NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana Forum, the seven-county economic development organization is taking part in creating a regional economic development strategic playbook.
The organization serves Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke Counties. Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, says the development of a regional economic development plan will work to serve all the partners in a more combined fashion.
"It's been a while in the process," Ennis says. "We've been working on this initially we were kind of reorganizing the strategic plan of the forum but then we realized we work, economic development works with a broad base of partners and a broad base of opportunities to move all these assets together and move the partnerships together more cohesively."
Ennis says the NIF has not previously had an economic development regional plan. The organization has had other plans, but nothing that cohesively worked economic development all together. To help the strategic playbook come to fruition, "the forum" chose an outside organization based in Austin and Seattle to help.
"And having an outside company come in and look helps us to really evaluate the opportunities that are right here in front of us so, we went through a pretty stringent vetting process to bring on TIP Strategies and we're extremely excited about them," Ennis says.
TIP Strategies will recommend a set of best practices, based upon its observations in the field. They have over 20 years of experience in economic development strategic planning.
The plan will outline a set of strategic initiatives to recruit new businesses to the region, attract and retain talent, develop the local workforce, and expand existing industry and business sectors. The plan will outline approaches to promote investment in targeted areas and enhance Northwest Indiana's quality of place.
Below is the full interview with Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum...