1998 TOP 10
"We’re a community-based, customer-based organization that works to make our communities better markets and our customers better at what they do. If we’ve had success, that’s probably why."
So says Bob Hutchings, manager of economic development for Plainfield, Ind.-based Cinergy/PSI, which serves 69 of Indiana’s 92 counties (mostly in the central and southern parts of the state). The utility clearly has had success, playing a significant role last year in projects that will involve about US$914 million in capital investments and create more than 9,700 new jobs. In fact, the utility’s location success goes back much farther than just ’98. "We’ve had a really successful run in the last 10 years," Hutchings says. "Our biggest facilities have been in auto and steel."
Cinergy/PSI (www.cinergy.com/indiana/partners)has taken a broad view of its development role, one that’s appreciated by the location consultants who’ve tapped the utility for "objective, unbiased information covering the entire region," according to one New York-based consultant.
"One thing we’ve found is that we’re only going to be successful if our communities are successful," Hutchings says. "Our whole way of thinking is ‘What’s right for our communities is right for us,’ so we help make them the best we can."
Above: Cinergy/PSI economic development staff helped bring Heartland Steel's new facility to Indiana. Pictured (l-r) are Milton E. Blankenship, Heartland vice president of technology; Thomas G. Leydic, Heartland vice president and COO; Harold Coker Jr., Heartland president and CEO; Bob Hutchings, manager of economic development, Cinergy/PSI; and Steve Witt, executive director, Vigo County Redevelopment Commission.
"Maintaining our high level of involvement and service to our local communities is one of our greatest accomplishments," adds Manager of Economic Development Marketing Scott Fulford.
Work-force development has been one of Cinergy/PSI’s main areas of focus during the past couple of years. "We’re trying hard to be innovative in dealing with work-force issues, because some of our counties have unemployment rates of 1 percent, or even less," Hutchings reports.
Among the utility’s prime strengths are staff continuity and top management support. "Many of our people have been here a long time," Hutchings says, "and our management provides the resources we need and a long-term commitment to economic development."
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