RUSHVILLE wins 2014 Primacy of Place Community Award!

Building Better Communities (BBC), the outreach and engagement division at Ball State University, announced Thursday that the Riverside Park Amphitheater in Rushville is one of four recipients of the 2014 Primacy of Place Community Awards. The awards, presented at an awards ceremony luncheon at the Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie, recognize Indiana communities’ exemplary approaches to improving quality of life for their residents, visitors, and businesses. Fellow winners include Big Four Bridge and Big Four Station in Jeffersonville, Nickel Plate Arts Initiative in eastern Hamilton/southern Tipton counties and the Read to Succeed program in Greater Lafayette/Tippecanoe County.”Riverside Park is an extraordinary venue for our community that brings local people together and people from out of town, who come here and enjoy our community, spend their money. And when one considers the fact that the venue was built with very little taxpayer dollars and that the shows are put on every year without a penny of taxpayers dollars, it is an amazing thing that our community has come together for a common cause. It is humbling that Ball State and Building Better Communities recognized that we are doing something great here,” ECDC Executive Director John McCane said. “A community’s investment in quality-of-place is one of the top-drivers of economic development within that community,” Bill Davis, executive director of Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs, one of the organizations partnering with Ball State to present the awards, said. “It helps attract a talented workforce as well as cultivate increased interest for new businesses to move to the community. These communities are among those that are truly focused on determining their economic futures.” The city of Rushville (pop. 6,204) was recognized for its Riverside Park Amphitheater and free summer concert series, which has hosted more than 65,000 concert-goers over the last five years. – See more at:

RUSHVILLE named finalist in Primacy of Place Award!

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Building Better Communities (BBC), the outreach and engagement division at Ball State University, today announced nine finalists of the 2014 Primacy of Place Community Awards Program (PoPCAP.)

The program, launched in 2013 by BBC and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, recognizes Indiana communities making innovative strides in improving quality of life for residents, visitors and businesses.

Finalists will be honored at the Primacy of Place Community Awards Luncheon on Aug. 7 at Minnetrista in Muncie. Winners will be announced and receive an original award designed by artists in Ball State’s Marilyn K Glick Center for Glass, a 30-second promotional video highlighting the winning community’s dedication to primacy of place efforts and two complimentary tickets to the 2014 Primacy of Place Conference on Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.

The 2014 finalists are:

City of Rushville (Population 6,204): Each summer since 2005, Rushville has offered a free concert series at its Riverside Park Amphitheater, featuring a diverse lineup of local, regional, nation and international performers. The amphitheater has hosted more than 65,450 concert-goers, with up to 40 percent coming from out of town.

City of Madison (Population 12,049): More than 100 churches, nonprofits and social service organizations have come together to create “the Clearinghouse,” a one-stop service center for southeastern Indiana families in need of services. The facility includes office space, classroom and multipurpose rooms, a computer lab and information referral center.

City of Jasper (Population 15,309): The Jasper Downtown + Riverfront Master Plan sets forth strategies for redevelopment and reinforces – and celebrates – Jasper’s unique character and inherent strengths. It builds on the cherished assets of Jasper to attract and keep the next generation of citizens.

Perry County (Population 19,558): The Perry County Quality of Life Committee was formed to enhance perceived and actual quality of life for residents and visitors. The committee focuses on walking and biking trails, beautification efforts, shopping and natural highlights, and festivals and special events including a New Year’s Eve celebration, Silvesternacht.

City of Westfield (Population 33,382): The city hopes to establish a flagship recreational venue, niche industry and economic development anchor for future growth with the completion of the $35 million sports campus at Grand Park. This facility will include 400 acres with 31 soccer/multipurpose fields, 26 baseball/softball diamonds, and 10 miles of interconnected walking trails.

City of Jeffersonville (Population 45,929): Jeffersonville has dedicated substantial efforts and resources to open the Big Four Bridge connecting the city to Louisville, Ky., across the Ohio River for walkers, joggers and bicyclists. In addition to downtown revitalization, Jeffersonville will unveil Big Four Station, a new $5 million park at the foot of the bridge, in October.

City of Lafayette (Population 70,373): MatchBOX Coworking Studio is a co-working space in downtown Lafayette for entrepreneurs, strategists and artists interested in starting or growing businesses. The space, created with help from more than 20 community and corporate partners, offers 24-hour secure access, complimentary refreshments, flexible space, conference rooms and Internet.

Eastern Hamilton/Southern Tipton Counties (Population about 150,000): Nickel Plate Arts supports, promotes and provides outstanding arts experiences in the six communities along the historic Nickel Plate Railroad. The group works to integrate visual and performing arts, support local professional artists, and connect communities, artists and residents.

Greater Lafayette/Tippecanoe County (Population 180,174): Lafayette’s Read to Succeed program motivated hundreds of community volunteers to spend one hour per week in local classrooms helping third-grade children develop and enhance essential literacy skills.

The PoPCAP awards are one part of Ball State’s Primacy of Place initiative to help Indiana communities put human interests at the center of economic development by nurturing wellness, happiness and prosperity. The initiative’s website ( includes best practice resources for community leaders in six key areas: arts integration, educational excellence, community design, community well-being, municipal governance and readiness for change.

RUSHVILLE featured in Ball State Primacy of Place 10 in 10 series

RUSHVILLE: Build It and They Will Come

Rushville, Indiana (Pop. 6,341)

10 in 10 weeks - RushvilleAfter attending a music festival in a neighboring community, then city councilman (now Rushville mayor) Mike Pavey asked, “Why can’t we do that in Rushville?”  In less than six months, Pavey and other Rushville residents mobilized Rushville city government, businesses and residents to build an outdoor amphitheater and host a summer series of concerts.  Since the first concert in the summer of 2005, the amphitheater has hosted more than 65,450 concert-goers at 57 concerts featuring a diverse line-up of local, regional, national and international performers, including John Waite and The Georgia Satellites.  This year, Rushville will host the 80’s power pop/new wave band “The Romantics.”

Rushville went from concept to implementation in six months, which begs the question, “how did they do it?” Location was an important factor, and Rushville had the perfect place.  Riverside Park has a colorful history of providing racing entertainment – from horse and pony to dirt-track automobiles – for Rush County residents, out-of-town visitors and even famed 3-time Indy 500 winner Walter Shaw.  With the land secure, the Riverside Park Organizing Committee (RPOC) was formed to secure time, resources and commitment from local residents and businesses to make the amphitheater a reality.

One of the biggest concerns was money – city coffers were limited and skepticism was high. Through perseverance and dedication, RPOC members ignited a vision that caught flame throughout the community. Committee members designed the amphitheater as a replica of the South Main Street Covered Bridge, which had been located nearby. Emerald Group Construction supervised and oversaw the assembly at no cost.  Local businesses donated money and labor.  Individual Rushville residents picked up hammers and went to work.  These efforts resulted in minimal taxpayer dollars being spent. The crew was united by the mantra, “Build it and they will come.”

Photo provided by RushvilleAnd come they have.  In addition to thousands of concert-goers each summer, the amphitheater has drawn a variety of individual and business sponsors who help to keep the series free.  Vendors provide refreshments and a beer-garden for the over 21 crowd.  The amphitheater also is home to other events such as wedding receptions, class reunions, car shows and non-profit fundraisers.  The success of the facility has led to further development of Riverside Park, including a haunted hayride and new walking trails that support Rush County’s wellness efforts.

Today, the Riverside Park Organizing Committee continues to “stimulate, promote, preserve and expand social, historic, cultural and economic well-being through music and arts” in Rushville. The success of this project has bred further volunteerism and pride in the community, and the number of sponsors and supporters continues to grow.  Rushville has demonstrated what passion, dedication and collaboration can accomplish in an Indiana town.

For more information about the Rushville Amphitheater, visit the Facebook page or contact Carolyn Bunzendahl, Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation. Additional best practice resources can be found on Ball State’s Primacy of Place website.

Be sure to check out the 2014 Riverside Park Amphitheater Concert Series: 
Saturday, June 21: Dirty Deeds – Extreme AC/DC
Saturday, June 28: Indiana Legend – Carl Storie
Saturday, July 12: Southern Country
Saturday, July 26: The Purple Xperience (featuring Doctor Fink of Prince and The Revolution)
Saturday, August 2: Satisfaction (The International Rolling Stones Show)
Saturday, August 16: The Romantics
Saturday, September 20: The RAILERS

Progress being made at the North Industrial Park!

Watch this site often or check us out on Facebook (Rush County ECDC) to monitor construction progress at the North Industrial Park.  Water, sewer, roads, redundant fiber soon. This is a project of the city of Rushville / Rushville Redevelopment Commission. General contractor for the project is King’s Trucking and Excavation; Butler, Fairman & Seufert is the on-site engineer.  Project is being funded by local dollars and a federal  EDA grant. Target date for completion is November 2014.

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INTAT to expand operations; create 40 new jobs by 2016

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INTAT Precision, Inc., a leader in automotive component manufacturing, has announced its intentions to expand its operations in Rushville, Indiana, creating up to 40 new jobs by 2016. At a meeting hosted by the Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation, leadership from INTAT announced their plans to develop a new manufacturing process at their Rushville facility. INTAT manufactures brake, chassis, and power train components for the automotive industry, primarily serving Toyota.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Japan-based Aisin Group Companies, will invest $22.7 million into its Rushville operations. During its first phase of growth, INTAT will renovate and equip its 375,000 square foot production facility to produce structural steel parts for the automotive industry, which Aisin is currently manufacturing in Japan. This will be the first time this process has been done in the United States. Within the next two years the company plans to construct a new 50,000 square-foot facility to house the expanded operations.

“INTAT is excited to bring this new production process into the Rushville operation which will generate job opportunities”, said Brad Rist, Vice President. He added that this is the result of the level of performance that has been achieved at the Rushville operation. “Our operation has really stepped up to meet several challenges the last few years and we have demonstrated a confidence internally that made the decision to expand here the best choice. We believe that this decision coincides with a spirit of good things to come to the Rushville community. We are excited to be a part of it.”

“This is an extraordinary and exciting day for our city. INTAT is a remarkable corporate citizen in our community,” said Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “We are especially thrilled because this is a new product line being introduced into North America. Rushville competed and won out over other potential sites, and I think this shows Rushville is creating a competitive environment for job creation and is poised for future growth. Further, I think this shows that our strategy of concentrating on growth related to our existing businesses is working.”

With its growth, the company plans to add three production lines in Rushville, which will require supplementing its manufacturing floor with new die quench presses that produce structural steel parts that are stronger, lighter and cheaper than traditional processes. INTAT is a recipient of multiple “Excellent Quality Performance” Awards from Toyota, as well as the Supplier Quality award from Subaru of Indiana Automotive.

Rushville competed with sites from other states to secure this new operation. It is the belief of the Rush County ECDC that this development illustrates the proactive efforts to make Rush County a great place to develop and grow business and industry.

“The city and county leadership in our community have invested deeply into creating an environment that is pro-business,” said John McCane, Executive Director of the Rush County ECDC. “Just 18 months ago, INTAT commenced with a major expansion, adding a third line to their manufacturing process and more than 50 new jobs. Today’s announcement goes to galvanize INTAT’s commitment to our community, and highlights why INTAT is and will continue to be a dominant player in the automotive industry.”

INTAT, which currently employs approximately 350 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring for the first expansion phase of 30 positions by December, 2014. Interested applicants may apply at the Rushville WorkOne office or online at

“Japanese businesses are on the rise in Indiana, with Hoosiers enjoying an upsurge in growth and investment from these companies in all corners of the state,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Indiana is proud to be a state that works for their investment, with a business climate that promotes growth and job creation. As our largest Asian trading partner, it is evident that Indiana’s bond with Japan is strong and only growing stronger.”
Japan-based companies find it easy to do business in Indiana. Just last week, INTAT’s sister companies Aisin Chemical Indiana and Aisin Drivetrain announced plans to invest $45.35 million into their Crothersville operations, together creating up to 74 jobs in the coming years. This follows Governor Pence’s jobs and economic development mission to Japan last year, where he met with executives from Aisin and learned about Aisin’s 10 companies and nine operations across the Hoosier State.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered INTAT Precision, Inc. up to $400,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Rushville will consider additional incentives at the request of the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation.


ECDC Announces Participation in The ACT Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative

CWRC EmployersGoals have been set to reach “Certified” status

Cathy Wenning, Chair of the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation and Government and Community Relations Manager for DUKE Energy opened the program “No Foolin’ We’re Going for the Gold” at the April 1st Rotary meeting. This informational program described Rush County’s acceptance to and subsequent participation in the pilot program for individual counties of the ACT Certified Work Ready Communities initiative.

The foundation of a community’s certification is based on individuals at the county level across the current, transitioning and emerging workforce earning a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and employers recognizing the NCRC. The NCRC is a portable, industry-recognized credential that clearly identifies an individual’s WorkKeys® skills in reading for information, applied math and locating information.

“WorkOne is the provider of testing here in our Region”, stated John McCane, ECDC Executive Director. “They offer it at the Rush County Courthouse Assembly Room on a monthly basis and will test more often if there is a need. The goal is for a certain percentage of each of the workforce groups to earn a NCRC. So far we are exceeding our goals for the emerging and incumbent workforce; we will be encouraging more individuals who are unemployed or transitioning from the military to take the test and earn that certification. The Work Ready Community designation will serve as an important economic development tool for the county.”

There are also goals for numbers of employers supporting this program. “Having the businesses engaged is of prime importance, said Mayor Mike Pavey. Job seekers will be more inclined to take the test when they know employers value WorkKeys® and recognize the importance of the NCRC. Also, this is such a great “tie-in” to the Manufacturing Matters training program. One of the qualifiers to get accepted into this program is scoring a Level 4 on WorkKeys.”

Several local employers signed support pledges at the April 1st event. These included INTAT, Pioneer and Rush Shelby Energy (pictured). ECDC and WorkOne will be contacting additional employers to explain the benefits of the program and enlist their support.

While spearheaded by the ECDC, this program is one initiative of the K To Success Education Committee. Members of that committee include representatives of the Rush County School Corporation, School Board of Trustees, City and County Government, Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce, Ivy Tech, WorkOne, Business Partners, and other community leaders. Rush County Commissioner Ken Masters, who was one of the initial advocates for the ACT program said “Being able to quantify skill levels of potential employees is extremely important to existing businesses as well as to companies we may attract to Rush County”.

Progress towards the goal can be tracked at Simultaneous with todays’ announcement, Rush County’s participation will “go live” on that website.

City of Rushville Breaks Ground on 80-Acre Industrial Park

GroundbreakingEconomic development officials from Rushville joined Mayor Mike Pavey and Donald Kathan, Area Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to break ground on a new $3 million industrial park on the Northside of the City. The new development is planned for a late-2014 completion.
“This is an exciting step in this process,” said Rushville Redevelopment Commission President John McCane. “This project has been in the works for several years, so there is some genuine exuberance as we move forward.” According to McCane, the development of the industrial park has come to fruition from the labor of five mayors, six economic development directors, dozens of city councilmen, and countless community leaders.
The project is expected to develop complete infrastructure throughout the 80-acre parcel. This will include road construction, extension of water and wastewater line, a fiber network, the development of retention ponds, storm drainage, and lighting.
Cathy Wenning, Chair of the Rush County ECDC believes that this development will open the door for new economic development opportunity for Rushville and Rush County. “This is developer’s dream – this is an economic developer’s dream to be able to have a parcel that is ideal for someone to come in and set up a business. What an ideal location, less than 15 miles to Interstate 70 and 15 miles to Interstate 74. This will be a prime piece of property that will get a lot of looks and hopefully soon will have some buildings going up.”
“I thank the community for the unity they have shown; teamwork and faith they have shown in the project, just genuine persistence,” said Mayor Pavey. I also thank Mayor Bob Bridges whose administration had the forethought to make the purchase of this property. It was a very progressive process. We were usually a pretty reactive community, so having the insight to purchase this property allows us to be here today. The City has determined to make a significant financial investment in the economic development of this community.”

In August, 2012, the EDA awarded $1.66 million to the City of Rushville for the development of the Industrial Park. The City will match these funds with $1.66 million of local dollars. “There is strength, commitment, and diversity of the public and private partners that are involved with a particular project,” said EDA Area Director Donald Kathan. “At EDA, while our grant funds are a small but necessary part, we’re under no illusion to believe or think that that is sufficient to bring a project to fruition and cause success through job creation. We recognize that by leveraging of private sector investment and being able to raise the community, there will be that rising tide to float a lot of boats through that quality of life type of improvement.”

Rocket To Success! Launch Your Own Business seminar coming to Rush County

Barada Law Offices, LLC is sponsoring this workshop presented by the partnership of East Central Small Business Development Center, Rush County ECDC and Rush County Chamber of Commerce. Come learn the ins and outs of business management and hear about the myriad  local financing options. The best way to create jobs is to grow our own!  Join us March 12th, 9 A.M. – Noon at River Point Office Suites.  Call 765-938-3232 or email to register.  Launch Your Own Business Flyer