On Thursday, the Lake County Economic Alliance (LCEA) welcomed many state and local representatives and business leaders to Gary, Indiana where Governor Eric Holcomb and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson celebrated the groundbreaking of HMD Trucking’s new headquarters. The company, which broke ground on a 35,000-square-foot facility, will designate Indiana as its new corporate headquarters and plans to create up to 500 new jobs for Hoosiers by 2021.
“This is the culmination of a lot of work by dedicated individuals and organizations,” said LCEA President and CEO, Karen Lauerman. “The partnership between the city, LCEA, the state, NIPSCO and HMD Trucking illustrates a true desire to make Gary, Lake County, and the state a stronger, more vibrant area. This is just the first of many announcements, not just for Gary but for all of Lake County.”
“We have the momentum, the assets, and the will so the time is now to capitalize on this amazing potential to bring jobs and investment to all of Northwest Indiana,” Lauerman added.
HMD Trucking, which is currently located in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, and hauls freight across the U.S., will invest nearly $6 million to expand its trucking operations to an 11-acre site at 1350 Texas St. in Gary. The new, state-of-the-art facility, which will serve as the company’s corporate headquarters, will include a 9,000-square-foot office building for its administrative team and a 26,000-square-foot space for truck and trailer maintenance, repair and warehouse. The company, which will maintain a warehouse distribution center in Illinois, plans to complete construction and move into its new Indiana facility in 2018.
“We chose Indiana and the city of Gary for this investment because of the affordability to grow our business and build our new facility, advancements in the logistics industry and central location, which makes it easy for us serve our entire marketplace with more direct routes, avoiding congestion and time delays," said Henry Malukas, President and Founder of HMD Trucking. "Locating at this site in Gary is a perfect match and we look forward to a long and valued relationship with the city and the state of Indiana.”
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson welcomed HMD Trucking to the Gary community in saying, “The City of Gary is building economic strength and momentum. With job creation plus investment in new construction, HMD Trucking is committed to the growth and prosperity of both their business and the city. I am pleased that HMD and the Malukas family recognize the opportunities in this community and look forward to partnering with them for generations to come.”
Governor Eric Holcomb was on-hand to celebrate the groundbreaking and spoke of Indiana’s business climate and our ability to attract companies like HMD Trucking to the state.
“We are thrilled to welcome HMD Trucking to Indiana - home to balanced budgets, a AAA credit rating and a low cost of doing business," Holcomb said. "It is clear why HMD Trucking decided to move from Illinois to Indiana. We have become the best state in the Midwest to start, get, and grow jobs."
“We let our product speak for itself and a lot of people are noticing,” he continued. “We’ve been good fiscal stewards over the last 10-12 years and it’s starting to pay off. It’s really the complete picture where we put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and it’s a good equation when you have a good economy, a good workforce, and good infrastructure. The sky’s the limit!”
Today's event was also the culmination of Gov. Holcomb's three-day unveiling of Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative focused on meeting Indiana’s current and future workforce needs. This week, the governor announced two new grant programs designed to put Hoosiers to work in high-demand, high-wage jobs: The Workforce Ready Grant, which will skill-up adults to fill jobs in high-demand industries, and the Employer Training Grant, which will help offset employer costs for on-the-job training.
The event was also a special one for former La Porte Mayor Blair Milo as she returned to the region after recently stepping into a position on the Governor's staff as Secretary of Career Connections and Talent.
“It’s been a phenomenal week as we’ve been all over the state,” Milo said. “After starting in Brazil (IN), we then went to Speedway, Batesville, Madison, and are finishing up today in Elkhart and here in Gary to talk about a subject that I’ve been passionate about for several years as we’ve been working on these areas in the City of La Porte. To then be able to help serve cities across the state is a tremendous opportunity.”
“This week has been a banner week as we’ve been able to roll out two new programs that are tools in the toolbox, which we’re already seeing great returns on,” added Milo. “As we heard this afternoon, 1,200 people have already applied to the Workforce Ready Grant and I think it’s going to be really exciting to see how these programs impact Hoosiers and our employers.”
For more information about Next Level Jobs and to take advantage of Indiana's workforce resources, visit www.nextleveljobs.org, and for more information about the Lake County Indiana Economic Alliance, visit www.lcea.us.