ANDERSON, Ind. — The city just got a boost from a national publication.
Forbes magazine has ranked Anderson as the 64th Best Small Places for Business and Careers in the nation.
It is a position officials say highlights the city's strengths and weaknesses.
“I would have put us first,” said City Council President David Eicks. “I would have definitely expected us to be higher than 64.”
The rankings were compiled from the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. Forbes looked at projected economic growth through 2014 in addition to past and projected job growth, costs for business and living, income growth in the last five years and educational attainment for college and high school students. Other factors include cultural and recreational opportunities, annual college rankings and net migration patterns. Crime rates were not considered in the rankings.
Business costs and educational attainment were given the most consideration in the overall rankings.
Eicks said Anderson has experienced some difficult times in the past, but the city is headed in a positive direction. In 2012, 13 companies announced they would be locating or expanding their facilities in Anderson. The recent growth has resulted in about $216 million in investments and 1,100 new jobs to Anderson.
Andrew Wynbissinger, a technical specialist for Thomas Office Solutions, has one of those new jobs. Wynbissinger moved to the area from Ohio after being hired by his company in March. He said he is impressed by Anderson.
“Anderson is beautiful, vibrant and growing,” he said. “I’m excited to be a part of that process.”
Michael Hicks, director of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research, said the city could attain a higher ranking in the nation if the school systems are improved.
“In fact, the only thing keeping Anderson from being one of the fastest growing communities in the Midwest is the quality of the schools,” Hicks said. “That might seem like bad news, but it’s not. Schools can be changed in two or three years with the right leadership.”