Showcasing Northeast Indiana’s Business Climate to Site Consultants
FAM Tour Brings Together Site Consultants, Business Leaders to Show Off Northeast Indiana's Competitive Business Climate
In September 2021, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership hosted five site consultants from top site selection firms across the United States as part of a familiarization (FAM) tour. Thanks to partnerships with Area Development, NIPSCO, AEP, Duke Energy and Ambassador Enterprises, the FAM tour provided a unique opportunity to showcase the region to site consultants who are in daily contact with business executives looking to relocate or expand their businesses nationally or globally.
Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley, welcomed the site consultants during the first stop of their visit at the newly constructed downtown Fort Wayne hotel, The Bradley Hotel. Showing the $30 million downtown investment, the consultants explored the 124-room hotel, including the rotating art gallery and the restaurant and rooftop bar.
Following The Bradley Hotel tour, Regional Partnership team members Chad Ruston and Brandon Noll led a brief walking tour of downtown Fort Wayne on their way to the Embassy Theatre where site consultants connected with companies in the region’s top industries and discussed the region's talent pipeline with members of the Colleges and Universities Network. Introducing the site consultants to business leaders in the region's strong target industries provided opportunities to develop relationships and flaunt the competitive business climate in Northeast Indiana.
The next stop was the Electric Works campus, which includes 39 acres, 18 historic buildings and more than 1.2 million square feet of space for office, education, retail, residential, hotel and entertainment uses. Site consultants explored the massive campus and learned about the significant business and investment opportunities the mixed-use district of innovation, energy and culture offers prospective clients.
To introduce the consultants to Northeast Indiana's expansive, unique and diverse 11-county region, site consultants learned about each county from the local economic developers or the members of the Local Economic Development Organizations (LEDOs) Council. The LEDOs showcased their county's strengths and competitiveness then answered questions about everything from utilities to the general business climate in Northeast Indiana.
The FAM tour ended with a tour of the Fort Wayne International Airport’s terminal expansion project–Project Gateway, which encompasses many projects including airport terminal apron improvements, the addition of canopies and solar panels at our rental car area, and the long-awaited FWA terminal expansion.
During the visit, three key themes emerged as most important to site consultants: access to talent, the social and political landscape in the region and access to construction materials.
FAM tours are a key component to achieving the Regional Partnership's mission of increasing business investment in the region. Thanks to unique collaborations with key stakeholders, investors and businesses, this FAM tour illustrated the region's competitive talent pipeline, diverse target industries, availabile sites and buildings and the outstanding quality of life only found in Northeast Indiana–a place where business is made better.
To learn more about our business attraction efforts and get plugged in for the next opportunity to collaborate, contact Director of Business Development Brandon Noll.