Visclosky receives economic development leadership award from international organization

An article published in the Purdue Research Foundation, March 19, 2012
By staff of Purdue Research Foundation

Portrait of Congressman Pete Visclosky

Published: March 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C.; MERRILLVILLE, IND.; and WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. – Congressman Pete Visclosky, of Indiana’s 1st District, received the 2011 Congressional Leadership in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The recognition was presented Monday (March 19) during the organization’s 2012 Federal Economic Development Forum in Washington, D.C.

Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation, nominated Visclosky for the award for his work and contributions to building and expanding the Northwest Indiana economy.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award. The success of the Purdue Research Park in Northwest Indiana and other local economic development initiatives that I have been involved with is due in no small part to tremendous regional cooperation,” Visclosky said. “Working with partners such as Purdue University, the Regional Development Authority, municipal officials and local economic development organizations is a privilege, and I am deeply thankful for all they contribute to our region. I am excited to see what the future holds for the next generation and humbled to have been able to assist with some of the great work that has laid the foundation for a better tomorrow.”

The development of Purdue Research Park of Northwest Indiana began when former Purdue President Martin Jischke informed Visclosky that the Indiana General Assembly had authorized Purdue to expand its research facilities away from its main campus, but a dedicated funding stream had not been identified. Together, they set about developing the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana, a high-tech incubator that expanded Purdue’s research and technology expertise in the area. In 2002 a groundbreaking for the facility was held, thanks in part to the $6.9 million in funding Visclosky secured to construct the initial 48,000-square-foot facility on 386 acres owned by the Purdue Research Foundation. In 2010 Visclosky attended a 12,000-square-foot expansion dedication at the center, for which he secured an additional $2.28 million.

Today the site has 33 new and expanding companies in eight buildings that support 719 jobs. The average annual wage for jobs in the park is $63,000, which is 65 percent greater than the Indiana’s average annual salary. The incubator was the second Purdue Research Park established in Indiana. The Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette opened in 1961.

“The Purdue Research Park of Northwest Indiana is just one example of how Pete has successfully created long-term, high-tech economic development initiatives for the people he represents in Congress,” Hornett said. “The successful launch of the Northwest Indiana park led to the opening of the two other Purdue Research Park incubators in Indianapolis and New Albany.

“Pete’s commitment to the area goes beyond the support he has given to Purdue, as he has provided support for multiple economic projects.”

Visclosky has provided leadership for several ongoing economic development projects, including:

* The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation. The center partners with companies to provide student experiential learning opportunities and economic savings for partnering companies in the steel industry and other sectors.

* Partnerships with Argonne National Lab, the Purdue-Calumet Energy Efficiency and Water Institute Research Facility and others to conduct research and provide educational programs in water resources.

* The Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Center at Ivy Tech Community College in Gary, Ind. The center allows residents to study logistics, distribution and transportation resources to pursue careers in those sectors.

*The Indiana University Northwest Health Research Institute. The institute was able to purchase equipment to further develop its medical program at Indiana University Northwest.

“This award recognizes an individual at the federal level who has gone above and beyond administrating a federal economic development program,” said Jeff Finkle, president and CEO of the International Economic Development Council. “Congressman Visclosky was selected from a group of several outstanding nominees for this award, and the judges chose him because of his vast contributions to build and strengthen the economy in Northwest Indiana.”

Visclosky congressional district includes Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper and Benton counties. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee and serves as ranking member of its Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, where he has worked to boost investments in new energy technologies that will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. He also sits on the Defense Subcommittee, the Financial Services Subcommittee and is vice chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.

Visclosky was born in Gary, Ind., and graduated from Andrean High School in Merrillville. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University Northwest, a law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School and a master of laws in international and comparative law from Georgetown University Law Center.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council is the world’s largest independent non-profit membership and research organization devoted exclusively to the field of economic development. IEDC helps economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Serving more than 4,400 members, IEDC provides a diverse range of services including conferences, professional development and certification, publications, research, advisory services, and legislative tracking. Visit http://www.iedconline.or

About Purdue Research Foundation

Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. The Purdue Research Foundation oversees the Purdue Research Park, which is the largest university-affiliated business incubator in the country. In addition to the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, the foundation has established technology parks in other locations around Indiana, including Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.

Media contacts:

Sara Olson, communications director for Congressman Pete Visclosky, 202-225-2461,

Cynthia Sequin, Purdue Research Foundation, 765-588-3340,

Erin Way, International Economic Development Council, 202-942-9474,


Emily Bell, International Economic Development Council,

Sara Olson, communications director for Congressman Pete Visclosky, 202-225-2461,

Joseph Hornett, 765-588-1040,