Agriculture. Biology. Science and technology. All of these make up our growing agbioscience sector of our economy. While Indiana already ranks as the 10th largest agriculture state in the nation, we further positioned ourselves as a destination for ag and technology in 2020 with numerous announcements regarding job creation in the ag tech industry, which will add to our already strong agriculture heritage.
Last year, businesses in and outside of Indiana committed plans to create more than 31,300 Hoosier jobs. That includes more than 2,700 jobs in agribusiness. Our pro-business climate and high quality of life make Indiana the perfect destination for innovation and expansion, which is why more and more companies are selecting Indiana as their new home, rather than the increasingly rising challenges of Silicon Valley and the West Coast.
Overall, 282 companies made investments in our state last year, which only builds on our reputation as a hotbed for innovation. The record-breaking growth was not achieved by good fortune and will not be maintained without purpose and perseverance. Changes in finance, technology and workforce cannot be ignored. We must be vigilant as we work to provide the tools that will help each and every individual compete in this ever-changing economy.
Our state already ranks third in the nation in the industries of the future. That includes agbioscience, which already contributes $39 billion to our state economy and employs more than 77,000 Hoosiers. Both these numbers continue to climb.
That is why it is vital to supply these employers with the needed skilled workers to fill these jobs. Indiana’s Next Level Jobs program continues to offer Workforce Ready Grants and Employer Training Grants to train Hoosiers with new skills to pursue these positions and provide further training to workers already on the job. I encourage workers and employers to visit NextLevelJobs.org to learn more.
Agriculture has always been a big contributor to our state’s economy. As technology has reshaped the industry, Hoosiers have always adapted. With new businesses growing and starting in our state our agricultural roots grow stronger.