Southwest Indiana Named a Tech Hotspot


Study finds Evansville as one of the nation’s top cities for high-tech job growth.

SPRINGFIELD – Evansville, Indiana might not be the first place you’d think of as a high-tech hub, but it is among the fasting-growing metro areas for high-tech jobs in the nation.

From 2010 to 2011, the Evansville area saw a 8.8 percent increase in the number of high-tech jobs created, one of the top 25 metro areas for high-tech employment growth in the United States. The average growth in technology jobs across the country was 2.6 percent.

A new study released today by Engine Advocacy, “Technology Works” (, shows that high-tech jobs are growing in communities across the United States, outpacing job growth in the private sector as a whole and boosting local growth and job creation. Engine Advocacy commissioned the Bay Area Council Economic Institute to analyze Bureau of Labor Statistics data to identify communities around the country that are experiencing pronounced job growth in the high-tech sector.

“I’m pleased to hear that Evansville is one of the leading areas in the nation for high- tech job growth,” said Deborah Dewey, president of the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville. “We strive to attract high paying, high tech jobs and would like to become known as a center for technology-based business and entrepreneurial activity.”

The study went on to show that the average salary of a high-tech worker in the area was $73,488 per year. Additionally, the region has been one of the highest growth metro areas in the past five years with a 15.6 percent increase in high-tech jobs from 2006 to 2011.

“The Evansville metro is a strong advocate for technology, which has grown exponentially over the past 15 years,” said Greg Wathen, president & CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. “Companies like SABIC Innovative Plastics and Mead Johnson Nutrition have significant research and development centers in Southwest Indiana; and, Berry Plastics Group, a $5 billion global plastics company headquartered in Evansville, utilizes graduates from the region’s fast-growing higher educational institutions like the University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech to staff its global design center.”

Dr. Joe Trendowski, assistant professor of management at the University of Evansville, also attributed partnerships between the university and local organizations to the area’s increase in high-tech job concentration.

“I am not surprised to hear that Evansville is one of the leading areas in the nation for high tech job growth,” said Trendowski. “Several local organizations like GAGE, SCORE, and Evansville Tech-On-Tap partner with the University of Evansville to promote and incorporate entrepreneurship in the classroom, and its great to see these efforts being translated into real life practices.”

Key Findings:
Jobs in high-tech industries exist almost everywhere, with 98 percent of U.S. counties home to at least one high-tech business.
Hubs of high-tech employment can be found in unexpected places, including communities in the Midwest, South, West, Northeast and along both coasts.
Employment growth in the high-tech sector has outpaced growth in the private sector by a ratio of 3-to-1 since the dot-com bust’s bottom in early 2004.
High-tech job growth is projected to outpace the job growth of the economy as a whole over this decade, expanding by 16.2 percent between 2011 and 2020.
High-tech workers earn 17 to 27 percent more than their peers in other industries, even when controlling for factors like age, gender, and education.
Higher wages and job growth have significant effects: the creation of one job in the high-tech sector is estimated to best associated with the creation of 4.3 other jobs in local economies.
Enrico Moretti, professor of economics at the University of California Berkeley and author of The New Geography of Jobs, said of the report: “This study addresses an important question: how important is high tech employment growth for the US labor market? As it turns out, the dynamism of the US high-tech companies matters not just to scientists, software engineers and stockholders, but to the community at large. While the average worker may never be employed by Google or a high-tech startup, our jobs are increasingly supported by the wealth created by innovators.”

Not only has high-tech job growth remained strong over the last decade, but also the report shows that the trend will continue and that demand for high-tech workers will surpass demand for workers in other sectors.

“This research confirms the story that I see unfolding every day in cities across the country,” says Michael McGeary, senior strategist for Engine Advocacy. “The trajectory for job growth and the higher incomes of tech workers, combined with the job multiplier effect, make the high-tech sector a key driver of economic growth in cities across America.”


  1. I like how Wathen can’t even answer one question about what Evansville is doing to plan for high speed rail on his own article on this site yet he’s convinced this area is some kind of tech hotsppt. Please, all this is doing is ripening Evansville up for Winnecke’s proposed techpark way out in the boondocks off i-164/1-69 where all of his buddies are trying to get some more public assistance in exchange for more unneeded sprawl.

    Evansville’s public image is the following…

    • Sprawl is defined by lack of sufficient infrastructure. Sufficient public infrastructure exists at Vanderburgh Industrial Park, near the intersection of two Interstate highways. Therefore, the development of a tech park at or near that location does not constitute “sprawl.”


        “Urban sprawl or suburban sprawl is a multifaceted concept centered around the expansion of auto-oriented, low-density development. Topics range from the outward spreading of a city and its suburbs to its logical limits, to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, examination of impact of high segregation between residential and commercial uses, and analysis of various design features to determine which may encourage car dependency.”

        I don’t think anything fits into this category more than the entire northeast side of Evansville.

        • By your definition, yes just about any urban or suburban growth pattern could be misnomered as sprawl. The northeastern growth out into Center and Scott is just the most recent example. But by your definition, the post-war growth anywhere east of U.S. 41 is sprawl, as is the more recent growth east of Vann Avenue south of the Lloyd. It’s all automobile dependent.

          Do you consider the growth outward from the town center of Darmstadt to be “sprawl?” Even though Darmstadt imposed growth restrictions?

          Growth is not sprawl until it precedes infrastructure’s capability of supporting the growth. The examples I gave earlier of VIP’s infrastructure-capable location negates your assignment of “sprawl” to industrial development of that area. And the example of Lloyd and I-164 as prime location for growth both in Vand. and Warrick also negates your use of “sprawl” to define orderly growth in that area.

  2. A steaming hot spot as in a pile of crap. Given the paltry numbers of technical jobs here adding a few made the percentages look good but Evansville is still just an insignificant hick town. Most of these jobs are probably field service or peddlers for tech anyway.

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