LaGrange County EDC Asks for Input on Strategic Planning Process

03/23/2011
   

LaGrange County EDC Looks for Input on Economic Development

 

LaGrange, IN. (March 24, 2011) — The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC) will be hosting a meeting to invite the public’s comment on key economic and community development issues. The meeting details are as follows:
 
Lakeland High School Auditorium, Wednesday, April 20th, 6:00 P.M. 
 
LaGrange County is partnering with the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to create an economic development plan. The community has contracted with Strategic Development Group, Inc. (SDG) to research and facilitate the process. SDG specializes in research and planning in economic and community development and is located in Bloomington, Indiana. Work began in January and is expected to conclude in July.
 
At the meeting, LaGrange County residents will be able to review and discuss research findings on the county’s economic status. The public is also invited to complete a questionnaire about LaGrange County’s business climate. A link to the questionnaire is available on the LCEDC website at www.lagrangecountyedc.com. Reports and steering committee meeting minutes, as well as a link to the survey are also available on the SDG-LaGrange County Strategic Planning website at www.sdg.us/lagrangecountyed.php. Postage-paid hardcopies of the questionnaire will also be available at all branches of the LaGrange County Public Library, at the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce office, and at the LCEDC office.   
 
LaGrange County received a $49,500 award from the Indiana Office of Community of Rural Affairs (OCRA) to conduct the economic development plan. OCRA provides these awards through its Community Focus Fund which receives dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The goal of the program is to encourage cities, towns, and counties to plan for long-term community development.
 
In addition to the public meeting, a series of focus groups and key informant interviews will gather information on issues that impact the economy. Leaders in business, education, government and other significant areas will be invited to provide their insights. Five focus groups will be conducted in the following areas:

·         Education and workforce development

·         Small to medium size businesses

·         Local woodworking industry including Amish small business

·         Tourism-based entrepreneurship

·         Major employers

Outcomes from the economic development plan will include:

·         A long-term vision of the community’s economic future

·         A set of prioritized goals and objectives and a projected budget – income and expenses

·         A plan with written text and appendices fully documenting the planning process, various sources and types of input, and expected actions and results

·         Action plans detailing responsible agencies, time schedules, and benchmarks

·         A schedule and process for plan revision and updating

After the first draft of the plan is completed, a second public meeting will be scheduled to hear comments on goals and objectives. “Input and participation from the public is very much encouraged” said Keith Gillenwater, Executive Director of the LCEDC. “This process is designed to be very transparent and engaging. If you can’t come to one of the meetings, please fill out a questionnaire and give us your ideas on how to grow our existing businesses and attract new ones, and let your voice be heard on how the LCEDC, LaGrange County, and its communities can best grow and improve ourselves.”

About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c)3 corporation designed to assist business development needs. The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities. For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com.

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