Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Unveils Rolling 3-Year Strategic Plan: The plan presents forward-looking strategies for positioning the 11-county region as the location of choice for all businesses and people determined to be tomorrow’s market leaders.

Leveraging Business Leadership to Expedite Economic Growth in Northeast Indiana

By: Stéphane Frijia on March 28th, 2022

Stephane Frijia

In October 2021, I decided to uproot my family and move to Northeast Indiana because I believe that this community is a rising star, ready to compete and take on bigger challenges. I decided that I wanted to be part of this community, help write its future and to be part of another winning team. 

I was not the only one that caught on to what has been happening in this region. In 2021 alone, investors deployed over $1 billion. In May 2021, Fort Wayne was named the fasted growing metro in the Great Lakes region according to data released in 2021 by U.S. Census Bureau for the previous year. 

The momentum here is tangible and the directive to expedite our economic growth is unrelenting.

As a part of my immersion into this 11-county region, I met with many business leaders as well as elected and public officials. In these discussions, the deep desire to keep rising was evident. With it, was also the realization that to keep our momentum and break through the competition we need to be decisive.  

We need to continue to embrace boldness and creativity.  We need to be agile and intentional. We need to act with greater urgency. We need to DO more, faster to match the tempo of global businesses. 

Our momentum is strong, and now is the time to gain greater velocity, capacity and scale.

To that end, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has made some swift, bold moves to harness this momentum and organize our greatest resource–our business and community leaders–to tackle issues that will have a lasting impact on the economic viability of the region and help us reach critical velocity, critical mass and scale to expedite our economic growth.

While our 140 sustaining investors afford us the ability to execute our core mission, that investor base also allows us to tap into a wide range of experts, talented individuals and willing partners, coalescing around three core regional objectives to apply their collective expertise. 

Those three regional objectives are: 

  1. Capture business development opportunities and increase the region’s transactional capabilities
  2. Accelerate innovation and technology across Northeast Indiana 
  3. Foster alignment for equitable and inclusive job creation, and regional economic resilience efforts

To advance our work in each of these objectives we launched the Built Environment Council, the Workforce Competency & Competitiveness Council and the New Economy & Innovation Council.  

  • The Built Environment Council will work to help capture business development opportunities and increase the region’s transactional capabilities. It will tackle opportunities to expand the region’s building inventory, developable sites and mega-sites, infrastructure and utility access and enhancement, as well as other key factors that will enhance the competitiveness of the products we can offer to business attraction prospects.

  • The Workforce Competency & Competitiveness Council will work to further alignment for job creation and competitiveness efforts across the region. It will tackle issues regarding workforce availability, skills, talent attraction, development, retention, as well as housing issues, education and quality of life enhancements. The ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse talent base is the No. 1 governor of the region’s ability to grow sustainably.

  • New Economy & Innovation Council will work to accelerate the region's pursuit of innovation and technology. It will tackle issues regarding innovation promotion, development and capacity, research and development assets, industry cluster enhancement, and the growth of our knowledge worker economy.

The Regional Partnership exists to drive business investment and strengthen the region’s global competitiveness and economic resiliency. This is at the core of everything we do. However, this is not a one-time effort. Economic development is a continuous process that requires sustained commitment at all levels and across all sectors. 

That is why we have created these three councils. That is why the investment of local leaders’ time and talents is paramount. 

As a region, we must move quickly, be nimble and drive results that differentiate our region. This is not optional. It is imperative for economic success. Businesses make decade-long decisions when choosing where to relocate or expand and only those locations that can demonstrate true regional differential and genuine collaboration will earn their business.

Economic development takes time, commitment and capital. For decades, many of our community leaders have put themselves, personally, on the line to advance catalytic projects and key initiatives transforming the region into a location of choice for all businesses and people committed to being tomorrow’s market leaders. We owe them our thanks. 

As for me, I applaud their commitment and I am equally eager to see what we can achieve together in the coming years through decisive, bold, creative, agile and intentional action. We have a rich history of innovation and a bright future. Together we will help the world rediscover Northeast Indiana.

Are you ready to join the momentum?

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