AU helps Anderson bounce back from jobs loss

Mon, 2007-04-16 07:39 -- univcomm
April 16, 2007

It's entirely possible that Hoosiers soon will drive electric cars with nanoparticle batteries, have their car seats adjusted continuously for better comfort, and then park those cars in garages they ordered off the Internet. Those are just a few of the ideas being pursued by entrepreneurs at the Flagship Enterprise Center in Anderson. The center, a joint effort of the city of Anderson and Anderson University, opened in 2005 with the goal of attracting new and more diverse businesses to the area.

It's a ray of hope in a city battered by the loss of 27,000 auto industry jobs since the late 1970s, as is Forbes magazine's recent ranking of Anderson among the 100 Best Small Places for Business and Careers. That apparent contradiction isn't surprising to Flagship President and Chief Executive Charles Staley.

Staley, who runs the Office of Engagement at Anderson University, says the electrical expertise of many former employees at auto industry businesses such as Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. and Guide Corp. offers the seeds for entrepreneurship. Although they have lost their jobs, they are filled with business ideas, skill and an overwhelming desire to work, Staley said.

The above content is an excerpt re-posted with permission from The Indianapolis Star. Visit The Indianapolis Star web site to read the full article. Story written by reporter Sandy Fugate. Photography by Zach Dobson.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.