Press release from the Northeast Indiana Fund:
Vision 2020 reveals support for regional collaboration
Preliminary county data reports focus on regionalism, local assets
In reports released today, input collected from 10 counties suggests strong regional collaboration will be necessary to increase the per capita income of Northeast Indiana, which has declined from 95 percent of the national average in the mid-1990s to 80.5 percent in 2007.
The preliminary reports can be found in full detail at www.northeastindianavision.com/reports. The reports contain input received through community outreach meetings conducted in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties in Northeast Indiana. Specific findings are reported for each of the Vision 2020 focus area “pillars,” including 21st century talent, competitive business climate, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and quality of life.
Nearly 400 participants from county outreach meetings were guided through discussions about what will be gained through the regional implementation of each of the five pillars, each county’s assets that can help ensure successful implementation of the vision and the development of additional “must have” strategies the region believes need to be in place to move forward with Vision 2020.
Specific regional collaboration initiatives include community-wide appreciation for lifelong education, enhanced regional planning efforts for transportation and infrastructure investments, and a regional business-friendly tax and regulatory climate.
From becoming the most wired region in the country to creating a leadership network for entrepreneurial coaching, from enhanced economic development incentives to stronger collaboration between colleges and universities, the counties focused on local assets that could lead to regional gains, all tied together with a celebrated regional brand and marketing efforts.
The next phase in the project, topical group sessions organized under each of the pillar topics, is underway. Participants are spending hours digging deeper into the regional suggestions to build potential vision statements and develop game-changing strategies that will provide the region with a map of how to reach the vision goals.
The topical group developments will be taken to the Regional Economic Summit held on June 23 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne, hosted by Vision 2020 and Northeast Indiana Fund. The summit will give voice to the entire region, as attendees will have the opportunity to vote on key strategies and goals to drive regional economic growth and prosperity. All are invited and encouraged to attend and can RSVP to.
About Vision 2020: Vision 2020 brings together business leaders, educators, foundations and government entities for collaboration to develop a compelling and actionable vision for the ten-county Northeast Indiana region and improve the vitality of the regional economy. Immediate and long-term strategies will focus on competitive business climate, 21st century talent, quality of place, infrastructure and entrepreneurship. Funding support for Vision 2020 is provided by: the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council; the Northeast Indiana Fund; the Cole Foundation; the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne; the Dekko Foundation; the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation; the Robert Goldstine Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and the Lincoln Financial Foundation.
About the Northeast Indiana Fund: The Northeast Indiana Fund’s mission is to support the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and its ten member counties through the funding and coordination of charitable activities which directly contribute to increasing the region’s capacity to support new business investment and the creation of high quality jobs for the region.