Indianapolis-area companies to add 1,000-plus jobs

INDIANAPOLIS - A health service center's plans to add 549 positions by 2016 are among more than 1,000 new jobs that seven employers are bringing to the Indianapolis area, Gov. Mike Pence announced Wednesday.

St. Louis-based Ascension Health, the largest Roman Catholic hospital chain in the nation, plans to expand its service center on the Indianapolis north side by 2016, creating the new jobs.

The state offered $4.8 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants to Ascension.

As part of its expansion, the service center will provide support services to the entire Ascension chain, which includes 150,000 employees at more than 1,900 sites in 24 states and Washington, D.C. Its Indiana affiliates include St. Vincent Health of Indianapolis and St. Mary's Health System of Evansville.

The expansions announced Wednesday also include one by Bluebridge Digital of Fishers, which plans to create about 200 jobs by 2022 and invest more than $300,000 for office space. The company, founded in 2011 by Santiago Jaramillo in his dorm room at Indiana Wesleyan University, provides mobile device apps to universities, churches, tourism destinations and other organizations.

Bluebridge and five other companies pledging to create up to 65 jobs each will share about $4 million in tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., plus $210,000 in training grants.

"This is a great way to end a good year," Pence said during a news conference in his office.

The Republican governor said 261 companies pledged to create jobs during in 2013 in exchange for Indiana financial incentives.

But Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said the jobs promised in return for state incentives often fail to materialize.

"Hoosiers have seen a lot of these slick jobs announcements in recent years," Pelath said in a statement. "And once the press releases are deleted and the promised jobs never materialize, they notice that the politicians are long gone."

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