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Economist explains federal funding’s effect on state infrastructure, private sector investment

I-74 overpass highway
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Phil Powell, executive director of the Indiana Business Research Center, said the investment in infrastructure has long-lasting benefits for the state.

Over the last few years, the Biden administration has facilitated billions of dollars in investments for infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing throughout the state. The funding comes through the president’s Investing in America agenda.

Phil Powell is the executive director of the Indiana Business Research Center. He said the funding fills a large portion of the state’s economic needs.

“This infrastructure stimulus represents about 5 percent of our state economy,” he said. “So it will have a big effect.”

He said these investments will have long-lasting advantages.

“Government money that goes toward infrastructure – the benefits will last a long time,” Powell said. “When you build a road and that road lasts 30 years, that's a really good investment for the Hoosier economy. That's very different than other income support programs that simply give money and it’s not an investment.”

The Investing in America agenda also delivered more than $8 billion in private sector investments for electric vehicles and batteries and more than $450 million to provide clean water across Indiana. It has also distributed more than $21 million to the Fort Wayne International Airport Administration to improve its existing terminal building and $45 million to help clean up the state’s Grand Calumet River, which is contaminated from heavy industrial activity.

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Powell said there are benefits to the funding, but that some of the private sector investments were actually won by the state and not the president.

“This announcement comes during an election year where you see the president highlighting the value that his administration has brought to different states around the country,” he said.

The program made significant investments in other areas, including semiconductor and EV manufacturing, and expanding internet access.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.