The Economic Development Perspective 
Message from Jerry:
Building the Foundation


As I continue to meet business owners and citizens of Marshall County, I'm asked repeatedly, "What is your view point on business expansion"?  My answer is, "I'm excited about the future economic growth for the county as a whole". The recipe for success, as I see it, exists in Marshall County. There many strategic business advantages that come together to build a strong business case for choosing this area as a preferred location for business expansion.  In my opinion, Marshall County is well positioned and can compete successfully. 


As you can imagine, success happens as a result of good planning with measurable goals and objectives.  The Marshall County EDC Board of Directors recently approved and has unveiled its first comprehensive strategic plan that will guide economic development activities and economic growth for a number of years to come.  


This plan at its core embraces many of the initiatives and practices exhibited by county leadership that have produced results such as:

  • The extension of the Metronet - A game changer for Marshall County
  • Commerce Building - A building designed to be flexible while meeting industry needs
  • Shovel-ready site designation - Which when certified, removes the risk for the developer
  • Project Lead the Way - Ensuring that our future Marshall County workforce has the skills necessary to allow our business community the ability to compete and be profitable

I invite you to go to to see the four pillars of the strategic plan.  Principles binding the pillars together are regionalism, employing best practices, a willingness to think outside the box, and collaboration.  This plan was developed by examining:

  •          History that paved the way for past expansions
  •          Business climate
  •          Business opportunities
  •          Market needs

Join Marshall County EDC as a team member to implement the strategic plan...we need your help.  I urge you to invest so that the economy can grow and improve.  Please "INVEST" in Marshall County's economy.




Spotlight on Local Manufacturing:
Pioneer Celebrates 25 Years in Plymouth


On August 27th, Governor Pence, Mayor Senter, Marshall County EDC staff, and numerous state and local representatives joined officials from DuPont Pioneer to celebrate their 25th year in Plymouth.   


The company began operations in 1989 starting with only six buildings and three dryers.  In 2007, they embarked on a six year $35 million capital expansion project that added a significant amount of warehouse space, and drying, blending, sorting, packaging and cleaning equipment.   


Today, the company has seed crop contracts with 115 growers in Indiana and Michigan up from only 45 growers in 1989.  They have 90 full time and 35 part time employees with seasonal employment adding  1,800 workers.


MCEDC thanks DuPont Pioneer for their innovations in bio-agricultural seed production and for their positive impact on the local economy throughout their 25 year history.  


For more information on Pioneer's celebration event, please click here.         


Manufacturing Sector Continues to Rebound:
Bremen Employer to Hire 60 Employees


In mid-September, Bremen-based Southwire, a wire and cable fabricator, and WorkOne conducted a region wide job fair seeking 60 machine operators.   


This announcement comes on the heels of a corporate-wide reorganization following Southwire's acquisition of Coleman Cable in early 2014.  The company's commitment in growing their operations in Marshall County shows their confidence in the local economy and future expectations for the Bremen facility.  


MCEDC welcomes and expresses gratitude for Southwire's growth! 


Source: Inside Indiana Business  



Expansion Plans for Two Local Industries Supported


On August 26th, the Plymouth Common Council approved two 7 year property tax abatements at the request of the Marshall County EDC supporting a $320,000 expansion for AK Industries and a $1.2 million expansion for Composite Technologies Assemblies (CTA).   


AK Industries is a leading manufacturer of fiberglass and polyethylene products for the waste water industry, while CTA produces fiberglass components for the mass transit and automotive industries.    


These expansions will result in the hiring of approximately 60 new employees adding to the more than 130 currently employed by these businesses. 


MCEDC appreciates the support given to local industries as they continue to expand their operations in Marshall County.  


For more information on these projects, please click here.


Marshall County Economy Strengthening:

Employment Increases with Businesses Expansions    



The Marshall County unemployment rate has continued to decrease throughout the year  from 7.0% at the end of 2013 to 5.2% in August 2014. This decrease is significant since it has not been the result of people dropping out of the job hunt as both our local labor force and number of jobs have increased over this period.  These numbers peaked in July when there was an additional 1,435 in the labor force and 1,815 jobs than at the end of 2013.  Marshall County employment surpassed 22,100 jobs in June crossing the 22,000 mark for the first time since 2008.       


Further optimism in the future growth of Marshall County's economy is warranted as several local employers have announced plans for expansion since the beginning of the year.


These companies include:

  • AK Industries - Plymouth
  • Composite Technologies Assemblies - Plymouth
  • Pregis Innovative Packaging- Plymouth
  • Universal Bearings - Bremen
  • Elkay - Culver

The anticipated capital investment for these expansion projects totals over $44 million with an expected 360 jobs created.


Source: Labor Force & Unemployment Statistics - Bureau of Labor Statistics


Business Attraction Initiative Continues:
Shell Building Completion Near

If you haven't traveled down U.S. 30 in a while, you have missed the significant progress that has occurred over the summer on the construction of the Commerce building located at the intersection of Pioneer Drive and Commerce Street.   


The 45,000 sq. ft. building, expandable up to 135,000 sq. ft., is nearing completion as all four of the exterior walls, including the northern expansion wall, have been erected.  Interior and exterior painting, parking lot paving, and landscaping are also finished.  All building and site improvements are scheduled to be complete by early November. 


Interest in the building and site visits continue to increase as a result of marketing efforts coordinated through MCEDC.  Such efforts include discussions with site selectors at a recent statewide conference and promotion of the building on a new billboard located on the south side of U.S. 30 between Oak Road and Pioneer Drive.    


For more information on the specifics of the building, please visit MCEDC's sites and buildings database located here.  


Metronet 101:
Connecting Businesses

Companies from the Plymouth area joined the St. Joseph Valley Metronet and the Marshall County EDC on September 26th for the third and final of a three part series of meetings.   Businesses gathered learned how they can access both dark fiber and unlimited bandwidth for their specific business needs.  Interest in the project is significant as over 60 attendees were present at these meetings.   


According to Metronet representatives, approximately 85 to 90 percent of the conduit installation is complete in the County, while approximately 75 percent is complete within the City of Plymouth.  Once the conduit is finished, the fiber will be extended through it with the first subscribers anticipated to come online by the end of October.  Hoosier Tire and the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, the two primary  private financial contributors to the project, are expected to be some of the first subscribers connected.   


Efforts will continue to be promoted to the local business community as the Metronet has the potential to increase the efficiency and capacity of their operations. 


For more information on the project, please see  "Groundbreaking Held for Metronet Expansion into Marshall County".



Forecast Bright:

State Economy Outlook Positive 




According to an Indiana employment outlook survey conducted by Manpower, Inc., 18% of the companies interviewed across the state are expected to hire during the last quarter of 2014.   


This percentage is a significant increase from the fourth quarter in 2013 revealing a more positive outlook on growth than a year ago.


One of the leading sectors that indicated they will be hiring is the Durable Goods Manufacturing sector, which employs over one-third of the workforce in Marshall County.   


This is good news for the local economy as we expect more jobs to be provided in this sector adding to the 360 jobs already announced in 2014 by companies expanding in Marshall County.  


Source: Inside Indiana Business & Manpower, Inc. 



Governor Appoints New Workforce Development Commissioner


Governor Pence announced the appointment of Steve Braun, currently an Indiana House member, as the next Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. 


As a state representative, Braun sponsored many of Governor Pence's workforce development initiatives in 2013, creating both the Indiana Career Council and the Indiana Network of Knowledge board. 


"Under Braun's leadership, Indiana's Department of Workforce Development will work to align its efforts with the Indiana Career Council and Regional Works Councils in order to ensure career pathways and readiness for all Hoosiers," stated Governor Pence. 


MCEDC looks forward to working with the incoming Commissioner to further develop and implement a workforce development plan for Marshall County when he assumes his new role on November 24th.


Source: WISH-TV & Current in Carmel  


Workforce Development Initiative:   

CNC Training Program Entering Second Year at PHS       



The ITAMCO Manufacturing Education School Service Center (IMESSC), located at Plymouth High School, is entering its second year providing computer numerical control, or CNC, training to 9th-12th grade students and adults. 


The program was developed in early 2013 through a partnership  between ITAMCO, a Plymouth and Argos based gearing and precision machining company, the North Central Area Vocational Cooperative, Ivy Tech, and the Plymouth School Corporation.  Courses are open to all students and residents in Marshall County.     


In the first year, thirteen high school students were enrolled in the program resulting in four graduating seniors immediately finding employment as CNC machinists in Marshall County. Additionally, nine adults were enrolled in the first year courses.


As this program continues, it is expected to provide skills desired by our local manufacturing employers well into the future.   


For more information on the program, please click here.       


Source: WTCA



Planting the Seeds in Education: 

ISTEP Scores Released




Students in Marshall County earned above average scores on the 2013-2014 ISTEP+ (Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress) tests providing employers future access to an educated workforce.  Locally, students performed well in comparison to state averages as Marshall County school corporations had passing rates ranging from 72.5% to 81.7%.


Through the implementation of the Business Expansion and Retention Program (BEAR) and on-site interviews, local businesses have identified a need for a skilled workforce.  To address this need, programs such as Project Lead the Way, designed to increase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic) courses in grades K-12, and the ITAMCO Manufacturing Education School Service Center, offering CNC training, have been implemented. These programs establish a vital link between what is being taught in our educational systems and skills required by our employers.  For more information on the ITAMCO Manufacturing Center, please visit


For more information on the ISTEP+ results, including the scores for individual schools, please visit    


Source: Plymouth Pilot & Indiana Department of Education 



Transportation Enhancement:   

U.S. 31 Opens to Traffic     

On August 27th, Marshall County EDC staff joined local and state officials at a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the official opening of the new U.S. 31 segment between Plymouth and South Bend.  With this new limited access roadway, Marshall County has a more efficient route to major transportation corridors throughout northern Indiana. 

Transportation plays a critical role in moving product, and is viewed as a key feature for Marshall County due to its manufacturing base.  In visiting with over forty Marshall County businesses this summer, MCEDC affirmed the importance that U.S. 30 and 31 plays in moving raw materials and finished goods throughout the region.   

For more information on the project, please visit


Focus on Regional Transportation: 

High Speed Rail Planning Moves Forward 


Eight mayors from across northern Indiana and Ohio, including Mayor Mark Senter from Plymouth, united in leadership to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA).  The result of the MOA established a partnership with freight rail operators and owners to develop high speed rail service between Chicago and Columbus. The MOA also seeks a funding commitment for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is the next phase of the project. The Town of Culver, Culver Academies, the City of Plymouth, and Marshall County have dedicated funding for the EIS.


The EIS study is expected to start in late 2014 with the goal of completing it within 18 months.  


For more information on the project, please visit


Source: Inside Indiana Business & City of Fort Wayne


Indiana Bicentennial to Occur in 2016:
Planning Committee Organized for Local Celebration


In 2016, the State of Indiana officially turns 200 years old prompting state and local groups to begin preparing for the statewide celebration.  Representatives from throughout Marshall County met in late September to start planning for the historic event focusing on ideas to unify the county.  The state has developed a website ( to act as a clearinghouse for information to guide the celebratory planning. 


As the bicentennial celebrations will put Indiana on the national radar, an increase in the number of tourists is expected across the state.  This will give economic development officials a prime opportunity to showcase our unique quality of life and strength of our economy.    


Source: Plymouth Pilot 



Welcome to the New Plymouth Clerk-Treasurer
MCEDC congratulates Toni Hutchings on her more than 19 year career with the City of Plymouth following her retirement announcement last month.  She has spent over 15 years as the Clerk-Treasurer serving five administrations with exemplary service.  We wish Ms. Hutchings happiness in her retirement.

A warm welcome is extended to Jeanine Xaver in her new role as she steps in to fulfill the remainder of Ms. Hutching's term.  We trust that the City is in good hands.  Ms. Xaver's 27 year tenure with the City Clerk's office makes her more than qualified for the position. 

MCEDC looks forward to working with Ms. Xaver in her new capacity! 

Leadership Marshall County: 

Developing Future Leaders   



The Leadership Marshall County (LMC) Class XX (20th) began the 2014-2015 program on September 10th.


The purpose of this program is to help participants determine their leadership skills and help them discover their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a chance to learn more about themselves and to understand more about Marshall County.


Pam Davis, Office Manager with MCEDC, is a participant in this group with 17 other students. Her participation with LMC ensures that we are connected locally and partnered with other agencies for the benefit of area residents.  


We expect Pam to become more aware of how agencies and organizations can work together to make improvements for Marshall County and its communities.  Keep up the good work, Pam! 



Entrepreneurial Development & Resources:

State to Offer Technical Writing Program to Assist Small Business 


The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) have launched a partnership to provide technical writing assistance to entrepreneurs for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposals. These federal programs provide funding for small businesses and emerging companies to explore technical innovation and commercialization.


Businesses can receive up to $5,000 in proposal writing or market research assistance from SBIR up to two times per SBIR/STTR agency and $500 in proposal review services. Visit to learn more about this service.


Companies interested in the Phase I process of the SBIR program, which is used to establish the technical merit and commercial potential of the project, have access to an additional 50 cents for every federal dollar, up to $50,000, subject to availability and eligibility. For information on the matching funds, please visit Elevate Ventures at


Source: IEDC & OSBE


Contact Information
phone: (574) 935-8499
Join our mailing list!
 Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn