“We have been building communication at every step,” Jennifer explained. She talked about being a resource broker for industries and businesses, the implementation of several new programs and the use of energy and lots of optimism.
“Coming out of a crisis situation we have implemented a business retention program and have been able to weather the storm.” Laurent said, “It’s a benefit from being in a conservative area.”
Laurent presented the MCEDC Vision and Priorities for 2011. Positioning has been a top priority. They are in the process of developing a strategic professional marketing plan and incentives for new business attraction based on strength sectors, target markets and changing industry needs. They have revamped the website and communication tools. The other big item is working on getting shovel ready development sites including those in PIDCO and the Tech Farm the State’s Certification.
Another aspect designated during the Community Conservation last fall pertained to education and workforce development. The “New Tech” schools and curriculum concentration for job readiness is moving forward. They are working to coordinate opportunity-based training programs between business and education to link supply and demand for talent.
Business retention is a major focus. Laurent said, “There is job growth in the county but growth today comes in twos and threes.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said, “When this organization started people thought we would get a new plant with 300 new jobs. That’s not going to happen very often but you have solidified that business is growing in Marshall County. We are growing it internally.”
Another focus of the visions and priorities is infrastructure with continued efforts to bring the Metronet to Marshall County. They are pursuing up to a $3 million grant for this high-capacity broadband infrastructure. Marshall County Economic Development Corporation secured $250,000 in state and federal grant funding for energy efficient street lighting upgrades in Bremen and Argos. They have also assisted in the application process to secure $1 million for revitalization of flood zone property in Plymouth.