LaGrange County Receives $49,500 State Grant for Economic Development


LaGrange, Indiana. George Bachman, President of the LaGrange County Board of Commissioners, and representatives from the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC) announced the receipt of a $49,500 award from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The county is collaborating with the EDC to use this award to create an 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.

Anticipated outcomes from the economic development plan will include:

  • A review of key industrial/business sites in the county to identify and plan to address any obstacles to development
  • A long-term vision of the county’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
  • An overall "roadmap" diagram in each action plan showing process flows, responsibilities, time schedules, benchmarks, and costs
  • Individual task and organizational work plans for groups responsible for specific steps in action plans
  • A schedule and process for plan revision and updating

According to Commissioner Bachman, "We understand the importance of job creation. We believe that an economic development plan will help us attract new businesses and expand our existing ones." Keith Gillenwater, the Executive Director of the LCEDC, further explained that, "In order to be successful, we will need a strategy which takes full advantage of our strengths and which anticipates the opportunities and threats emerging in the global economy. Our goal is to create more jobs that pay a higher wage,"

The planning process will provide many opportunities for public participation. A public survey will be available online with hardcopies provided at public venues. There will also be two public meetings where citizens can both learn about the research and provide their own input on the goals and objectives. Focus groups and key informant interviews will gather information from key leaders in business, education, and government. Joe Pierce, President of the EDC stressed that, "This will not be a plan that sits on a shelf. We want the community to participate, own the plan, and then help make it a success."

The community has contracted with Strategic Development Group, Inc. (SDG) to facilitate the project. SDG specializes in research and planning in economic and community development and is located in Bloomington, Indiana.

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