy through job creation and private investment in aviation maintenance in the aerospace industry. If not for the partnership with Federal agencies like EDA, we would be severely hampered in our efforts to redevelop the former base and grow our local and regional economies.”
As a result of EDA’s investment, more than $39 million in private investment has been realized and 200 jobs have been created.
Dean Baldwin Painting, a major airline renovation and painting company was the first to locate at the expanded facility.
“The local community’s project to expand and renovate Hangar 200 on the Grissom Aeroplex provided Dean Baldwin Painting with the opportunity to create 200 new jobs, while continually making significant investments in our commercial aircraft painting operations,” said Barbara Baldwin, CEO Dean Baldwin Painting. “This project took a former BRAC’d military aircraft hangar and converted it into a modern, state of the art commercial aircraft paint facility. Without EDA’s direct involvement and partnership with the local community, the Hangar would have remained vacant, continued to deteriorate, and become a detriment to the community.”