Regional Leaders Convene to Advance Permitting Standards

March 8th, 2013

March 8, 2013

Regional Leaders Convene to Advance Permitting Standards

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Representatives from across Northeast Indiana, including mayors and county commissioners, planning and building leaders and members of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnerships Regional Opportunities Council (ROC) participated in a half-day Northeast Indiana Permitting Excellence Workshop this week. The workshop was sponsored by Vision 2020, a regional initiative spearheaded by the Partnership, and focused on regional permitting standards. Participants identified immediate actions and long-term goals related to improving the permitting processes currently in place for their jurisdictions.

Streamlined permitting was identified as one of the top priorities for the region under Vision 2020's Business Climate Pillar by the ROC, which oversees the Vision 2020 initiative. The ROC engaged the High Performance Government Network (HPGN) to facilitate this process. While HPGN has been doing national and regional research on best practices for the past year, Thursday was the first time the jurisdictions came together to identify opportunities to improve the permitting process with the goal of strengthening our regional business climate.

"This workshop enabled us to draw on the extensive knowledge of regional permitting experts to identify ways to work across jurisdictions to scale best practices in use today," said Katy Silliman, executive director of the Northeast Indiana Fund, the supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "I was inspired by the passion and commitment of workshop participants to develop a friendlier business climate focused on increasing business investment in the region."

During the workshop, participants discussed strategies for meeting customer expectations of consistency, transparency and easy access throughout the permitting process. They then identified regional best practices and prioritized how each jurisdiction can measure their success in meeting customer expectations going forward using the best practices identified during the workshop.

"The workshop provided an opportunity for those involved in the permitting process - both the jurisdictions and the customers - to collaborate to improve the process," said Mayor John Schultz, City of Decatur. "By working together, we were able to identify gaps in our service that can be corrected with the goal that no individual jurisdiction in Northeast Indiana will face a competitive disadvantage when it comes to the permitting process."

Vision 2020 staff and HPGN will use the information gleaned from the workshop to guide the Vision 2020 Permitting Task Force in developing a regional permitting process. The task force will collaborate with workshop participants who expressed interest in continuing to meet on this topic and move the process forward together.

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. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas (the five pillars) for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, 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. For more information, visit


Courtney Tritch
Director of Marketing
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

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