White County Touting Year of Growth

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Randy Mitchell is president of White County Economic Development. Randy Mitchell is president of White County Economic Development.

The president of White County Economic Development Organization Inc. says "everything is on the move" in terms of business progress in the northwest Indiana county. White County farmers produce more popcorn than any other county in the state and Randy Mitchell says the county's economy is also bolstered by a manufacturing presence that is tied to one-third of all jobs. During the organization's annual luncheon that drew 400 attendees, Mitchell talked with Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick about the economic development mix and the focus of job attraction efforts. He says collaboration is key.

"It's what makes this all happen," Mitchell said. "From our county commissioners to our county council to the mayor to the town boards, everybody is on the same page and works together to make things happen. We don't have a lot of the infighting that some communities see. Everybody want to do what they can do to make the county grow."

The organization, he says, has recently sold a shell building and is working on developments within one of its business parks, which include Mid-American Commerce Park, Monticello Professional Park and Monticello Business Park South. "We have a total Gross Domestic Product of about $900 million: of which a third of that is manufacturing, a third is agriculture and a third is everything else."

Key employers within White County include: A ConAgra Foods Inc. operation, Rose Acre Farms, Wabash Valley Farms, Cives Steel Co. Easton Technical Products, which bills itself as the world's largest supplier of archery arrows, Monticello Spring Corp., Hardebeck Trucking and Indiana Beach Resort in Monticello.

White County is among the 10 counties included in the Wabash Heartland Region strategic planning effort that was launched in late 2016.

The annual luncheon was held Friday at Monticello's Brandywine Convention Center in Monticello.

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