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Northeast Indiana’s Food Processing Industry Gains National Attention

March 14th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 14, 2013

Northeast Indiana's Food Processing Industry Gains National Attention

CKProducts_smallFORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Indiana Michigan Power hosted a group of seven national trade publication journalists this week. The journalists travelled to Northeast Indiana to see firsthand the strength the region has in the food processing industry.

"Northeast Indiana is a growing hub for food processing as can be seen by the intense interest shown by the journalists this week. We are now telling our story on a national level, and we definitely have a story worth telling," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Northeast Indiana is leading the U.S. in food manufacturing growth. In fact, employment in the food manufacturing sector in Northeast Indiana is up 29 percent since 2001, while nationally the subsector employment is down 6 percent.

This is the third media tour the Partnership and I&M have hosted since 2011 in an effort to increase national awareness of Northeast Indiana, and ultimately, attract business investment.

"By focusing economic development efforts on growing key industries in the region like food processing, the region's asset base is strengthened, creating a support framework for business expansion, new business formation and new business attraction," said Sampson.

Publications attending the media tour included Industry Week, Food Processing, Food Manufacturing, Dairy Foods, Food Logistics, Food Product Design and FoodNavigator-USA.com. The journalists visited the region for two full days, meeting with industry executives and touring their Northeast Indiana facilities. Companies participating in the tour included Bunge, Red Gold, Pretzels Inc., Ellison Bakery, CK Products, Kraft and Edy's Ice Cream.

"Indiana Michigan Power is proud to be a partner in this effort to grow our region's economy. Food processing companies provide steady jobs with competitive wages and benefits to area residents. We want to do everything we can to support their needs and encourage them to continue to grow right here in Northeast Indiana," said Rob Cleveland, manager of economic and business development at Indiana Michigan Power.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. The Northeast Indiana Fund (Fund) was created in 2005 to operate as a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, focused specifically on product development and regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century TalentHome, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

PHOTO: Steve Burdick, VP/general manager of CK Products, explains their operation to national trade publication journalists.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Courtney Tritch
Marketing Director
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
260.469.3460
courtney@NEIndiana.com

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