Posted: Aug 25, 2017 1:18 PM EDT Inside IN
Anderson leaders say the growing Purdue Polytechnic Institute continues to
pay dividends. Officials have cut the ribbon on the new $15 million Flagship East facility,
which Mayor Tom Broderick says keeps the city “at the forefront of innovation.” Also today,
Switzerland-based energy storage technology company Leclanché officially opened a new
research and manufacturing facility at the center. The company makes products ranging
from vehicle charging stations to grid storage system technology.
In interviews with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Broderick
and Leclanché Chief Operating Officer Thom Reddington say the center and the company
are helping diversify Anderson’s economy.
Broderick says Anderson learned its lesson from the most recent recession “not to put all of
our eggs in one basket.” He says that’s why it is important to work with the city’s
manufacturers and educational institutions, including Purdue, Anderson University and Ivy
Tech Community College, to make sure Anderson’s work force is trained on cutting-edge
Leclanché’s 10,000 square-foot facility also features testing and manufacturing space,
offices and a customer demonstration area. The company was founded in 1909 and has
energy storage projects around the world, including an electric vehicle fast-charging station
network along the Trans-Canada Highway and battery storage technology for what it says is
the world’s fastest air support ferry in Europe. It also has grid storage systems near Chicago
Reddington says he chose to help grow Leclanché in Anderson because of his strong ties to
“What satisfies me is to bring jobs back to the area,” says Reddington. “I worked in China for
Delphi, I worked in Europe, I worked in Mexico, I’ve done all that. I’m trying to bring jobs
back here to where I live and where I’m from.”
Flagship Enterprise Center Chief Executive Officer Charles Staley says the project is a
“seamless partnership of academic, business, and government resources.” Construction
began on the center began in September 2015. It has been open to students since January.
The center is located at the former General Motors Delco Remy Plant 3 site.