U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, has received the 2011 Congressional
Leadership in Economic Development Award from the International Economic
Development Council (IEDC).
The recognition was made today at the IEDC’s 2012 Federal Economic
Development Forum in Washington, D.C.
Joseph B. Hornett of the Purdue Research Foundation nominated Visclosky for
the award for his contributions to the expansion of the Northwest Indiana
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award,” Visclosky said. “The
success of the Purdue Research Park in Northwest Indiana and other local
economic development initiatives that I have been involved with is due in no
small part to tremendous regional cooperation. Working with partners such as
Purdue University, the Regional Development Authority, municipal officials
and local economic development organizations is a privilege, and I am deeply
thankful for all they contribute to our region. I am excited to see what the
future holds for the next generation and humbled to have been able to assist
with some of the great work that has laid the foundation for a better
Among Visclosky’s achievements: his work in establishing the Purdue
Technology Center of Northwest Indiana, a high-tech incubator which expanded
Purdue University’s research and technology expertise in the area. In 2002 a
groundbreaking for the facility was held, thanks in part to the $6.9 million
in funding Visclosky secured to construct the initial 48,000-square-foot
facility on 386 acres owned by the Purdue Research Foundation. In 2010
Visclosky attended a 12,000-square-foot expansion dedication at the center,
for which he secured an additional $2.28 million.
Now the site has 33 new and expanding companies in eight buildings that
support 719 jobs. The average annual wage for jobs in the park is $63,000,
which is 65 percent greater than the Indiana's average annual salary. The
incubator was the second Purdue Research Park established in Indiana. The
Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette opened in 1961.
“The Purdue Research Park of Northwest Indiana is just one example of how
Pete has successfully created long-term, high-tech economic development
initiatives for the people he represents in Congress,” Hornett said. “The
successful launch of the Northwest Indiana park led to the opening of the
two other Purdue Research Park incubators in Indianapolis and New Albany.
Pete's commitment to the area goes beyond the support he has given to
Purdue, as he has provided support for multiple economic projects.”
Visclosky has provided leadership for several ongoing economic development
•The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, which
partners with companies to provide student experiential learning
opportunities and economic savings for partnering companies in the steel
industry and other sectors.
•Partnerships with Argonne National Lab, the Purdue-Calumet Energy
Efficiency and Water Institute Research Facility and others to conduct
research and provide educational programs in water resources.
•The Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Center at Ivy Tech Community
College in Gary, which allows residents to study logistics, distribution,
and transportation resources to pursue careers in those sectors.
•The Indiana University Northwest Health Research Institute. The institute
was able to purchase equipment to further develop its medical program at
Indiana University Northwest.
“This award recognizes an individual at the federal level who has gone above
and beyond administrating a federal economic development program," IEDC
President and CEO Jeff Finkle said. “Congressman Visclosky was selected from
a group of several outstanding nominees for this award, and the judges chose
him because of his vast contributions to build and strengthen the economy in
The IEDC is the world's largest independent non-profit membership and
research organization devoted exclusively to the field of economic
development. IEDC helps economic development professionals create
high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of
life in their regions. Serving more than 4,400 members, IEDC provides a
diverse range of services including conferences, professional development
and certification, publications, research, advisory services, and