Plan outlines An Agenda for Economic Prosperity
Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Indiana (EDCMC) finalized a long-term strategic economic development initiative – An Agenda for Economic Prosperity- highlighting action items towards creating a local sustainable business environment and economic prosperity and equity for all residents following the principles of economic inclusion.
In December 2018, EDCMC announced the organization was embarking upon a process to develop a comprehensive strategic initiative. Since then, EDCMC outlined a plan of action towards a more robust and competitive marketplace in Michigan City. EDCMC commissioned Roderick Miller, President and CEO of Ascendant Global Consulting to coordinate and complete the 2019-2023 Michigan City Strategic Action Plan.
Mayor Ron Meer said, “This long-term strategic initiative aptly titled “An Agenda for Economic Prosperity” will establish atmosphere of optimism, confidence and create an environment of job creation and economic growth that will be of the upmost importance for Michigan City residents. There is a strong cooperation between the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City and City of Michigan City to improve high skills-high wage job opportunities in Michigan City and encourage reinvestment in Michigan City. A major component of this alliance is workforce development and education partnerships that are being formed between our high school, colleges and existing businesses and manufacturers. Preparing and training our citizens, especially our young people, will be the foundation on which a stronger Michigan City will be built. The City of Michigan City is thrilled to be collaborating with the EDCMC to create a next generation economy to benefit all our residents.”
The EDCMC Board of Directors unanimously adopted the following economic development tenets of the Michigan City’s 2019-2023 Strategic Action Plan – An Agenda for Economic Prosperity.
- Workforce Development/Talent Attraction -Michigan City will continue to align workforce development and education with existing, targeted industry needs. The markets that will be most competitive over the long-term will be those that invest in cultivation of their local workforce from kindergarten through graduate school and offers a quality of life to attract new workers to fuel productivity and innovation.
- Placemaking -Michigan City’s wide variety of amenities encourages spending and tourism and provide social outlets for residents, but are essential elements to attracting the needed talent to curve outmigration trends and stabilize the local population. Michigan City will make strategic investments to public amenities that showcase the city’s quality of life and creates space to bring different segments of the population together.
- Aggressive Storytelling -Michigan City will craft a story that honors its past, but establishes a solid foundation for the future of the community. The story of Michigan City will resonate with families who have been in the community for generations as well as spark possibilities for a brighter future for newcomers to the city. The story of Michigan City must be one of economic opportunity, business growth and quality of life- the kind of community where one can prosper, socially, financially and personally.
- Economic Modernization -Michigan City will reinvent itself to be viable in the coming economic age. The city will pivot from an older industrial city to a next generation community, fusing its traditional efforts in manufacturing and tourism with emerging opportunities in sectors such as robotics and software development. Additionally, there should be a focus on encouraging entrepreneurship to balance attraction efforts with the potential for more organic growth. These efforts need to be carried out in a way that creates more opportunities for all residents of Michigan City regardless of income level, race or age. These quintessential elements of economic transformation are not in conflict but do require a nuanced yet focused approach to achieve.
“This strategic initiative – An Agenda for Economic Prosperity – is community driven and will result in success from the dedication of individuals involved in carrying out specific action plans,” Stephanie Oberlie, President of Harbour Trust & Investment Management and EDCMC Board Chair, stated. “This is a plan that will not be sitting on the shelf. It was developed with an impetus for action as we work collaboratively to attract new residents, investments and jobs to our community and also reinvest in Michigan City. On behalf of the EDCMC Board of Directors, I look forward to working with many community stakeholders as we implement the plan.”
This is the second strategic plan EDCMC has implemented under Hulse’s tenure. The first successfully accomplished are the introduction of coding to MCAS system wide, Compressed Air Academy, annexation of 426 acres for future development, spec building and City comprehensive plan, to list a few. Michigan City also saw over 3,381 new and retained jobs and $356 million in new investment during that time, 2013-2018.
EDCMC Executive Director Clarence Hulse said, “Michigan City has many great assets. We have identified those assets and are using them to promote the city. Working with our partners in the 7-county Northwest Indiana region, we aim to maximize the opportunity with our established businesses and emerging companies so everyone in Michigan City can benefit from the success. We are promoting our city’s downtown, our business parks to attract more business and to create more high quality jobs. The plan, An Agenda for Economic Prosperity, is a blueprint for action to move Michigan City forward, improve the business climate and the economic prosperity and equity for all residents.” We are looking forward to working with the Mayor and City Council to improve economic inclusivity and growth for all our residents.”
EDCMC is a private independent not-for-profit corporation, separate from the City of Michigan City. The EDCMC’s strategic initiative remains its own effort, working in conjunction with various city and community leaders and continually works toward the advancement of all Michigan City residents in the community and economic development arena. For more details on the Michigan City 2019-2023 Strategic Action Plan, visit https://www.edcmc.com/about/annual-report/.