GREENSBURG – Gerry A. Dick, American journalist and former news anchor at WRTV, recently spoke during a luncheon meeting of the Greensburg Rotary Club, giving a brief assessment of the state’s economy. Dick is best known as the current host of Inside INdiana Business on WRTV.
In 2004, Dick was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash and received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. His Inside INdiana Business news program has also received multiple Emmy Awards for “Best Interview/Discussion Program” including one for its special on the “Big Business of Craft Beer.” Additionally, he has received four Emmy nominations for Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick while being recognized as “Journalist of the Year” by the Small Business Administration.
Dick spoke to the group via ZOOM and talked about the second quarter of 2021.
He said there’s still a lot of pain over the pandemic, adding that 2021 should be a “pretty good” year for the State of Indiana from an economic development and economic standpoint.
Dick noted that Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger was recently a guest on his show and Linebarger’s view was that the toughest current challenge is keeping up with the supply chain.
He also talked about the restaurant and entertainment industries.
“They’ve obviously been decimated by the pandemic, and a number have closed, but at least in the central portion of the state March Madness was a huge shot in the arm,” Dick said, adding that pulling it off was “a herculean effort only Hoosiers could accomplish.”
Dick’s projection was that hosting the tournament should result in substantially more than the original projection of a $100 million impact on the local economy.
He said that despite the pandemic, 2020 was the fourth consecutive year of major economic growth for Indy that included 282 commitments by companies planning to expand in Indiana, bringing 31,000 jobs.
“They haven’t happened yet, but those are some big numbers, even during the pandemic, and that’s only a few of the reasons the future looks positive for our state,” he said.
Dick said that in 2020 Indiana saw venture capital rise 20%, with Life Science startups being 60 percent of the growth around the state. Technology companies continue to be the number one source of entrepreneurial growth in Indiana, with demand for tech talent at its highest.
He also spoke of some notable industrial developments in northwestern Indiana, with a big push in getting people to live in our state and commute to Chicago,
As for southwestern Indiana, Dick said that water and river-side entertainment industries continue to be the driving economic force.
In the northeast, the transformation of the old General Electric complex into a live/work/play environment with restaurants, upscale apartments and shopping opportunities will be a huge boon, he predicted.
Dick also talked about growth of Purdue University and the addition of the Rolls Royce facility as part of a 12-county push to attract entrepreneurial talent.
“One thing I’d like to leave you with, and something the governor and local industry are trying their best to do, is attract talent. How can we keep those students graduating from our great universities and colleges, and how can we impress upon them that Indiana is a great place to live, work and play?” he asked rhetorically.