The Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation (VEDC) is an independent 501c3 organization that works tirelessly to ensure the city of Valparaiso is “The perfect place to be."
Aligned with the City of Valparaiso and Valparaiso’s Chamber of Commerce, the VEDC’s board advocates for economic growth that improves quality of life and opportunity throughout the city. The board is composed of representatives from leading organizations throughout Northwest Indiana with a strong presence in and commitment to Valparaiso. Therefore, the VEDC understands the balance that is needed to foster the best living and working environment for the residents and businesses in Valparaiso.
“The VEDC is fully independent but is in strong partnership with both the Valpo Chamber as well as the city,” Dale Clapp VEDC board chair said. “The whole point of the VEDC is that we work closely with the city and the chamber but that we're structured so that there is good unification no matter who’s running the three entities.”
The VEDC was founded in 1984, but the organization recently recognized the need to become a unique, separate entity in order to achieve its mission and vision.
“One of the key functions of the VEDC is education and advocacy,” Clapp said. “Cities need partners that are independent and have their own identity advocates out in the community to support the efforts so we're working towards a common goal.”
Powered by their mission, the VEDC board promotes business opportunities throughout the Valparaiso area knowing that economic growth improves the quality of life of residents.
Using the tagline, “The perfect place to be," VEDC members contend that Valparaiso–or the Vale of Paradise–is the ideal place to explore new opportunities, raise your family, and expand businesses.
“Valparaiso is the perfect place to dine,” Clapp said.
“It's a perfect place to grow your family. It's a perfect place to open your business. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy.”
Building off of current strengths, the VEDC highlights Valparaiso’s infrastructure, location, and strength of community to expand economic opportunities and support entrepreneurs.
Between 2016-2021 the VEDC supported projects that brought more than $376 million in investments to the City of Valparaiso. With these investments, the VEDC saw new/retained jobs, increased wages, and expanded business property tax revenue.
A direct result of both collaboration and independence, the VEDC knows their work is all about long-term gains and partnerships.
“Cities need a sounding board,” Clapp said. “They need others to sort of transcend the political side of things and say this is really important—regardless of the current administration. We're all just sort of caretakers here. We’re asking, 'How else can we do this? What are we missing?’ ”
Anyone interested in learning more about the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation should visit their website at https://valpoedc.com/index.php.