‘Recession-Busting’ Fort Wayne Pulls High Marks nationally

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News release from the City of Fort Wayne and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership:

‘Recession-Busting’ Fort Wayne Pulls High Marks nationally
Fort Wayne MSA Scores as a Top Location for Economic and Job Growth

(July 12, 2012) – The Fort Wayne Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranks among the nation’s 100 leading locations for economic and job growth, according to a recently released study by Area Development magazine. The analysis of 365 MSAs ranks the Fort Wayne MSA (Allen, Wells and Whitley counties) as the 51st top location.

“This is great news for our community,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “It shows that the coordinated efforts of government and economic development partners are keeping our region strong and making it an attractive place to start and grow a business. But we can’t let up; we must continue to revitalize our downtown, improve our quality of life, focus on educational attainment for residents and make our region welcoming and attractive for business leaders.”

“This news underscores what happens when all of us in the region work together with a common focus. The coordinated and concerted efforts of all our communities, both large and small, are yielding success all over Northeast Indiana. We’re working together, said” Ted Ellis, Mayor of Bluffton and president of the National League of Cities.

The analysis, entitled Leading Locations for 2012, was compiled by Area Development, a national publication covering site selection and facility planning. The magazine ranked 365 MSAs across 23 economic and work force indicators, which were pulled from seven data sets originating with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and U.S. Census American Community Survey. The full study will be published in the summer edition of the magazine and is online now at www.areadevelopment.com/LeadingLocations2012

The report states that the Top 100 “Leading Locations have found a way to thrive in the midst of adversity, to prosper while so many places have struggled.”

“Our strategies to focus on talent to meet the needs of regional employers are producing results,” said John Sampson, President & CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership*, which serves the Fort Wayne MSA and seven other counties in the region. “We cannot accomplish the bold initiatives of Vision 2020 without strong collaboration by strategic partners in business, education, higher education, not-for-profits and public officials. We must be focused and work together to continue to achieve these promising results.”

The Fort Wayne MSA did particularly well in the “Recession-Busting” category, ranking 16th out of the 365 MSAs. The “Recession-Busting” category compared economic indicators from 2009, the height of the recession, to the most recent data. This was intended to show which cities have come back the furthest from the lowest point of the recession. According to the report, the “Recession-Busting” data “provides a measure of an MSA’s overall resiliency in productivity during the recession.”

“Fort Wayne, Indiana, placed in the top 15 percent of the 365 MSAs ranked by Area Development for its 100 Leading Locations report, and was ranked 11th among the Top 20 Midwest Cities,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor for Area Development. “Its near-term economic performance — which includes one-year employment growth, growth in hourly earnings, and a bounce-back in manufacturing employment, in particular — has made Fort Wayne one of the nation’s top ‘recession-busting’ locations.”

Mayor Henry noted that the Fort Wayne area has continued to be an excellent place for companies to invest and grow businesses.

“We’ve had some great news from businesses that are expanding, such as General Mills, General Motors, Greatbatch Medical and Franklin Electric,” said Mayor Henry. “Companies such as these, combined with the efforts of state and local government to promote business growth, are really pushing economic growth in our region.”

In addition to its 51st overall ranking, and 11th in the list of Top Midwest Cities, the Fort Wayne MSA was ranked 16th in the list of Top 50 Mid-Size Cities. Fort Wayne was one of only three Indiana MSAs to make the list of top 100; Columbus ranked #1 and Lafayette was #91.


The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. Website.

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