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Northeast Indiana Enhances National Business Development Efforts

August 8th, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership received a matching grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to increase domestic business development trips and site selector visits to the 11-county region consisting of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley Counties.

Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County, said the additional IEDC support allows local economic development organizations like Grow Wabash to increase the region’s U.S. presence and enhance the region’s collaborative approach to business development.

“Grow Wabash County and the Regional Partnership travel together frequently selling our county, region and state. With the support of this grant, we have been able to maximize our economic and business development work to make Northeast Indiana a magnet for the best businesses and talent by boosting our travel efforts,” said Gillenwater.

This year, regional representatives traveled to competitive markets like San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago to meet with business executives and site selectors to build relationships and share advantages of doing business in the state and Northeast Indiana. The region is working in collaboration with individual counties and communities to strategically target key industries and key U.S. destinations that align with Northeast Indiana’s economic growth and vision for its future.

“Indiana is consistently recognized as best in the Midwest and among the top five in the nation for doing business,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger, who joined the region’s business development trip to California in May. “We’re in the leadership position. Growing Indiana’s workforce, business and industries will require focused, if not aggressive, initiatives and recruitment. As a region, northeast Indiana and its communities are uniquely positioned to promote their competitive advantages and work to attract new investment and job opportunities to the state for the benefit of Hoosiers.”

To enhance the region’s U.S. presence and increase regional business development efforts, the Regional Partnership also hosted four nationally recognized site consultants who met with more than 30 regional economic development leaders for a day of discussions on industry best practices. 

The training was coordinated by the Site Consultant Advisory (SCA) Group, a division of Area Development Magazine, the publisher of a national site consultant magazine and host of several site consultant conferences every year.

The SCA Group consulted with economic development groups, regional stakeholders, business leaders and elected officials to review and provide feedback on current processes. The daylong training was designed to be interactive and provide specific feedback on how to compete for and win economic development projects. The SCA Group training was also an opportunity to highlight the benefits of doing business in Northeast Indiana to the site selector attendees.

John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, said by working together as an 11-county region to learn best practices and enhance opportunities with local and statewide partners, he is confident the IEDC grant will benefit not only the region, but also the entire state. The grant is part of a new IEDC program launched this year, which awards matching funds up to $100,000 to a region to support business development trips and site selector visits, enabling each region to drive strategies based on its unique industries and advantages.

“We are grateful to the IEDC for their leadership and awarding Northeast Indiana this impactful grant to boost our business development efforts. Enhancing Northeast Indiana’s ability to attract top businesses is critical to raising our region’s wages, growing our workforce and increasing educational and credential talent. With the IEDC’s significant grant to our business development efforts, we can enhance our U.S. presence and strengthen Northeast Indiana’s ability to compete in the global marketplace through regional collaboration,” said Sampson.

The grant is part of a new IEDC program launched this year to further business development and enable each region to drive strategies based on its unique industries and advantages. 

To read more Northeast Indiana news, visit the website at

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s mission is to build, market and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment. Founded in 2006, the public-private partnership strives to build a globally competitive region. The Partnership’s Vision 2030 framework supports collaborative regional efforts to increase per capita income, population growth and educational attainment by focusing on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development. The Partnership represents 11 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit


Kate Virag
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

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