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This Week's Facts:

  1. Agency Spotlight: Economic Development Corporation

  2. Climatic Data Center Tracks Historic Weather Statistics

  3. FDA Guide Tackles Truths & Myths Regarding Antibiotics

  4. State Fire Marshal Encourages Safety with Auxiliary Heating Devices

County Tracker 2013: On the Path to RecoveryReport Outlines Progress of Economic Recovery

Rick Seltzer wrote in the Bloomington Herald-Times last week that “different counties went through recession and recovery in different ways and at different times.” Four Indiana counties, it seems, did not experience the recession as dramatically as others. Still, it has taken extended time for over a third of Indiana’s counties to recover economically. This is according to economic indicators in the report, County Tracker 2013: On the Path to Recovery, by the National Association of Counties. The report includes this map, which uses data from Moody’s Analytics. A link to the article is here, courtesy of the Indiana Economic Digest.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program


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Agency Spotlight: Economic Development Corporation

Indiana Economic Development CorporationAttracting and supporting new jobs and business investment is the focus of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Indiana’s lead agency for economic development. Created in 2005 to replace the Department of Commerce, the IEDC is committed to helping create the best possible conditions in Indiana for companies to create jobs.

When deciding where to locate their operations, business leaders often note to the IEDC that Indiana stands out among other states they were considering because of its pro-growth business climate. In fact, in its annual Best & Worst States list, the business publication Chief Executive magazine ranked Indiana first in the Midwest and fifth in the nation. Site Selection magazine ranked Indiana even better, placing the state first in the Midwest and second nationwide.

As an agency, the IEDC finds that companies are also looking for a stable economy, with a low cost of doing business that allows them to invest more into their operations. Indiana boasts a budget surplus, with key investments in infrastructure and workforce development strategically made throughout the state. Following the largest tax cut in state history, Indiana is ranked in the top 10 nationally—and again first in the Midwest—for it business tax climate.

Guided by a 12 member board of directors chaired by Governor Mike Pence, the IEDC reflects the geographic and economic diversity of Indiana. Organized as a public-private partnership, the IEDC works at the speed of business, aggressively seeking every opportunity that represents a promise for Hoosier jobs. This can range from attracting new businesses to growing the ones here at home. With a cooperative spirit, the IEDC works directly with local and regional economic development organizations to match the interests of new clients and the local community, along with offering incentives that are carefully crafted to spur business growth.

While Indiana still has work to do in order to meet the IEDC’s goal of helping businesses create more Hoosier jobs than any other time in Indiana history, the state is making progress. Since July 2009, the low point in employment, Indiana has had the fifth fastest private sector job growth rate in the nation. Last year, Hoosier companies created more than 47,500 new private sector jobs. In fact, one out of every eight jobs created in November 2013 was created here in Indiana.

As a state that works, Indiana provides an ideal climate for business growth, with the IEDC relentlessly pursuing every opportunity that may lead to new jobs for Hoosiers.

This State Agency Spotlight was contributed by Rebecca Helmke, Media Relations & Public Affairs Manager at the IEDC.


Climatic Data Center Tracks Historic Weather Statistics

National Oceanic & Atmosheric AdministrationWith the current weather, some people are wishing and hoping the groundhog won’t see his shadow this February!  Others are curious about how this winter season compared to last year.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2013 U.S. Annual Report, released on the 15th from the National Climatic Data Center, provides a summary of weather events for 2013.  You can find out about how significant weather events such as tornadoes, drought, snow storms, and hurricanes affected various regions of the United States. Weather enthusiasts can also discover the record cold snaps and heat waves across the United States and average temperatures for each state.  For example, the United States had a precipitation total of 31.17 inches of snow in 2013, which was 2.03 inches above the 20th century average.  2013 marked the 21st wettest year on record and the wettest since 2009. For more resources and information, please visit their website.  


FDA Guide Tackles Truths & Myths Regarding Antibiotics

Taking Closer Look at 'Antibacterial' SoapWith the recent news that the FDA is Taking Closer Look at 'Antibacterial' Soap, what questions does it bring up for our workplaces and households? The soap you use to wash your hands may not be doing what it claims. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have a very useful guide called Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work with an entire page dedicated to Antibiotic Resistance Questions & Answers. Below is one of the questions it covers.

Q: Are antibacterial-containing products better for preventing the spread of infection? Does their use add to the problem of resistance?

A: An essential part of preventing the spread of infection in the community and at home is proper hygiene. This includes hand washing and cleaning shared items and surfaces. Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from skin, and people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs. To date, studies have shown that there is no added health benefit for consumers (this does not include professionals in the healthcare setting) using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients compared with using plain soap. A link between antibacterial chemicals used in personal cleaning products and bacterial resistance has been shown in vitro studies (in a controlled environment).

FDA released a proposed rule in December 2013 to require manufacturers to submit data showing the data supporting the efficacy and safety of antibacterial soaps and body washes. View the related press release and consumer updates on antibacterial soap and the common ingredient triclosan. This proposed rule does not affect hand sanitizers, wipes, or antibacterial products used in healthcare settings. CDC looks forward to any future data about the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial consumer products and will continue to adjust recommendations based on the best available science.


State Fire Marshal Encourages Safety with Auxiliary Heating Devices

Indiana is expected to see below freezing temperatures continuing into next week. In a press release issued by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana State Fire Marshal reminds citizens to use caution when using heating equipment, such as wood stoves or space heaters, to heat their homes.

In addition to properly using heating equipment, residents should have a working smoke detector placed outside each sleeping area of the home and on each floor. Working smoke alarms double the chance of surviving a fire. Things to keep in mind when using heating equipment:

Space heaters

  • Space heaters need space. Keep heaters away from flammable materials such as bedding, drapes, clothing, etc.
  • Use the proper grade of fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use. 
  • Refuel space heaters only in a well ventilated area and when the equipment is cool. 
  • Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity, never into an extension cord. 
  • Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied. 
  • Turn off space heaters before bed each night to avoid knocking them over in the dark.

Woodstoves or fireplaces

  • Use only dry, seasoned wood in a fireplace or woodstove to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire.
  • Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire. Do not use artificial logs in woodstoves. 
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. 
  • Allow fireplace and woodstove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.

Generators     

  • Never use a generator inside.
  • Place emergency generators outdoors away from windows and doors to prevent fumes from entering the home. 
  • Have a carbon monoxide detector in the house that sounds an alarm when dangerous carbon monoxide levels are found.

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