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The following column was shared by Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch.

Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch
Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch

INDIANAPOLIS  – It is truly a great time to be a Hoosier. Day after day, successes and accolades continue to roll in, much to the credit of our incredible business community and companies like Red Gold who choose to call Indiana home.

Just last week, I had the privilege of seeing Red Gold take its success and turn it into something even greater for the good of the broader community. Red Gold recently announced a new partnership with Folds of Honor, an organization dedicated to supporting our fallen and disabled heroes in the military by providing educational support to their children and spouses.

As part of this new partnership, Red Gold will be donating a portion of the proceeds from its ketchup sales to fund new scholarships for Folds of Honor recipients. Now, when you go to the local store, you will notice a change to the Red Gold packaging which includes a triangle-folded American flag, a subtle nod to its newest partnership with Folds of Honor.

A sense of duty runs through our Hoosiers veins. And when our country has needed heroes, Indiana has always answered the call. Indiana has always sent more men and women to defend our nation per capita than almost any other state.

This partnership honors those brave men and women and further shows how we are using our people, products and places to better our communities and honor our heroes. And this ties directly into the work Governor Holcomb and I are doing at the state level through our Next Level Veterans initiative to cultivate an ecosystem that makes Indiana a top place for veterans to work, live and ultimately, thrive.

Every year, some 200,000 service men and women transition out of the military. These highly trained individuals are ready to use their skills to begin the next phase of their lives after having served our country. But amazingly, half of them will face a period of unemployment. As part of our Next Level Veterans initiative, Governor Holcomb and I want to attract those service men and women to our state, help match them up with employers and welcome them into our communities. We are diligently working towards this goal with our partners in the General Assembly and, in fact, last year legislation was passed that phases out veterans’ retirement income from being taxable by the state.

Red Gold is taking its commitment to our veterans full circle. This initiative honors its heritage, as the company was founded during World War II to feed our troops. Now the company is using its elevated position as the second largest supplier of ketchup in the world to help the next generation of soldiers and their families.

Red Gold, who is already one of Madison County’s largest employers, also announced its plans to grow even more, with a multi-million dollar expansion planned. The company will be doubling down on its investment in the state and plans to add two new processing lines to its plant in northern Madison County, which will also allow them to produce new products not available today. This renewed commitment to American manufacturing will add more jobs to Indiana and expand their already growing brand in Indiana and beyond.

These announcements would not be possible without the efforts of so many individuals, including those from Red Gold, Folds of Honor and their local community leaders. Partnerships like this make me even prouder to serve this state and these leaders are showing the country and the world what Indiana is all about! Here in the Hoosier State, we honor our military veterans and share our success with those who have sacrificed so much.

Red Gold should be proud of the success they have achieved and, more importantly, should serve as proof to the rest of the state and the country that together, they too can achieve so much.