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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The University of Notre Dame announced Thursday it has completed the third and final component of a more than $75 million compensation enhancement strategy. The university says the most recent commitment, totaling $25 million, will increase base compensation for 6,000 employees around the world.

President Rev. John Jenkins cited the “extraordinary contributions” from the Notre Dame community over the last two years for the funding commitment.

The university says eligible faculty and staff will receive a 3% raise while staff hourly wages will increase to a minimum of $17.50 per hour. Student hourly wages will also increase to $15 per hour.

“We often speak of Notre Dame as being a force for good in the world,” Notre Dame Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan said in written remarks. “Investing in our faculty, staff and students is an extension of those values and the right thing to do for our most valuable asset, our people.”

The first phase of the compensation enhancement strategy began in April when the university funded a one-time, $14 million “employee appreciation monetary award” for employees. The second phase saw $50 million distributed in what Notre Dame says was the largest merit pool in its history.

Notre Dame officials say the latest increase will have no impact on tuition or financial aid.

The compensation increases will take affect on Aug. 1.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Michigan-based Greenbush Brewing Co. has reportedly closed its taproom in South Bend. According to a noticed posted to the door of the taproom, the location was unable to recovery from challenges caused by the pandemic.

The closure was reported last week on the Indiana Beer News account on Twitter.

The noticed posted on the taproom door said, “While we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to have a physical presence in South Bend, it never recovered from the myriad COVID-related difficulties and as such never returned to the state of financial health and traffic necessary to sustain it.”

Inside INdiana Business has reached out to Greenbush for a statement, but has not yet received a response.

The taproom was located inside the Martin’s Super Markets store in the Erskine Plaza shopping center in South Bend. A spokesperson for Martins told the South Bend Tribune last Thursday they had just been notified of the closure but declined to offer comment on the future of the space.

In a 2020 interview with Inside INdiana Business, Greenbush owner Scott Sullivan talked about the distinctiveness of having a brewpub inside a grocery store.

“We’re pretty food-centric, so the idea of being attached to something grocery-related, we thought was cool,” Sullivan said. “I’ve seen bars in a number of different groceries, but I have yet to see a connected brewery do a standalone thing there.”

Greenbush has not made an official comment on the closure, but the South Bend taproom is not listed on the company’s website.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A printing company in South Bend is expanding thanks to a local program designed to help small business scale up. The owner of South Bend Print Shop says the company has moved into a new location in the city’s downtown after completing the Scaling Up South Bend program.

South Bend Print Shop creates custom apparel and products primarily by hand-pulled, manual screen printing and heat-transfer printing.

The company is run by Brent and Morgan Lacy, who previously operated out of 120-square-foot den in their apartment.

The Scaling Up South Bend Program is a three-month training program for small business owners to help grow their business, after which they receive access to six months of discounted or free business space along Sample Street.

“The expansion is a relief to see a dream begin to come to fruition,” Brent Lacy said in an email to Inside INdiana Business. “It’ll allow us to start to purchase larger equipment that previously was not an option in the past footprint and eventually expand offerings for our regional customer base.”

South Bend Print Shop touts several major clients, including the University of Notre Dame and Costco. The company also holds wholesale contracts with Nike and Carhartt, among other vendors.

Lacy says currently, he and his wife are the company’s only employees, though they utilize a small design firm and virtual assistant to maximize workflow. However, he says he is looking to partner with WorkOne to find potential future employees.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The new chief executive officer of the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership says the organization continues to focus on collaboration to boost talent attraction and retention, workforce development, and more. Bethany Hartley was appointed to the role earlier this month, succeeding Regina Emberton, who stepped down in February. She says one of her main goals is to increase the per capital personal income to at least the national average by 2030.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hartley said talent remains one of the biggest challenges for the region.

“If you can solve for attracting more talent to your region, you’re winning the game, and so we’re really doubling down on that,” said Hartley. “We worked, pre-COVID, on a regional brand campaign with a national company and had it produced, and now we’re implementing it. [We’re also] standing up a regional ambassador program that is essentially welcoming faces for new residents and potential residents.”

Hartley says the partnership is also continuing its efforts to upskill the region’s workforce through the LIFT Network Apprenticeship Program, which launched last November.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, per capital personal income for the region in 2020 was just over $51,000, a 6.8% increase over the previous year but still below the national average.

In order to reach her and the partnership’s goal of growing the per capital personal income, Hartley says the partnership will update its five-year strategic plan launched last year to keep a pulse on how to hit that mark and also keep talent in the region.

“We look at success [as being] we are retaining more of our educated talent. We have nine colleges and universities on the Indiana side in our region generating 40,000 students a year and we export too many of them. And so, success would be keeping more of those folks in the region. We have the occupations. We have the high-wage, high-demand jobs, and it’s a matter of connecting the students to those opportunities as well as building up our place-based amenities.”

Hartley attended the Global Economic Summit in Indianapolis on Thursday and says she hopes to bring some best practices from around the world back to northern Indiana.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — enFocus Inc. was started a decade ago to bring a greater entrepreneurial spirit to northern Indiana. The South Bend-based nonprofit, connects recent graduates with local organizations to tackle tough challenges while also focusing on its mission to attract, develop and retain talent in the region. Executive Director Andrew Wiand says the organization’s project-based model is designed to reduce brain drain by keeping talent in the state.

Wiand talked about the model and its impact in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick. Click here to watch interview.

“We hire recent graduates as two-year innovation fellows, and we actually place them on projects in the community that are focused with regional organizations, and they get to work the leaders in these organizations to solve their toughest challenges,” said Wiand. “And…they get a percentage of time to work on either an entrepreneurial endeavor or a social program or a social issue that they might be passionate about.”

Wiand says the model brings benefits for the regional organizations with which it partners because they have assistance in solving real-world problems. He says that also serves as a vehicle for hiring.

“Our graduates are finding jobs and really, over 70% of them out of about 150 fellowships to date have stayed in the area,” he said.

The vision for enFocus over the next decade includes opportunity for growth, according to Wiand.

“Our vision is to be a national model for talent attraction and innovation,” he says. “How might we look at – in the next three to five years – Indiana as an opportunity? What other communities might we be seeking to grow. And, thinking nationally, we want to have good growth, but we want to be steady to our vision. So, maybe in 10 years, we’re even bolder.”

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The president of Memorial Hospital in South Bend says the planned $232 million expansion serves as a signal of parent Beacon Health System’s commitment to the city and its residents. Larry Tracy says when Beacon initiated a master facility plan process in 2019, one option was to build a new hospital in the suburb of Granger in eastern St. Joseph County. In recent years, the health system has built its corporate headquarters, a smaller eight-bed hospital, and a health and fitness center in that community.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Tracy said even though there was available space near those properties, relocating away from the urban center was not an option.

“It was the wrong thing to do for the city of South Bend. It was the wrong thing to do for our mission,” said Tracy.

In an interview with IIB reporter Wes Mills, Memorial Hospital President Larry Tracy explains why the hospital is not building a new facility elsewhere

Memorial has been in South Bend for 129 years. In 2009, Memorial’s competitor, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center opened its new hospital in neighboring Mishawaka, leaving underserved populations with just one option in South Bend.

“We take care of some of the most vulnerable populations in our region. And access to care is extremely important for them,” said Tracy. “Once we did that analysis, it renewed our commitment to make this investment right here in South Bend.

Beacon Health System says the project includes construction of a 10-story story. It will also add several new floors on top of a portion of its existing footprint. The project will result in more than 50 new patient beds on top of its current 250 adult bed capacity.

Tracy says expanding, instead of constructing new, also presents cost-savings.

“This investment gets us a bed tower. What it doesn’t get us is a new kitchen and a new Children’s Hospital and all these things,” said Tracy. “We have a lot of infrastructure here, that it would have exponentially driven that cost up. And quite frankly, we didn’t think that was a prudent use of dollars.”
Beacon says the expansion will create 500 new jobs, including clinical and general staff positions once the project is complete.

Analysis conducted by the South Bend Regional Chamber indicates the Memorial project will have a more than $400 million economic impact on the community when factoring in construction, local employment gains and increased economic activity.

South Bend Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Rea told Inside INdiana Business the $400 million estimate is probably conservative since some of the research was conducted prior to the pandemic. Since then, construction and labor costs have increased.

Rea says the Beacon project is one of the largest private investments the community has seen in decades.

“We are fortunate to have a top-notch healthcare system. This investment continues to show its commitment to the region,” said Rea.

Tracy says the pandemic allowed the health system to re-think this project, which begin in the spring of 2019.

At the time, the system was analyzing projected patient volumes, an aging population, and the types of patients it might serve in the years ahead.

“Then we got a year into the work and, ‘voila, we have a pandemic.’ And, and while it slowed us down, because obviously the emergent nature of dealing with the pandemic, it also gave us a laboratory to understand how this facility could be even better to meet the needs 5,10, 20 plus years,” said Tracy.

Part of the project is already underway. Construction crews must first renovate existing patient rooms on the 6th floor patient and mechanical system infrastructure.

Construction on the new tower is scheduled to begin in March 2023 with completion of the entire project in February 2026. Click here to learn more about the project.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — South Bend-based Teachers Credit Union has selected Jason Osterhage as its new president and chief executive officer. He most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Texas Dow Employees Credit Union in Houston.

Osterhage began his career in 2005 with Delta Community Credit Union in Atlanta and later served as chief lending executive for Alliant Credit Union in Chicago.

“Jason’s extensive management experience in the credit union industry makes him the ideal choice to lead our experienced executive team,” Dr. Vincent Henderson, chairman of the TCU Board of Directors, said in written remarks. “Throughout his career, Jason has accumulated valuable expertise that applies to all facets of our organization, and we’re excited to see the new perspective he will bring to the credit union.”

Osterhage will begin his new role immediately.

He succeeds Paul Marsh, who left the credit union a year ago after 30 years, including 10 as CEO. Waylon Peterson, president of TCU Wealth Management, has served as interim CEO since Marsh’s departure.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child at the University of Notre Dame has received three grant awards totaling $3.4 million. The university says the grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the LEGO Foundation and USAID will fund its resilient education programming in Haiti.

A portion of the funding will support education partnerships that help with disaster recovery and catalyze long-term education systems development in Haiti. Notre Dame says the GC-DWC will host virtual and in-person meetings to review and reimagine a more resilient education system in Haiti.

“With our partners in Haiti, we are building resilient child development and education systems that draw on the three pillars of Haitian society: the home, the school and the church,” said Kate Schuenke-Lucien, the director for Haiti and senior associate director for strategic planning at the GC-DWC. “These new awards allow us to expand our work, especially in light of the damage caused by the 2021 earthquake.”

The funding will also support systems activation in emergencies, as well as a USAID crisis modifier, which allows the center to build on its strong beginnings project and supply additional resources to Haitians amid political protests, school closures and frequent earthquakes.

The university says the additional funding will also allow GC-DWC to construct temporary learning structures, provide psychosocial support to parents and offer nutrition support.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — While selections may be limited right now, could the city of South Bend one day earn the moniker of “Salad bowl of the Midwest?” The South Bend City Council this week gave a positive recommendation for two tax abatements that could build the northern Indiana city into a major hydroponic produce market. Two companies, including one already in operation, are talking about collectively investing nearly $260 million to expand their high-tech greenhouse operations.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Pure Green Farms Chief Executive Officer Joe McGuire said he wants to expand a nearly four-acre greenhouse that grows a variety of leafy greens.

“Today, it’s minus two degrees this morning. And it’s beautiful, nice and balmy in the greenhouse. Beautiful and business as usual,” joked McGuire. ”We’re expanding our distribution with retail and food service customers, growing beautiful, green, baby lettuces here all year round.”

Pure Green Farms had its first harvest of greens early last year from its hydroponics greenhouse on the southwest side of South Bend. Now, the company is in the process of mapping out phase two, which would double the size of the operation. McGuire says it would be about an $80 million investment.

“We’re just forecasting ahead to make sure that we don’t get caught with a completely sold-out greenhouse and nowhere to go for more product,” said McGuire, who was profiled last year on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

The other proposed greenhouse would dwarf the Pure Green operation. Ontario-based JEM Farms is exploring the possibility of building a greenhouse operation, as many as 100-acres under roof, in the same area of South Bend. The company says it would be a $178 million investment.

“Location, logistics-wise, it is great, right? We’re very happy the council was enthusiastic that they want us down there. It’s something we’re looking at,” said Paul J. Mastronardi, a third-generation farmer whose family runs one of the biggest hydroponic greenhouse farms in Ontario.

“It’s a family firm, a 50-acre operation, that we’re growing locally grown produce in Ontario markets right now with supplemental lighting. We’d be looking at potentially doing the same thing [in Indiana]” said Mastronardi, who added they would likely grow strawberries and market them under the Ever Tru Farms brand.

The operation would be within a couple of miles of the Indiana Toll Road, giving JEM Farms broad access to major markets. While receiving an endorsement from the city is welcome news, Mastronardi the deal is far from done.

“You’re not just farmers anymore. You need an energy background. You need a development background. It’s a lot of work that goes in these facilities,” said Mastronardi. “A lot more work needs to go into before we finalize. We will see how that plays out through the year.”

Some of the unfinished work includes help extending electricity and natural gas to the undeveloped sites. McGuire says those additional costs are also being factored in, as is competition from traditional growers, like in California, Florida and Texas.

“How can you make improvements and grow efficiencies because you have to compete with the field growers on the lettuce side, and bring value to the consumer,” said McGuire. “If you’re not efficient your costs shoot up and it makes the business model that much more difficult.”

Construction could begin in December of 2022 and wrap up in December of 2026.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — South Bend-based 1st Source Corp. (Nasdaq: SRCE) is reporting record full-year net income of $119 million, up from $81 million the previous year. Chief Executive Officer Christopher Murphy says the banking company saw major benefits from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Murphy says the record earnings were driven by PPP income and the ability to relieve the bank’s allowance for loan and lease losses.

“In many ways this averages out the performance of the last two years since 2020’s income was down compared to prior years as we anticipated more losses from the impact of COVID-19,” said Murphy. “We welcome the positive impact provided by the PPP, the Federal Reserve’s extremely accommodative monetary policy and other government fiscal stimulus programs in response to the pandemic. They have collectively led to a stronger economic recovery than we anticipated for us, our clients and the communities we serve.”

The parent of 1st Source Bank is also reporting fourth quarter net income of $27.7 million, up from $26.5 million during the same period in 2020.

You can connect to the full earnings report by clicking here.