Muncie transformed into a business leader in the early 1900s with the relocation of Ball Corporation to Muncie from the East Coast. This company became a Fortune 500 Company and its heritage and presence are seen throughout the area. The Ball families and their foundations have had a tremendous impact on the growth and stability of the community. Other local large companies and not-for-profits continue to drive our economy like Ball State University, Muncie Power Products, Progress Rail (a Caterpillar Co.), MPT Muncie/Magna Power Train, Cardinal Health Services, First Merchants Bank, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Meridian Health, DIY Group, Maxon Corp (a Honeywell Co.), Mursix Corp, Delaware Machinery, Youth Opportunity Center, Prestige Portraits, Lifetouch, Ontario Systems, Accutech, Ontario Systems, Northwest Bank, Keihin AirCon North America, Navient, Concentrix, American Health Network, Exide Technologies, Mid-West Metal Products, Spartech, R&L Carries, among many others.
Decades ago our area was a major manufacturer of automobile components and systems. Most of those businesses have since consolidated into other divisions or they’ve moved to other US regions. Ball Corporation relocated to Colorado in the 1980s. Muncie, however, has done a great job at reinventing itself via other business services and specifically advanced manufacturing, food processing, logistics and distribution, alternative energy, and information technology. Of course, we’re also an amazing Division 1 College town, and Ball State University and Ivy Tech (our local state community college) continue to grow.
Who knew Muncie was such a boomtown? When natural gas was discovered here in the late 1800’s, shrewd businessmen flocked here to set up industry, making Muncie THE place to be in Indiana.
In 1886, the Ball Brothers relocated their glass business to Muncie, becoming one of the region’s largest employers and benefactors. Their significant generosity directly contributed to the creation of Ball State University, Ball Memorial Hospital, the Masonic Temple (now Cornerstone Center for the Arts) and Minnetrista Cultural Center. The Ball Brothers Foundation continues their philanthropic legacy to this day.