Steuben County Economic Development Corp. celebrates strong 2015

February 19th, 2016

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Steuben County Economic Development Corp. celebrates strong 2015

Jennifer Decker

ANGOLA — Of the numerous Steuben County Economic Development Corp. 2015 accomplishments, a combined $221 million in investment and 252 jobs were created.

Dave Koenig, SCEDC executive director, was proud to boast that and other achievements at his organization’s annual meeting Tuesday at 6 Autumns restaurant, Angola.

“Twenty 15 has been a whirlwind. Sometimes you have to jump in with two feet,” he said.

By the numbers

Koenig pointed out in his report that nine companies made that combined $221 million investment in the county that included: C&K Tool, IMP Holdings, Pine Manor, Foods Alive, Spin-T, Hudson Industries, Carver Non-Woven Technologies, Triton Metal Processing and RES Polyflow.

To support the 2015 projects, Koenig said more than $2 million in state tax credits and training grants were awarded. The average annual wage for those new jobs exceeded $42,700.

Projects in progress

Koenig noted the county has three major projects in progress: creation of the Northern Indiana Lakes Country Enterprise Center, recognition as a semi-finalist for the Fremont-Angola entry in the America's Best Communities competition and participation in the Regional Cities Initiative.

He referred to the Enterprise Center, 907 S. Wayne St., an SCEDC-owned campus of five buildings. The center’s focus is on business incubation and job training. Koenig pointed out 18 Steuben community organizations have contributed a combined $1.3 million toward the project.

“I think this illustrates diversity. I’m truly impressed with community support,” Koenig said. “In my 10 years, I’ve never seen a project with such magnanimous support and enthusiasm.”

The Enterprise Center is part of the joint Fremont-Angola entry, which is a semi-finalist in the ABC competition. The contest has a $3 million grand prize to use toward community projects. Koenig said the next step in the competition will be a presentation to judges in Durham, North Carolina, April 26-27, that will narrow the field to eight.

Angola Plan Director Vivian Likes said earlier in the day at an Angola Redevelopment meeting work has been ongoing on the ABC entry that includes a proposed certified technology park at the Interstate 69 and U.S. 20 interchange.

“Our plan has been very good and it’s about quality. A lot of city departments, Trine University and (the Steuben County Tourism Bureau) have helped,” Likes said. “I really believe we’ll be one of three (winners) for $1 million, $2 million, $3 million.”

“If the Enterprise Center and America’s Best Communities contest wasn’t enough, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. introduced the Regional Cities Initiative, for which, northeast Indiana and our 11-county Regional Development Authority quickly elevated as a front runner,” Koenig said.

Because of the initiative, northern Indiana has been awarded $42 million, but it hasn’t yet been determined how the money will be distributed.