NEW ALBANY – A tech firm inside the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana is prepared to hire 55 additional workers over the next five years, and it gained another partner in its goal Tuesday.
The New Albany Redevelopment Commission approved a three-year agreement with IQPack, LLC to provide $10,000 annually for training new hires. The funds can only be used, per the agreement, for training Floyd County residents.
“These are exactly the types of jobs we’re looking to develop here in our community,” said Adam Dickey, a member of the redevelopment commission.
Most of the jobs will pay more than $80 an hour plus benefits and will be for high-skilled workers in areas like software development and coding.
IQPack was founded in 2013 by Indiana natives John Moore and Doug Jones. The company is among the incubator businesses inside the Purdue park, and if it continues to grow, IQPack will likely have to relocate to a larger space in the future.
Jones and Moore said a one-year extension has been agreed on to keep IQPack at the Purdue Research Park in the interim.
“We’re doing something in a space that’s very impactful to businesses and it’s never been done before,” Moore told the commission members Tuesday during a virtual meeting.
The firm focuses on logistics. According to the IQPack website, the company creates efficiencies in supply chains “by following a model that capitalizes on cutting-edge, agnostic packaging solutions combined with proprietary business intelligence tools.”
High-growth e-commerce businesses, global manufacturers and third-party logistics operations are among the clients that IQPack supports, Jones said.
IQPack develops software to provide businesses with solutions for their packaging needs, Moore said.
“We think it’s great software. We think we’ve got the right model,” he said.
Jones added that Purdue “has just been outstanding” for the business as it prepares to expand through a $1.17 million project.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has also offered up to $1.5 million in conditional tax credits over the next decade for IQPack contingent upon the company hiring Hoosier workers.
A news release issued Friday stated that the redevelopment commission’s training incentives would require IQPack to hire Floyd County workers. The agreement signed Tuesday said the workers could come from Southern Indiana, not Floyd County specifically.
Dickey said there are measures included in the deal to ensure the commission can get back its investment if IQPack doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain, though he added he doesn’t expect that to be an issue.
Jason Applegate, a New Albany City Councilman and a member of the redevelopment commission, encouraged Moore and Jones to give the city “the first shot” when IQPack outgrows its current site and needs a new home.
Matt Hall, executive vice president at One Southern Indiana, said the employee pay for the jobs is about four times the Floyd County average.
“It’s rare that we see a project that offers those kinds of wages come across our desk,” he said.
Typically an expansion is incentivized at the local level with tax abatements, but Hall said New Albany Redevelopment Director Josh Staten proposed the training reimbursement.
Staten said after Tuesday’s meeting that the training piece doesn’t just benefit IQPack, but could potentially help other local businesses.
“Workforce development and a quality workforce are key to any community, so grants like that help train their workers and it makes us more attractive to other businesses that want to grow or stay in the community,” Staten said.
For more information, go to the website theiqpack.com.