A new plan designed to boost economic and political collaboration in a five-county region in the Wabash Valley has been launched. West Central 2025, patterned after the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Vision 2025 plan, will involve chambers and other community leaders in Vigo, Clay, Vermillion, Sullivan and Parke counties. Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Vice President Kristin Craig says the effort will serve as "another platform" to develop and promote regional assets.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Craig described the results she’d like to see from the long-term initiative. "I hope by 2025," she said, "that we can be looking at a region that is solid in our understanding of why we need to be regional and why we need to act in that way and that they are acting that way. That we are thriving in some of the areas that we are currently struggling in, like workforce development. That we are seeing very positive positive business growth across all sectors." Craig also hopes West Central 2025 will improve the success of quality-of-life initiatives and help attract and retain people in the region.
Thinking regionally, she says is a recurring theme in daily conversations and she says business community partners throughout the region understand its importance. "They’re interested. They don’t want to stay siloed and in their own bubble," she adds. "Everybody understands we all have to come to a regional table in order to be really successful in what we’re doing."
Vectren Corp. Account Manager of Industrial Sales & Economic Development Jennifer Isbell-Scott and Duke Energy District Manager Rick Burger are leading the initiative which is designed to be different than other collaborations. Craig says "this is just a way to bring all interested parties to one table, identify our common problems, then explore our opportunities as a collective unit, which may include joint projects and regional funding opportunities."
Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Vice President Kristin Craig described the results she’d like to see from the long-term initiative.