Alion Science and Technology has been quietly growing in the northern part of Daviess County. The engineering firm has been doing business with the Crane Naval Weapons Support Center for the last eight years and during that time established a small operation at WestGate.

That presence is about to become much larger. Alion officials, joined by state, regional and local officials broke ground on a new $4.3 million, 40,000 square foot multi-use facility at the tech park.

“It is all about partnerships and long-term trusted roles,” said Alion Science and Technology Chief Operating Officer Bruce Samuelson. “We have been here for eight years. We have been slowly and steadily growing, not just in workforce, but in the levels of complexity in what we’re doing. It was a logical extension. We had more work coming in. We had the services to deliver. It’s just the next step.”

 Alion spent two years working on the project with developer Dale Ankrom with WestGate Seven Development. “It has taken awhile to get here,” said Ankrom. “Hopefully, this will spur more growth and activity at WestGate. We have something wonderful here.”

The project received the backing of the WestGate Authority, Daviess County Economic Development Corporation and also will received a tax abatement from the Daviess County Council. It is expected to produce 20 new jobs when the project is completed in mid-December.

“This is another good day for WestGate and the whole region,” said Daviess County Economic Development Corporation President Ron Arnold. “Alion is a strong company. This is another good day for Daviess County.”

Even though Alion has been working with Crane the new facility is not a military project. The company will be rebuilding portable air conditioning units that are used at airports to cool airliners while they are parked on the ground.

“This is a whole different line of repair work they will be accommodating,” said Arnold. “What is exciting about this is it has non-military applications. This is a good project that takes the tech park to the next step which is non-military.”

“I think this is a positive project,” added Jeff Quyle, CEO for Radius Indiana, the regional development organization that works closely with companies doing business with Crane. “It’s the first growth we’ve seen at WestGate in a couple of years. This shows the region can attract talent and business not directly related to Crane.”

Alion officials say that one of the big selling points for putting the project in the techpark was the attitude and workforce that they can draw from.

“It’s a combination of a political and civil environment that motivates business,” said Samuelson. “The people are highly-skilled and talented. It’s the community feel. It isn’t transients coming in and out every two or three years with a high rate of turnover. They grew up here. They want to work here. They want to raise families and they want to do satisfying work.”

State officials are happy the project landed in southern Indiana.

“We are pleased that you chose the WestGate Park for the expansion of your important work,” said Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “We look forward to being partners with you as you create more than 60 new jobs in the area over the coming years.”

The lieutenant governor pointed out Indiana is seeing a growth in technology jobs like the ones Alion will be providing.

“Days like today are important not just locally, but to the people of Indiana — technology growth, particularly like what Alion is demonstrating here today is a critical focus of our administration as we take our economy to the next level. The future is bright. It is bright for NSWC Crane. It is bright for Hoosiers living here in the region and it is bright for the state of Indiana.”