Indiana will spend the summer studying peer communities to map out a plan to turn the state's regional cities into nationally-recognized brands. Indiana Economic Development Corp. President Eric Doden says, once the cities are determined, experts will visit the locations and study their successes. He says the effort will focus on initiatives including quality of life and infrastructure improvements. Doden says results will be handed off to Indiana lawmakers by October.

June 25, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Indiana is analyzing regional cities across the country that experienced positive economic transformation to identify tools that can benefit growth and investment. This study will provide Indiana’s cities with information and resources to initiate their own transformative economic development strategies. To conduct the study, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has selected Fourth Economy Consulting, a national economic development consulting firm.

“Indiana has become a national role model for economic development as other states have enacted similar business-friendly policies, practiced fiscal discipline and replicated the IEDC’s structure,” said Eric Doden, president of the IEDC. “But we also have our eye on other states, where several cities have transformed themselves into regional economic powerhouses. We need to know what our Indiana cities can do to energize growth and witness a tomorrow even more prosperous than today.”

Governor Mike Pence called for a study of regional cities across the country to identify best practices and tools that could be used in Indiana. The 2014 General Assembly responded by passing House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1035 with broad, bi-partisan support. HEA 1035 was authored by Rep. Steve Braun (R-Zionsville) and sponsored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso). The study will be complete this fall, in advance of the 2015 General Assembly.

In parallel with the study, the IEDC will encourage Indiana community leaders to think differently about economic development and to develop an economic vision for their future. Using information gleaned through the study process and contained in the final report, communities can begin identifying their strengths, including cultural amenities, industry assets and natural resources, to include in a strategic plan that can help them achieve their vision for strong growth.

“A strong foundation of manufacturing, life sciences, logistics and agriculture has helped our Hoosier cities build a solid base for growth,” said Doden. “Given Indiana’s core assets, this initiative will help our communities continue to grow and better attract talent and capital. Indiana’s economic success – like that of every state – depends on attracting and retaining talented and productive individuals and companies. Following a strong vision, I’m confident that Indiana will continue to remain a competitive location for business and a vibrant place to call home.”

About IEDC

Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.

The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company that does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.

About Fourth Economy

Fourth Economy Consulting is a nationally-recognized economic and community strategy development company. Fourth Economy is pioneering new models for business, government, academia and nonprofit engagement in the development of actionable strategies.

Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp.

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