Image: Madison County Chamber
Leaders from around the county gathered in Anderson Monday for Senator Joe Donnelly to award him for outstanding commitment in supporting pro-business legislature. The honor was presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Amy Travieso, their Director of Congressional & Public Affairs, at a luncheon hosted by the Madison County Chamber. The award was presented for Donnelly’s commitment to building business across the nation through his bipartisan work in Congress. The U.S. Chamber cited critical votes on major workforce development and infrastructure deals, along with ranking in the higher percentiles of supporting voters on pro-business legislature.
Donnelly spoke to leaders on key issues the area needs the eyes of Congress drawn to, among them workforce development as well as major infrastructure bills. Donnelly mentioned his requests to the Executive branch to start with an “easy W” and put infrastructure first, a win-win in terms of creating jobs and rebuilding necessary roads, bridges and reservoirs. Mounds Lake was mentioned as a potential benefactor to this type of infrastructure funding.
Other issues brought forth included the crackdown on drugs, noting Indianapolis being named a high intensity drug trafficking area, which has created some federal dollars to direct towards combating the issue. Donnelly saluted State Representative Teri Austin for contribution in voting down over-prescribing of opioids, but more work needs done.
The blue-collar workforce in Madison County is plagued with heroin and drug addiction, ranking among the worst in the state. This counters strongly against our current advancements in workforce development and education, making the issue a bit of a sore thumb. The need for businesses to rally together has never been more apparent on this front. Donnelly did salute leaders on bringing Anderson to “it’s best state I’ve seen in my lifetime”, and for their commitment with staying and growing the place they live.
He added, “Our job is to make it so you can do any job right here, in any field. Whatever your dream is, you can do that here.” And in the writer’s opinion that is true to a great extent. With the recent opening of Purdue Polytechnic and the Flagship’s numerous successful enterprises, one has to wonder what our approach to the drug epidemic in the area will be. The Madison County Chamber will play host to an event September that hopes to shed light, but more importantly, solutions and real action we can take on the issue at our Drug Prevention Summit. While we celebrate our recent victories with new businesses and opportunities in the area, let’s use that momentum. Let’s tackle the creeping issue that has killed the dreams of so many families and individuals and presents the realist threat to our community’s prosperity, addiction.
Learn more about the Drug Prevention Summit.