Indiana’s ‘Growing’ Industry: Wine (Plus, A Little History)

Of the many things Indiana is known for, being a hub for the wine industry might be a surprise.

Yet, Indiana is one of the top 20 wine-producing states in the nation and the Purdue Wine Grape Team (an extension service for the wine grape industry) points to impressive economic impact stats:

  • The wine industry’s annual impact on the economy in Indiana: $100 million
  • There are eight million bottles of Indiana-made wine sold annually; more than one million gallons of wine are produced annually
  • By 2019, there should be 100 wineries in the state (there were 37 in 2007)

And if the topic of wine pops up at your next social event or networking soiree and you need a new “Did you know?” (or just want to know more about the wine industry) here are a few interesting factoids:

  • Enology is the study of wine and winemaking
  • Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes
  • Purdue offers four courses related to wine and food science and is home to the Richard P. Vine Enology Library, which contains about 2,000 bottles of wine; the school is home to three vineyards, including one near Vincennes

If you’re interested in the history of Indiana wine (including which town was the birthplace for the pre-Prohibition top 10 industry in the state), read this history from Indiana Wines.

And speaking of history, you might be interested in learning about some of the oldest wineries in the world, which pre-date Indiana’s now-booming industry by hundreds of years. A recent blog post from Wine Turtle (a group of wine enthusiasts out to make it easier for beginners to learn about wine) looks at the oldest wineries in the world (edited for length, but find the full post here):

  1. Staffelter Hof – Germany

The Staffelter Hof is one of the oldest wine companies in Germany. Its name is linked to a monastery in Belgium and its winemaking history goes back to the 862 AD.

  1. Château de Goulaine – France

The Loire Valley is a region famous for its spectacular landscapes, medieval castles, and exquisite wines. And one of the oldest wine companies in France and in the world is located here. The Château de Goulaine’s history goes back to the year 1000 when Marquis Goulaine founded the first winery in France.

The winery still belongs to the same family and produces some excellent Muscat and Vouvray wines. For this reason, the company is considered the oldest European family owned winery.

  1. Schloss Johanisberg – Germany

Although Germany is not one of the leader winemaking countries, it boasts some of the oldest wine companies. In fact, Schloss Johannisberg winery is the third on our list and its history begins in the year 1100.

  1. Barone Ricasoli – Italy

In 1141 Baron Ricasoli establishes the oldest wine company in Italy that still bears his name. The winery is located between Siena and Florence, an area particularly famous all over the world for the great quality of the wines.

  1. Antinori – Italy

39 years later, in 1180, in Italy emerges the second oldest wine company of the country, the fifth in the world. The Antinori family started producing wine in the Florentine countryside before moving to Florence in 1202.

  1. Schloss Vollrads – Germany

Back to Germany, we have to mention a wine company founded in 1211 that became famous mainly for its Rieslings, the Schloss Vollrads winery.

Purdue, Others to Help With Micro Debt

Purdue University is one of 11 schools that formed the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) in 2014. As reported recently by Fast Company, the UIA members are planning to tackle a challenge that is preventing many students from completing their degree.

Bridget Burns, the executive director of the coalition, says that most of UIA’s school presidents realized they were doing an awful job at keeping students enrolled, particularly those who from low-income households, first generation, or students of color. “It seems like a bunch of institutions … repeating the same experiments (to fix things) over and over and in many cases making the same mistakes.”

One alarming trend: Despite receiving financial aid, roughly 4,000 seniors who have good grades may quit school because of small outstanding scholastic debt. The sums are often less than $1,000 – but in many cases, such balances make them unable to register for their next batch of classes.

UIA and its partners will spend $4 million on micro-debt forgiveness, which will be managed by in-network academic advisors to use at their discretion over the course of the next five semesters. Half of the money is coming primarily from the Gates Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates but the other half is a school match. Because every project that UIA does is carefully vetted beforehand, all institutions agree to double whatever philanthropic amount is directed toward their campuses.

The estimated award per student is projected to be about $900, but students can’t apply; administrators, who are adhering to an internal formula designed to spot the best candidates, will identify candidates and offer the one-time surprise infusion. “We know there’s variation across the 11 (schools) but we want to find the students who are low income, on track to graduate within a year – so they’ve already got a lot of effort behind them and it’s not too far ahead – but they have some unexpected costs,” Burns says.

Those costs might be anything that could disrupt an already tight budget, from a parking ticket that went unpaid and snowballed, to car repair, or an unexpected rent or medical issue that affected someone’s prioritization for what must be repaid. For low-income students already on loans, that’s generally a dream killer.

“If we don’t help them through to the finish line, that could waste all their effort.”

The concept of micro-debt relief has already proven effective at Georgia State University, a UIA affiliate that started its own retention granting program in 2011 to try to support the 1,000 or so students that it was losing each semester of extremely small tuition balances. Georgia State’s program is open to all students, not just seniors. Historically, it has 75% of those with more than a year to go are still enrolled 12 months later, while 60% of senior recipients go on to graduate within the same year that they receive assistance.

Burns expects UIA disbursements to cover only about half of the coalition’s students in need. That’s partly because of limited funding but also necessary because it’s a wide-scale experiment. Not aiding everyone creates a sad but necessary control group, allowing future funders to better compare the power of small, emergency cash allowances for those who received them versus those who didn’t.

More broadly, however, she hopes that UIA’s investment encourages other schools to act similarly. “This signaled where they should be focusing their attention,” she says. “These are many of the most innovative universities, who are saying, ‘These are things that are worth your limited time energy and money.’ ”

Purdue Charter School to Help Inner-City Students

purdue-black-and-goldPurdue University President Mitch Daniels has called the low number of Indianapolis Public School students who are prepared for success at Purdue “unacceptable.”

In an effort to combat this, Purdue is launching a polytechnic charter school in Indy to create a direct path for these students to ultimately graduate from the university. It’s a bold move, and if it succeeds, there would be an effort to take it statewide.

Inside INdiana Business has more information, and reveals the charter school is expected to be located in downtown Indianapolis and will be a collaboration among Purdue, the city of Indianapolis, its EmployIndy program and Indianapolis-based USA Funds.

“We applaud President Daniels and Purdue University for this opportunity for low-income and minority students to have the opportunity to have a strong foundation in the STEM areas,” explains Caryl Auslander, vice president of education and workforce development for the Indiana Chamber. “This will provide students with incredible opportunities to learn using curriculum produced by Purdue faculty and provides direct admittance to the university after graduation. We are pleased to see community and business partnerships in this endeavor and know that it will provide not only unique experiences for students but also create an even stronger workforce in the future.”

Education a Key Focus in Columbus & Richmond

Indiana Chamber VP of Education & Workforce Development Derek Redelman discusses higher education developments in Richmond and Columbus. He explains that one key goal is to help students find an educational program that best suits them individually, and how new initiatives are impacting the state’s larger institutions. For a more detailed look at the issue, read the story in our latest edition of BizVoice magazine.

Can TWI Take Your Team to a New Level?

TWI (Training Within Industry) has a long history. It also has a bright future as a tool that can help companies train their trainers and make them better teachers of their employees. Officially, it’s "teaching supervisors and team leaders how to improve the way jobs are done, how to quickly train employees to do the job safely, correctly and conscientiously and how to build positive employee relations, increased morale and effective conflict resolution skills."

In the 1950s, Toyota used TWI to train employees in the Toyota Production System, the famous lean manufacturing program. Today, TWI is being reintroduced to North America and you can learn all about it at the TWI Institute. The Purdue University TAP/MEP program is hosting and the Indiana Chamber’s Ready Indiana program is co-sponsoring a March 16 Indianapolis summit (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

Patrick Graupp, senior master trainer and the world’s leading authority on TWI, will be the featured guest speaker. Use the code "readyin" for a $100 discount off the registration fee. Contact Ready Indiana Executive Director Kris Deckard for more information about the TWI curriculum.

Hospitality at a Whole New Level at Purdue Calumet

In the season of giving, Purdue University Calumet is the grateful recipient of the largest monetary gift it has ever received.

The Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation and the Bruce & Beth White Family Foundation announced a $5 million contribution to benefit the university’s hospitality and tourism management program. The gift will be used to enhance the undergraduate efforts and will be renamed the Purdue University Calumet White Lodging Center for Hospitality and Tourism Management program.

Indiana Chamber member White Lodging Services is “one of the fastest-growing, fully-integrated independent hotel ownership, development and management companies in the country,” according to the company’s web site. Based in Merrillville, White Lodging’s current projects include the JW Marriott Indianapolis among other hotels in Indiana and across the nation.

The gift will fund renovation and conversion of the university’s conference center into a nearly 13,000-square-foot instructional facility. It will also support a scholarship fund for high-performing students and create a hospitality and tourism management honors program. The rest of the funding will establish two endowed professorships within the program.

“We have been fortunate to employ many Purdue Calumet students and graduates and have found them to be well prepared, ambitious and steady contributors to our company’s growth and success,” White Lodging Services Chairman and CEO Bruce White said in the press release. “We hope to build and grow on that relationship by providing these expanded facilities and even greater faculty support.”

The renovated educational facilities will include a teaching kitchen, beverage service laboratory, working restaurant, computer labs and faculty offices, the release notes. Planning for the new center will begin in early 2010 with construction and renovations to start in the summer. The center is expected to be completed for the 2011-2012 school year. Read the full press release online.

Energy/Environment Hot Topic of Friday Conference Call

In today’s First Friday Conference Call, Indiana Chamber VP of Energy & Environmental Affairs Vince Griffin chimed in via phone all the way from Ireland. Ok, it was Ireland, Indiana near Jasper, but it still sounded quite magical. (And we don’t have to claim Colin Farrell in the Hoosier version.)

At any rate, Vince offered some key tidbits on the state of energy in Indiana. Here are just a few of the items conveyed in the hour-long call:

  • By 2013, experts from Purdue University have forecasted that Indiana will need close to 5,000 additional megawatts of power; today we produce just over 20,000.
  • The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water.
  • Indiana has seen droughts in the 1940s, 1960s, 1988 and is due for another. Vince says these tend to follow periods of heavy rain and snow, which Indiana has seen the last couple of years.
  • Water is critical. No water = no electricity.
  • Indiana consumes over 60 million tons of coal per year, second only to Texas. Vince also expressed hope that President-elect Obama will back off his campaign rhetoric regarding the impending downfall of coal. "We’re hopeful that Obama understands how important coal is to the United States. It provides a large number of jobs and Indiana has 95% of its electricity come from coal."
  • Indiana uses a lot of power. One reason is that we are the nation’s top producer of steel, which is very energy-intensive.

The First Friday Conference Call is just one of many benefits Indiana Chamber members receive. The monthly calls feature a different topic each month, and are totally interactive with 30 minutes of the hour dedicated to answering questions of listeners. If your company is a member, anyone at your business can call in and take part. To inquire about Chamber membership, call the territory manager for your area.

IPFW Offers Free Class Focused on Remnant Documents

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne is slated to begin a free course about the Remnant documents, which are credited for paving the way for American independence.

The course description is as follows:

This course will introduce you to The Remnant Trust documents that will be exhibited at IPFW in spring 2009. The presentation shows how the ideas in these 51 documents form the fundamental principles that undergird the American democratic experiment. Discussion will be organized around four contrasting political perspectives and how the ideas in The Remnant Trust documents provide a foundation for these political ideas. Those attending this course will get a private advance viewing of The Remnant Trust documents (date to be determined).

Class dates are Sept. 10, 24, Oct. 8, 22 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Hat tip to the Fort Wayne Chamber blog.

The Intern Chronicles: College Campus Road Trip; Am I Working?

Coming fresh off an extended Fourth of July weekend at Valparaiso University, it was perhaps fitting that I trekked around to some of Indiana’s other higher education destinations the following week.

First up was a trip to West Lafayette with Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. I guess he stays a little busier around here than I do, so to allow for some extra work to be done, I drove.
 
I don’t know what the Chamber was thinking not having seen me operate a vehicle, especially considering that I’m a young male who has disheveled hair and an extensive criminal record (just kidding, my hair is straight). But come Monday morning I was in the driver’s seat next to Kevin, who had declined my offer to take my rusted ’94 Accord in lieu of his own car, which he described as “fun.”  It was.
 
In Boilermaker land, Kevin had a business lunch with Purdue President France Cordova, who I had the opportunity to meet. After meetings with Caterpillar and Wabash National, Chamber Membership Director Tim Brewer and I kept the college theme going by being roomies for a night at the local Holiday Inn. A Breakfast with Brinegar event for area Chamber members was held in the hotel the next morning. Then it was back to Indianapolis with yours truly at the wheel.
 
Within five minutes of returning to the office, I left with Senior VP Mark Lawrance for Terre Haute, where he was doing a press conference as part of the now ongoing “Letters to Our Leaders” campaign. We had an outstanding Lebanese lunch by Indiana State’s campus and then met with the Terre Haute Chamber staff and Gary Morris, president of Clabber Girl and a Chamber board member who was taking part in the press conference with Mark.
 
After I had passed out media packets to the newspaper and TV crews that had assembled for the conference, Mark suggested we take the more scenic route back to Indy via U.S. 40. The historic road took us all the way back to Washington Street and ended my whirlwind of a tour. I’m pleased to report I fulfilled my chauffer duties without incident.
 
Now to decide between Muncie and Bloomington for my Frequent Driver Miles trip.