Thursday, October 20 2011
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says construction of the Ford Center created 30 percent more local jobs than originally estimated. The city says more than three-quarters of the nearly 1,600 workers on the new downtown arena are members of local trade unions.
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is pleased to announce that the construction of the Ford Center created 30 percent more jobs for local laborers than originally estimated.
Collectively, the 1,597 people who completed safety orientation training logged approximately 692,862 hours on the project. According to Hunt Construction, 1,275, or 80 percent, of those who worked on the Ford Center are members of local trade unions.
An initial economic impact study, completed before construction on the facility began, estimated that only 50 percent of jobs created would be from local labor.
“When we began this project in 2008, we knew it would benefit hundreds of local families by putting men and women from our community to work. Today, I am proud to report that the economic impact of the construction of the Ford Center has exceeded our expectations. With Indiana and the nation struggling with record unemployment, we created good paying jobs for nearly 1,300 area residents,” said Mayor Weinzapfel.
“The construction of the Ford Center provided a much needed boost for all of our local craftspeople. We are proud of the work that’s been done and proud to have been part of the project. Hunt Construction created a great environment on the job and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner,” said Jack McNeely, President of the Central Labor Council. “The Ford Center is going to be a significant asset for Evansville.”
To thank all of the men and women who worked countless hours to make the Ford Center a reality, a contractor appreciation event is being held this Saturday.
It is a celebration of the workers’ achievement and an opportunity to showcase the project to family and friends.
The multi-purpose Ford Center will be the region’s center for sports and entertainment, designed to host basketball, hockey, concerts, exhibitions, and shows for audiences as large as 11,000.
Tuesday, January 04 2011
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says he will not seek re-election. The Democrat is leaving the door open for a political office in the future saying he's seeking new challenges. During a news conference to announce his decision, Weinzapfel did not mention the 2012 governor's race.
He was first elected Evansville mayor in 2003 and re-elected in 2007.
Weinzapfel has also served as a state representative.
He has highlighted some accomplishments in the mayor's office including the downtown arena project, a regional approach to economic development and the attraction of "tens of millions of dollars in investment" creating hundreds of new jobs.
He points to Berry Plastics, American General, Mead Johnson and AT&T who have continued to expand in Evansville over the past seven years.
The city also lost a major employer in that period when Whirlpool stopped refrigerator production in Evansville and moved most of those operations to Mexico.
Tuesday, May 11 2010
On Arbor Day the city of Evansville announced a new ordinance requiring developers to include trees and green spaces in large, newly built parking lots.
It's called the "Landscaped Islands Ordinance" which was signed by Mayor Weinzapfel in March.
"Large parking lots are a common part of the landscape of cities across the country. What we are ensuring with this ordinance is that new parking lots in our community will include green space to make these areas more visually appealing and lessen their negative impact on our environment," said Weinzapfel.
Officials say landscaped islands help reduce heat and the amount of storm water run-off.
Under the new ordinance, new developments with parking lots having 30 spaces or more will be required to have landscaped islands, one island for every 15 spaces. Developers will also have to plant trees in the islands when the parking lot is 60 spaces or more.
Violators could face $500 fines. There are also incentives for developers who plant trees on the islands.
Monday, February 01 2010
The city of Evansville enters 2010 looking to continue to manage the recession. Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says the area's unemployment rate has consistently remained under the state average, currently by a full two points. He says companies like Mead Johnson and Berry Plastics have been adding jobs and that several construction projects are underway, led by the new $125 million downtown arena.
Weinzapfel says the city also made the decision to bring management of local water and sewer utilities back to local government, which is expected to save an estimated $14 million over the next five years.
Source: Inside INdiana Business http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=39894
Wednesday, September 02 2009
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says any discussion of using the Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) property in the city as a landing strip are "premature." Our partners at the Evansville Courier & Press have reported officials with the city's airport authority want to explore the possibility of using the property for a runway expansion, if the plant is razed after production moves to Mexico. Weinzapfel says the focus for the property is "jobs and job creation."
“With regard to the future use of the Whirlpool property, our focus is on jobs and job creation. We will review all opportunities for the constructive reuse of this land that would allow us to bring in new businesses and jobs to the area. Any discussion of the use of this property as a landing strip is premature,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.
Saturday, August 29 2009
City of Evansville
One N.W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Evansville, Indiana 47708
Office of the Mayor
August 28, 2009 Contact: Audra Levy
For Immediate Release Communications Director
City of Evansville Forms Rapid Response Team
To Address Whirlpool Announcement
(EVANSVILLE, IN) – The City of Evansville, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana and the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, have formed a rapid response team to assist employees who will be effected by the closure of Whirlpool Corporation’s Evansville, IN manufacturing facility. The team will also work to retain the Product Development Center currently located in Evansville, which serves as the North American center for all refrigeration technology within Whirlpool.
“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the hard-working men and women who have to cope with what this decision will mean to their lives and the lives of their families. This is devastating news for them,” said Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “I want to assure the workers and their families that our team will be working with Whirlpool, the State and the Federal Government over the coming months to help them through this difficult transition.”
The rapid response team will immediately assemble all of the resources at its disposal to support employees as they work through the closure process. The team will also put together a competitive proposal to keep the Product Development Center and its jobs here in Evansville, and identify reuse opportunities and potential partners for redevelopment of the Whirlpool facility.
“Whirlpool Corporation has been a valued partner in our community for more than 50 years,” said Matt Meadors, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana. “Even though the Company has assured us that there was nothing that the City or the State could have done to prevent this morning’s announcement, we need to do whatever is possible to retain the remaining pieces of Whirlpool’s footprint in our City.”
The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, which acts as the umbrella economic development organization for Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties, will take the lead on crafting a competitive proposal to keep Whirlpool’s Product Development Center in Evansville. “As difficult as the impact of the closure of Whirlpool’s manufacturing facility will be, we must also focus on how to retain the 300 technical jobs associated with the Product Development Center,” said Greg Wathen, President and CEO of the Coalition. “In spite of this morning’s announcement, the Evansville economy is still strong. We are confident that, with the State’s help, we’ll be able to keep the Product Development Center here and continue to attract new business and industry to the area.”
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Saturday, August 22 2009
Bank of Evansville finds 'Bank On' program works
A Bank of Evansville program led to the opening of 324 bank accounts in the first half of 2009.
The program is a response to Census statistics indicating that 6,000 Evansville households lack bank accounts. It is believed those who live in such households spend more than $800 a year to cash paychecks and to write checks for their bills.
The 324 accounts added in the first half of 2009 were opened by the 15 financial institutions participating in the program. That number makes up 27 percent of 1,200 accounts the city wants to see opened through Bank on Evansville this year.
The average monthly balanced held in them was $219.
The National League of Cities has reported that Evansville has the fastest expanding "Bank On" program in the United States.
"These numbers show that Bank on Evansville is really making an impact in our community," Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel said.
— Dan Shaw