The EDAC committe members met this past Thursday (March 10) to discuss how we can be more effective in economic development for Kendallville. Our goal was to identify areas of economic development which have not been adequately addressed in our community and, perhaps, how we might better achieve measurable results.
What does this mean?
There are many, many, existing organizations in and around Kendallville which are endeavoring to improve our economic situation overall. Broken down into smaller parts, this involves how we can improve the individual lives of community members as it pertains to their financial welfare as a whole. This is done through helping businesses in our community with becoming more profitable and also to create and maintain jobs at a competitive compensation. These, in turn, inevitably create spendable income for people, who likewise spend that income for goods and services in and around Kendallville.
The difficulty in many organizations attempting to achieve the same goal is when it comes to HOW to best approach the opportunity.
Our meeting identified a few common themes when it came to economic development in Kendallville. Chiefly, the creation and maintaining of jobs is always the top priority. Secondly, the creation and maintaining of businesses in Kendallville. Thirdly, the development of NEW customers for Kendallville businesses. And finally, the hope of providing helpful tools for these to occur.
There will always be overlap of efforts as long as caring organizations in our community are passionate about seeing economic growth. This, too, was a key point of our discussions. How does the EDAC stay effective and NOT waste time duplicating the efforts of another organization in our community who may already be successful at a specific area of economic development?
In the end, we had a great amount of dialog which generated some good target points for the EDAC to focus upon. These were narrowed down to four key areas: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TRAINING/INCENTIVES, KENDALLVILLE MARKETING, TOURISM, and RETAIL / COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT. These four areas do not preclude industry as a key to economic development when possible, but they identified the weakest areas of focus that should be addressed more effectively.
Our upcoming meetings will continue to map out specific strategies on how to achieve measurable results in these four areas each year. I will post the refined "PURPOSE" or "MISSION" of the EDAC as a result of these discussions, sometime in the coming month or two. It will be from this guideline that the EDAC will measure its own effectiveness and hopefully stimulate economic growth.