Friday, June 06, 2008

Columbus Leads the Way--Again!

Columbus, IN is one of the many incredible agurbs® that I have found in my research and have had a chance to visit. I use it as an example in my talks of how a town can shape a vision for itself and then execute upon it. J. Irwin Miller, CEO of Cummins Engines, had a vision of his hometown being something different and executed a vision that today has tiny Columbus, IN ranked as the sixth most architecturally significant city in the entire USA.

Twenty years ago Columbus made a push to recruit in Japanese companies, bringing the first Japanese company to the state, and today there are several that make their USA headquarters there out of the 220 Japanese plants in IN. Part of the reason that so many located there was an act of kindness by Mr. Miller. When one of the first companies was looking at Columbus and the president of the company became ill, Mr. Miller flew him up to the Mayo Clinic in his corporate jet, helping to save the man’s life. Acts of kindness like that are seldom forgotten and often repeated.

This past month, the first Chinese company announced that they were going to build a plant in IN. Guess where they chose to locate?

Yep…Columbus, IN. Techtop Industries, a joint venture of two Chinese companies in the electric motor business, recently bought 36 acres of land to build their first plant in the USA.

Some communities are always a step ahead of others. Columbus, IN is such a town!

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