Greater Fort Wayne Inc. says Allen County set new records for jobs and construction value in 2021. The organization says the county also recorded positive numbers for attracting and retaining talent.
Allen County saw 27 business expansions and relocations last year with more than 2,600 job commitments, a single-year record for the county. Some of the major announcements included Amazon’s $200 million fulfillment center in Fort Wayne and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream’s more than $145 million expansion.
“Allen County is one of the most desirable communities to be in the U.S. Even during one of our nation’s toughest years, people chose to build and expand their homes and businesses here,” Allen County Commissioners Rich Beck, Therese Brown, and Nelson Peters said in a joint statement. “The successes of Allen County have put our community in a position to be able to think long-term about economic development. The work we do now will determine how fast and how successfully we move our community forward together through and past the challenges of today.”
GFW also cites data from the U.S. Census Bureau released in May that shows Fort Wayne was the fastest-growing metro area in the Great Lakes region in 2020 with a 0.89% growth rate, slightly above the 0.85% rate for the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson MSA.
Looking ahead, GFW says several projects will continue or begin in 2022, including Phase II of the Fort Wayne’s Riverfront project, the Electric Works mixed-use innovation district, and STAR Bank’s new $43 million corporate headquarters.
“As strong as this year was, we can’t get complacent. It’s time to set our sights higher,” John Urbahns, chief executive officer of GFW, said. “We’ve come a long way to become a leader in the Great Lakes region, and we’re already working to build a nationally recognized economy in 2022 and beyond.”
GFW says public and private officials in the county will release the “Allen County Together” economic development action plan, which will be the blueprint for “the next 10 years of progress in Allen County,” in the coming days.