Forum Collaborating on Regional 'Playbook'

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Heather Ennis is CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum. Heather Ennis is CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum.

A seven-county local economic development organization based in Portage has hired an out-of-state firm to create a "strategic playbook" for the region. The Northwest Indiana Forum says officials from TIP Strategies, which has offices in Austin, Texas and Seattle, have met with stakeholders and toured the region as part of the projects discovery phase.

Forum Chief Executive Officer Heather Ennis says the initiative is many years in the making. "We are excited to collaborate with our regional partners and the TIP consulting team to generate meaningful a playbook that will accelerate the growth and prosperity of our region,” she said. "TIP has a 20-plus year track record of developing and aligning data-supported economic development programs for regions like Northwest Indiana. Their experience will help us to continue to align resources, build consensus and further the work that’s already taking place in communities."

TIP strategists and consultants last week toured Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke counties and met with forum executive committee and project steering committee members, which include executive from NIPSCO, ArcelorMittal, Cimcor, the Regional Development Authority, Fair Oaks Farms, and Luke Oil. Dozens of area leaders will provide input throughout the planning process, which is expected to take place over the next several months and be rolled out in the fall. You can connect to more about the plan and the forum by clicking here.

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