Congratulations to David Johnson, President & CEO of the BioCrossroads life sciences initiative, who was appointed by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Board of Directors as CICP's new President & CEO this afternoon:
BioCrossroads President David Johnson is named President & CEO of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership
Johnson will succeed Mark Miles at helm of regional CEO alliance; will continue to lead CICP’s BioCrossroads life sciences initiative
(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., December 18, 2012) The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) announced today that BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson will succeed Mark Miles as its President & CEO. CICP is a coalition of the CEOs of major private employers and university presidents focused on the long-term economic vitality of the region and state. Johnson was an original organizer of BioCrossroads, the life sciences initiative founded by CICP in 2002, and has served as its President & CEO since 2005; in this role, he also serves as a member of the CICP Executive Committee.
The CICP Board of Directors selected Johnson by acclamation at its meeting this afternoon to succeed Mark Miles, who recently ended his five-year tenure with the influential economic development group to take on the post of CEO of Hulman & Company.
“We didn’t have to look far afield to find there is no better prepared or qualified candidate to take the reins at CICP than David Johnson,” said Denny Oklak, Chairman of Duke Realty and co-chair of CICP. “David helped create and has led CICP’s first industry initiative [BioCrossroads], knows the organization intimately through his participation on our Executive Committee, and is well-respected by the business community, policymakers and opinion leaders alike for his tenure at BioCrossroads as well as an illustrious legal career and many civic endeavors.”
At BioCrossroads, Johnson has been responsible for raising more than $140 million in dedicated venture capital for Indiana life sciences start-up companies and roughly $100 million in philanthropic funding focused on strategic initiatives in science and technology education, health informatics, and most recently OrthoWorx, a regional partnership to grow the orthopedics sector in and around Warsaw, Indiana. He will continue in his role as President & CEO of BioCrossroads along with his new duties at CICP.
“David has made BioCrossroads a national model for how private industry, academia, research institutions and the public sector can work together to capitalize on an industry cluster and promote real economic growth,” noted Jo Ann Gora, President of Ball State University and co-chair of CICP. “BioCrossroads paved the way for the many successes of CICP’s other initiatives – Conexus Indiana, TechPoint, and the Energy Systems Network – and David has been there every step of the way.
“He has been a valuable partner to Mark [Miles] and the rest of the CICP team, and he is uniquely qualified to follow him as President & CEO.”
In taking the helm at CICP, Johnson will oversee a growing portfolio of initiatives focused on workforce development, entrepreneurship, innovation and business climate with a continued emphasis on key economic sectors – the life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, information technology and energy. CICP is also a leading advocate for regional mass transit and an increasingly active voice on issues like K-12 education reform.
“The collective influence and insight of CICP’s members make it a real catalyst for economic progress,” said Johnson. “I’m honored to be chosen to lead the group and welcome the challenge of building on the momentum generated by Mark Miles, who brought so much energy and an innovative spirit to the role.”
According to Johnson, the need for a CEO-led group like CICP has only grown since the organization was founded in 1998.
“In 2001, CICP put forward a blueprint for economic development that still guides policymakers today, and over the last decade built the infrastructure for initiatives like BioCrossroads, Conexus, TechPoint and the Energy Systems Network to energize our major industries,” Johnson continued. “Today we still face major challenges – educating Hoosiers for tomorrow’s careers, creating more high-skill jobs in Indiana, building an entrepreneurial business climate – and we need an organization with the credibility and clout to tackle our most daunting issues.”
Prior to his time as President of BioCrossroads, Johnson was a partner with the Indianapolis-based law firm Baker & Daniels (now Faegre Baker Daniels) with a practice that included public finance, major public-private investment projects and economic development transactions. He serves on the Purdue Research Foundation board, the IU Research & Technology Corporation External Advisory Committee, and the Notre Dame Graduate Studies and Research Council. He is also a member of the Indianapolis Charter School Board.
He is a graduate of Harvard University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar) and Harvard Law; he served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee before embarking on his legal career.
Johnson will assume his new responsibilities with CICP effective immediately.
Last week, CICP’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, Conexus Indiana, released its 2012 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card, an annual analysis of where we stand with our largest economic cluster, inter-connected industries that have led Indiana out of the last recession as our largest source of new jobs and job commitments. Along with the life sciences, information technology, and clean energy technologies, manufacturing and logistics are the primary wealth-creating, high-skill employment-generating sectors. Their vitality is critical to our overall economic health.
The Report Card, developed by economists at the Ball State University Center for Business & Economic Research, ‘grades’ Indiana on a number of categories related to the present and future of these industries. Indiana is one of only two states to earn an ‘A’ for the overall vitality of both our manufacturing and logistics industries – we continue to rank #1 in manufacturing employment per capita, ninth in logistics jobs.
Indiana also earns an ‘A’ for competitiveness in the global economy, ranking among the leaders in manufacturing exports and income for Hoosiers generated by foreign-owned manufacturers.
The study gives significant credit for Indiana’s growing manufacturing and logistics sector to the state’s pro-growth business climate, and sound fiscal policies that have limited state government’s exposure to unfunded debts (like public pensions and bonds) – this allows companies to invest in Indiana with confidence that large tax hikes or drastic budget cuts lurk around the corner.
Unfortunately, not all news is good news. The Ball State economic team predicts that manufacturing and logistics growth is stay positive but slow down for the rest of 2012, as the national economy continues to falter (and could slip into recession). A poorly-educated population also jeopardizes the future health of these industries as employers demand a highly-skilled workforce to drive productivity and innovation.
The press release summarizing the Report Card is below, and the full study can be downloaded here. You’ll also find interesting commentary by Conexus CEO Steve Dwyer on what the Report Card tells us here and here.
2012 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card:
Indiana’s business climate helps the state thrive in the global economy – but workforce challenges continue to threaten future growth
(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 19, 2012) Conexus Indiana and the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research today released the 2012 Indiana Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, the 5th annual assessment of the strengths, challenges and opportunities impacting two industries that collectively employ nearly one of every four Hoosiers.
According to the report, manufacturing and logistics continue to drive Indiana’s recovery and employment – the state again ranks as the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the nation, and first among states in manufacturing employment per capita. Indiana ranks 9th in logistics employment and 10th in freight shipments by tonnage. The strength of these and other data earned Indiana ‘A’ grades in the strength of both its manufacturing and logistics sectors (Ohio is the only other state to earn an A in both categories).
Indiana also thrives in the global economy, receiving an A in Global Position; the state ranks 10th in manufacturing exports per capita and first in income derived from foreign manufacturing investment.
According to Ball State economist Michael Hicks, Indiana’s solid tax and fiscal policies have kept the state’s historically-strong manufacturing and logistics industries competitive. The state earned another A grade for its tax climate, and a B for a new category – Expected Liability Gap – that assesses the state’s exposure to future liabilities such as unfunded pension costs and bond obligations.
“Growing businesses are looking for a business climate that’s pro-growth and predictable,” noted Hicks. “Indiana’s tax code is favorable for investment today, and the policies that have kept us on solid fiscal footing lowers the risk of abrupt tax hikes or drastic budget cuts in the future based on unmanageable public debt.”
Indiana earned an improved B+ grade in the Report Card’s Productivity and Innovation category, based on improvements in manufacturing productivity and patent production, a testament to the incumbent Hoosier worker.
“The current manufacturing and logistics workforce is driving growth,” said Conexus Indiana President and CEO Steve Dwyer. “But these workers are getting older – the average age for manufacturing and logistics employees is over 50 – and the pipeline for the next generation is weak. That’s where our challenge lies.
As Dwyer notes, not all of the news is positive in the Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card. Indiana continues to be dogged by weak educational attainment, a critical challenge for industries that are increasingly high-tech and demand a highly-skilled workforce.
“The majority of U.S. manufacturing workers now have some college education,” Dwyer added. “With Indiana in the bottom half of states for adults with a two- or four-year degree, we’re at a competitive disadvantage for manufacturing and logistics companies looking to hire educated workers with advanced skills.”
The state’s C- grade in Human Capital is attributable to disappointing rankings in the adult population with a high school diploma (31st among states), adults with a four-year college degree (42nd), and associate’s degrees awarded per capita (32nd). While older workers have acquired skills through years of experience, the demands of industry have evolved beyond the educational abilities of future employees, according to Dwyer.
“We have to introduce young Hoosiers to manufacturing and logistics careers early on, and give them opportunities to acquire the skills they need to succeed in 21st century factories and high-tech supply chain operations,” he said.
As the state’s manufacturing and logistics initiative, Conexus Indiana is working with its corporate and academic partners to develop industry-endorsed educational programs, and marketing the careers to young people through its ‘Dream It. Do It.’ marketing campaign (at www.DreamItDoItIndiana.com). The organization is currently focused on a pilot launch of its new manufacturing and logistics high school curriculum, which will be available to school districts statewide next year.
“We value this annual Report Card as a way to mark our progress and get an objective read on the vitality of these industries, which make up almost a third of our economy,” finished Dwyer. “But we’ve made the strategic decision to focus most of our attention on Human Capital – the story of manufacturing and logistics over the last few decades is the transformation of the workforce, and Indiana still has some catching up to do.”
Other findings in this year’s Report Card include a C- in Benefit Costs driven by healthcare expenditures, and a C+ in Diversification (an improvement from last year’s C grade, demonstrating a breadth of growth across 22 industry sub-sectors identified by Ball State).
Last week, the Indiana Department of Education released the results from the first round of I-READ tests, a new assessment to ensure that Hoosier third-graders are reading at grade level before moving on.
The I-READ is about reading proficiency, but what else do the inaugural results tell us about the state of education in Indiana?
84% of third-graders statewide passed the test, a strong outcome that nonetheless shows that the DOE’s focus on early reading education is vitally important to the future of our young people and our state:
Nearly two of every ten students who took the test were unable to demonstrate basic reading abilities; without the I-READ, it’s likely that many of these kids would have been passed along to fourth grade, continuing to fall further and further behind their peers. Without strong reading skills, all other learning becomes a struggle and the chances of making it through high school drop precipitously.
The I-READ measures how well our students are doing, but also how well our schools are teaching. The test comes with a host of other reforms from the state being implemented at the district level – a new reading curriculum, dedicated 90-minute blocks of reading instruction, annual reading assessments and the opportunity to get extra help in summer school.
Being retained in third grade, for those students who fail the I-READ twice, is a last resort. As the other changes take root, I expect we’ll see I-READ scores continue to improve, a trend that will send ripples along subsequent grades as kids arrive better prepared to learn and succeed.
The I-READ results also provide insight into the performance of specific districts and schools – and once again, the Indianapolis Public Schools lags the state. Only 67% of IPS third-graders passed the test, a 17% difference. (This is similar to the district’s deficit relative to the state average in high school graduation rate, further confirming the link between early reading and ultimate achievement.) While a third of Indiana schools met or exceeded a 90% pass rate, 56% of all IPS schools ranked in the lowest 10% of schools statewide.
In fairness, IPS does serve a population of students with difficult circumstances. But comparing IPS with high-poverty schools around Indiana – schools ranking among the top 25% of the state in free and reduced lunch-eligible students – IPS still comes up short, as these schools collectively managed a 70% pass rate.
Interestingly enough, nine high-poverty schools did achieve a 90% pass rate, showing that an environment focused on achievement can overcome any hurdles. Four of these schools are in Indianapolis: Ernie Pyle School 90, the Merle Sidener Gifted Academy, Christel House, and the Padua Academy. All of these are either magnets, charters or private schools – institutions operating largely or completely outside of IPS’ centralized control.
This leads to a final observation: IPS faces a lot of challenges. But the top-down district structure is not equipped to address them – indeed, it is likely part of the problem. Nationally and locally, we know what works in urban education: School-level leadership with flexibility from district rules and contracts, a culture focused on learning and empowering teachers.
A truly transformative approach is to decentralize the district into a portfolio of quasi-independent schools (a model similar to that which has been employed with success by the Recovery School District in New Orleans). This would allow innovation and incentivize great teaching, and also push money that is consumed by central administration into the classroom (which could double spending per student by some estimates).
Less than half of IPS students pass Math and English I-STEP requirements. Graduation rates lag the state average by more than twenty percent. Six of the seven schools identified by the state as failures for six consecutive years under Public Law 221 are IPS schools. The I-READ results are another data point in a compelling indictment of the current approach.
As innovation and accountability take hold across the state, and as students continue to struggle with reading and other subjects in IPS, there should be broad consensus that dramatic change is needed.