On December 18, 2012, the Porter County Jobs Cabinet presented its final report to county officials. This report presented the county with a menu of options for capital development projects and economic growth strategies that would both create jobs now and position Porter County as the leading location in Northwest Indiana for future investment and development.
On this first anniversary of that presentation, the Porter County Economic Development Alliance hosted a breakfast to discuss moving the findings forward. Representatives from the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation, Portage Economic Development Corporation, Town of Kouts, Duneland Economic Development Company, and the Valparaiso and Duneland Chambers were among the event attendees at the Harre Union on the morning of Wednesday, December 18.
An overview of the report was given to the group by Bill Hanna, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and facilitator of the Jobs Cabinet. An honest and direct conversation followed regarding future economic development and investment from an overall county perspective. All the members of the Alliance were impressed with the quality of the report and urged that the county seriously consider its recommendations.
The Jobs Cabinet’s Roadmap for Growth outlines four areas of strategic focus for Porter County, all of which build on the county’s existing strengths: Healthcare, Industrial, Information Technology and Tourism. It also outlines opportunities for encouraging growth through infrastructure improvements, land planning and acquisition, further development of the Porter County airport and the expansion of transportation options. A complete copy of the report can be downloaded here.
The Porter County Economic Development Alliance was formed ten years ago to spearhead economic development in Porter County. From its inception, the Alliance has consisted of the Duneland, Portage, Valparaiso, Kouts and Hebron economic development or redevelopment entities, the Center for Workforce Innovations, the Tourism Board and the three post-secondary institutions in Porter County (VU, PNC and Ivy Tech).
The Alliance has been instrumental in marketing Porter County to site selectors throughout the United States. In addition, it has funded projects designed to create and retain quality jobs in Porter County.
The Jobs Cabinet of Porter County was created in December 2011 to develop a road map to guide the county’s efforts to attract new businesses, encourage the expansion of existing firms, and improve the quality and quantity of job opportunities available to residents. This group of unpaid volunteers analyzed the county’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats through interviews with more than 120 business and community leaders and held 12 meetings over a period of 10 months to develop and refine its report.