Northwest Indiana business, public and union officials are teaming up to pitch the region’s advantages in a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
The Northwest Indiana Forum is organizing its pitch as well as the city of Gary, The Chicago Tribune reports. The competition for the headquarters is fierce with more than 100 communities vying for the opportunity to host the rapidly growing company.
The forum’s steering committee has 65 members including Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.; State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary; South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Randy Palmateer, business manager of the Northwest Indiana Buildings & Construction Trades Council; Majestic Star Casino CEO Peter Ligouri; and Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) president Violet Sistovaris, the Tribune reports.
Gary has put together its own working group that includes representatives from the Northwest Indiana Forum, NIPSO, the city’s economic development team, and consulting firm SEH, Incorporated. The response is being coordinated with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
The deadline for local and state governments to submit their proposals to Amazon is Oct. 19. The headquarters would attract an estimated $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs.
Gary placed a September New York Times ad, with Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson’s phone number.
“This response combines Gary’s location, the availability of vacant land and transportation assets with Indiana’s favorable business climate and fiscal strength,” she said in a statement. “The region’s proposal is also enhanced by the existence of a commuter rail system that will facilitate travel between Gary and Chicago in approximately 35 minutes.”
Forum CEO Heather Ennis said the state’s pro-business climate is an asset.
“I believe in Northwest Indiana — our physical assets, our people, and our business climate. When you couple these features with our proximity to Chicago, we will continue to attract meaningful business investment,” Ennis said in a statement. “I am proud to be a part of this team to move the region forward. We welcome opportunities like Amazon and many others that might want to be a part of the bright future of Northwest Indiana.”