On January 19th, community leaders from Bloomington welcomed Colonel and Mrs. Alan Pratt at a reception in their honor at the Monroe County Convention Center. Indiana University was pleased to co-host the reception with partner organizations: Ivy Tech-Bloomington, The Greater Bloomington Chamber, the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation and Mr. Lee Marchant, chair of the Growing Crane Committee. The event was a great opportunity to demonstrate Bloomington’s support for Crane’s national security mission.
As I prepared my outline for my duties as emcee for the program, I was again reminded of the vast economic development engine that Crane continues to operate in southeastern Indiana. Most Hoosiers have no idea of the scale of the Crane operations. Think about these numbers:
- It’s the 3rd largest navy installation in the world by acres;
- Critical concentration of 2,229 scientists, engineers and technicians;
- $2.0 billion receipted in FY 11;
- 87 patents issued, 123 in-Process which is seen as “the metric of innovation”
- 3,105 Government Employees, $232M Payroll
- 1,200+ Contractor Employees, $96M Payroll
- And, thousands more jobs outside the gate that support the above
I list these statistics not just as a reminder of the huge number of Hoosiers that have good jobs related to Crane activities, but to remind us that we can’t take it for granted. Someday, another round of defense base closures may come and Crane has darkened that list before. Indiana business, higher education and government leaders must continue to be innovative in the ways we support Crane.
Businesses can continue to be inventive suppliers, and governments can continue to provide infrastructure like I-69 and the Westgate at Crane technology park. Indiana University will continue to connect with Crane on a daily basis providing faculty experts, interns, and access to our massive research collections. In addition to building the Indiana economy we will contribute to national security.