Indiana Chamber Key to Opening Door for 5G in Indiana

AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards spoke to Inside INdiana Business about the 5G Evolution. Soards has been an integral part of the Indiana Chamber’s Technology & Innovation Council.

You likely saw the big news from AT&T last week touting 5G service coming to central Indiana. What you might not know is that the Indiana Chamber played a significant role in making that important advancement possible.

“Improving digital infrastructure has always been a top priority for the Indiana Chamber,” says Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “The Chamber’s new Technology and Innovation Council has helped elevate the growing significance of 5G and other emerging technologies in Indiana and played a critical role this year in helping pass Senate Bill 213.”

This legislation clears the way for a shift in Indiana’s mobile broadband connectivity to the next generation of technology and will enable a more rapid rollout in communities across the state. We lobbied hard for Senate Bill 213 in the Indiana General Assembly and will continue to push for important policies that advance innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Indiana.

The Indiana Chamber achieves victories like this by bringing a wide spectrum of voices and perspectives to our elected representatives. You can help our state go further and do it faster by becoming a member of the Indiana Chamber or increasing your investment if you are already on board. Additionally, please consider taking part in our grassroots efforts to educate state leaders about important public policy issues that impact your organization.

Chamber Unveils Podcast: EchoChamber is Now Live!

EchoChamber is a new informal discussion with Indiana leaders in business, education, technology, politics and much more. We’ll begin with the following three outstanding guests in as many weeks before reverting to a biweekly format:

  • Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation and one of the foremost minds in the world on education and workforce policy and initiatives
  • Lee Hamilton, an 17-term U.S. representative who remains a thoughtful voice on state, national and global issues
  • Graham Richard, the innovative one-time Fort Wayne mayor who is now guiding efforts at a national organization called Advanced Energy Economy

Subscribe at iTunes, GooglePlay or wherever you get your podcasts to be notified about the latest interview.

IHS to Honor 70 Years of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson with New Exhibition

George and Ann Schulteti enjoy a fine day for a Harley ride. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson)

The Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) newest exhibition gives guests a chance to celebrate history – and Harleys. The exhibition, “The Harley Shop: Seventy Years of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson,” runs July 22 – Sept. 9 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. An IHS release has more:

The Harley Shop features artifacts, collectables, photographs and vintage motorcycles as it showcases this iconic American treasure through the lens of a Hoosier family who has been in the business for almost a century.

When George Schulteti began working for Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1922, his first job was to sweep the floors of the factory’s service department. Later, he worked in research and development. Schulteti was also one of the company’s test riders. During World War II, he took inventory of all the Harley-Davidson motorcycles in military service and rode more than 50,000 miles per year.

While Schulteti enjoyed his work at the factory, he wanted to become a dealer. Schulteti and a partner bought the Indianapolis dealership in 1947, and he and his wife, Ann, moved from Wisconsin. She was the office manager and worked the parts counter. The couple lived above the dealership at 701 S. Meridian St. Ten years later, Schulteti bought his partner’s share of the business. The family welcomed customers to that location for the next 51 years.

By the time the dealership moved in 1998 to its current location, 4930 Southport Crossing Place, the number of employees had risen from 17 to 32. Future plans include raising a fifth generation of the Schulteti family to carry on the tradition.

“I get great pleasure sharing each day with family and watching them grow and carry on a family tradition,” says Bob Schulteti, George Schulteti’s son and second generation owner of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson. “We feel honored to be recognized by the Indiana Historical Society and given the opportunity to display some of our family history.”

Guests can visit The Harley Shop during the History Center’s regular operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission includes parking, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Harley Shop is presented by Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson. For more information about the dealership, visit www.southsideharley.com.

For more information about the exhibition or other IHS offerings, call 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

ProTrans Awarded 3PL of the Year at Automotive Global Awards North America

(left to right) Sam Ogle, editor of Automotive Purchasing & Supply Chain Magazine, John Woods, executive vice president of sales for ProTrans, and Peter Wooding, CEO of Three6Zero.

Indianapolis-based ProTrans was selected as 3PL of the Year (an award for third party logistics companies) at the Automotive Global Awards North America 2017, held in April during the Automotive Leaders’ Summit in New Orleans. ProTrans reports:

“These awards reflect the enthusiasm for development and innovation across the whole industry. Encouraging and developing individuals through creativity of ideas, through adaptation and flexibility, through planning and pioneering new ways, through new thoughts and new ideas,” said Peter Wooding, CEO of Three6Zero who organized the awards.

“We are very proud to receive such a prestigious award within the industry. From the tiered suppliers to the OEM manufacturers, ProTrans continues our commitment to meeting the automotive industries’ challenges and delivering technological and cost-effective innovations.” said Shawn Masters, Chief Commercial Officer for ProTrans.

Masters further commented “Over the last year, to meet the specific business needs of our customers, ProTrans has enhanced its proprietary TMS platform, Optimiz, has committed to a new state of the art business intelligence platform and has expanded its North American footprint in strategic areas within North America. Again, thank you to Three6Zero, to our customers and to our employees for helping ProTrans win this exceptional award.”

Tech Talk: Catching Up on Indiana Chamber Activity

A busy June at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce included items of importance to the innovation and entrepreneurship communities. A brief overview:

Indiana Vision 2025 Report Card
The every-other-year evaluation of our state’s economic performance includes the Dynamic and Creative Culture driver. Unfortunately, the statewide statistical measures don’t match up to the progress being seen in central Indiana and other select areas. Indiana is tied for 44th in the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Index and 35th in venture capital invested.

There are strong performances in university business spinouts, foreign direct investment and exports.

Full details and summaries at www.indianachamber.com/2025.

10th annual employer workforce survey 
While the Report Card showed some progress in educational measures, this survey reinforced the ongoing skills mismatch. Two numbers: 47% of respondents left jobs unfilled in the past year due to under-qualified applicants and 79% indicate filling their workforce is among their biggest challenges. Both trends have only increased over the past four years.

The survey also looks at workforce recruitment strategies, training and drug testing.

Details at www.indianachamber.com/education.

Coming Your Way

  • The July-August BizVoice® includes, among other features, visits to four co-working spaces around the state and a column on the green Internet of Things.•
  • Coming in mid-July is the new EchoChamber podcast. Technology and innovation will be one of the featured subjects. Catch a sneak preview at www.indianachamber.com/echochamber.

Ball State Renames Accounting Department for Beloved Professor

Paul Parkison (left) prepares for the celebration when Ball State honored the former professor. Joining Parkison in the Miller College of Business were Anthony W. Smith, ’68 (center), and Terry King (right), then interim president of the university. (Photo by Don Rogers)

Ball State University has renamed its accounting department as the Paul W. Parkison Department of Accounting within its Miller College of Business. The name change honors the former chair and professor who championed student-centered education and built relationships with accountants around the nation. The naming is part of a $3 million legacy campaign. Ball State Magazine reports:

Alumni, friends, former faculty and professional colleagues have always been loyal and compassionate when it comes to Parkison, said Jennifer Bott, the Bryan Dean of the Miller College of Business.

“One of the goals of this campaign was to create a legacy fund that would honor a professor who has touched the lives of thousands of people,” she said. “Whenever I would talk to someone about honoring Dr. Parkison, they would immediately smile and simply ask what they could do. We had more than 300 people give because of their gratitude and love for this man who transformed the department of accounting and Ball State.”

Mentor to several generations
From 1966 to 2001, Parkison, ’58 MA ’61, taught accounting to students who went on to become business and community leaders, entrepreneurs and certified public accountants.

“They put my name on the wall out there, but I had a lot of help over the years,” Parkison said during the dedication ceremony in Whitinger Business Building. “We have developed an excellent program, and it has been growing for years. I think our efforts will help it continue to grow, providing alumni with a lot of pride.”

Paul and Nancy Parkison were the honored guests in early May when alumni, friends, former faculty and professional colleagues gathered to celebrate the dedication of the Paul W. Parkison Department of Accounting.

During his tenure, the number of accounting faculty tripled, Ball State became the first public university in Indiana to achieve separate AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation for its accounting program and the department was ranked in the top 12 percent in the nation.

Employer Survey: Skilled Workers Scarce; Few Take Advantage of Tuition Reimbursement

A new employer survey from the Indiana Chamber shows concerning trends in workforce shortages, tuition reimbursement and response to prescription opiate abuse.

“Too often employers can’t find the workers they need, and those currently employed aren’t taking advantage of tuition reimbursement that would put them in better positions,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

More than 1,100 businesses from throughout the state took part in the Indiana Chamber Foundation’s 10th annual employer survey, sponsored by WGU Indiana and conducted in partnership with Indiana-based Walker.

Specifically, research shows that nearly half (47%) of employers left jobs unfilled in the past year due to under-qualified applicants. That extended a trend from the previous three years in which the answers to that same question were 39%, 43% and 45%, respectively.

Additionally, almost 80% (79%) percent cited filling their workforce as among their biggest challenges. That number is also on the rise from 72%, 74% and 76% in the previous three years.

Once again, more than half of employers (53%) expect to increase the size of their workforce in the next one to two years. But their challenges are even larger with 54% saying the supply of qualified applicants does not meet demand and 85% placing the filling of talent needs as among their critical challenges.

“In many cases, it’s not a lack of a four-year degree or higher educational achievement. Two-thirds require less than a bachelor’s degree for their unfilled jobs,” Brinegar explains. “This puts additional emphasis on the certificates, credentials and associate degrees in which Indiana, unfortunately, trails the majority of states.”

But it’s not always a lack of education or training that leads to the unfilled positions. In the view of employers, 45% of applicants are unwilling to accept the pay/compensation offered and 28% are not attracted to the community where the job is located.

In the training world, there appear to be some missed opportunities for employers and their workers. Only 40% of the respondents indicate that they partner with an educational institution to help meet their training needs.

For the employees, nearly half (48%) have access to tuition reimbursement programs but very few take advantage of those opportunities. From the employer perspective, 60% said employees have no desire or motivation to participate and 35% believe workers see no personal benefit in advancing their education.

“Part of the problem is employees not having the funds to cover the tuition payments upfront that will be reimbursed at some point by their employer. And that’s a common arrangement for these programs,” Brinegar offers.

“But we also know if employers pay for the tuition directly to the school – which is obviously easier for larger companies – more workers are likely to take part. We heard from one of our members who saw participation jump from about 50 employees to more than 400 when that change was made. So that is something the Indiana Chamber will be looking at this summer in our business-higher education committee to see what public policy recommendations may make sense.”

When it comes to prescription opiate misuse, less than half (47%) of the respondents said they drug tested employees for it in safety-sensitive positions. On a broader scale, 56% of employers said they tested any employee if they suspected misuse or abuse of prescription opiates. However, more than a third (34%) of employers indicated they did not know how to detect such misuse or abuse.

The survey results are available at www.indianachamber.com/education.

The annual employer survey complements the work the Indiana Chamber is doing with the Outstanding Talent driver in the Indiana Vision 2025 long-term economic development plan for the state.

Indiana Vision 2025 measures Indiana’s progress compared to other states on 36 goals in the four driver areas of Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate, Superior Infrastructure, and Dynamic and Creative Culture. The latest Report Card showing how Indiana ranks was released earlier this month and is available at www.indianachamber.com/2025.