INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis’ Chase Tower will get a new name and hundreds of new jobs are coming to the Circle City.
Gov. Mike Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett joined Salesforce's Scott McCorkle for the announcement Friday morning. The San Francisco cloud computing company will invest $40 million and hire more than 800 people in high-paying jobs in central Indiana.
The company will also have naming rights to downtown Indianapolis' Chase Tower, which will soon be called "Salesforce Tower Indianapolis."
"It really is a great time to be a Hoosier," Pence said during Friday's announcement. He called Indianapolis a growing tech hub that continues to attract new companies and talent to the state. Pence touted the fact that 59 tech companies partnered with the state to expand business in Indiana in 2015, creating a projected 4,600 jobs over the next few years.
"Tech is on the move in central Indiana," Pence said. "Today's announcement is such a capstone to that... I couldn't be more excited. Eight-hundred new high-wage jobs in the heart of our capital city. Thank you so much, Scott (McCorkle) for believing in Indiana."
Pence called it "humbling" to be part of the announcement and recognized Salesforce's commitment to volunteerism. He also thanked Indiana lawmakers for fostering what he called the "best business environment in the United States of America."
But while Pence touted the company's expansion, bitter memories of Indiana’s divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act lingered during Friday’s announcement. The law created a national backlash against Indiana, and Salesforce was one of its most outspoken critics. Indiana lawmakers eventually created a "fix" for RFRA, something that helped the Salesforce deal.
“This investment is also possible because of the RFRA fix a year ago and because of the longstanding human rights ordinance in Indianapolis. As a company we are committed to protecting our employees against discrimination,” McCorkle said, also applauding Carmel and Zionsville for similar ordinances.
Hogsett talked about the Indianapolis ordinance and recognized former mayors Bart Peterson and Greg Ballard for supporting it.
“Indianapolis welcomes all,” Hogsett said. “More than 10 years ago, one of my predecessors, Bart Peterson signed into law a protection for all in the LGBTQ community… he signed into law a statement that said, unequivocally, Indy welcomes all.”
Hogsett said he was proud to stand with Peterson and Ballard last year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that law.
“Indianapolis is a great place to start a business. Indianapolis is a great place to grow a business,” Hogsett said. “Indianapolis is a great place to raise a family, no matter what that family looks like.”
He said his office would continue to work to maintain a hospitable environment for businesses and their families.
“Today is about celebrating the growth of Salesforce and also looking forward to what we can do for to see more announcements like this. I look forward to working with the governor and his team.”
The mayor ended his remarks on an optimistic note.
“Our best days, our very best days, are yet to come.”