The Economic Development Perspective 
Message from Jerry:

As I sit down and begin writing my article, I reflect on the many aspects that I could share in this newsletter.  Sometimes timing of recent events leads me to what I want to highlight ... which is the case in this edition.
This year, I took particular interest in the Marshall County budget process that concluded this past week and want to share my observations.  I'll begin by saying, I believe that the County Council and County Commissioners worked extremely well together to finalize and adopt the Marshall County 2016 budget. 
Here's a bit of background. Marshall County EDC has ramped up our communications with local government leadership on an ongoing basis.  Prior to these budget discussions, my leadership sat down with each County elected official to gauge their satisfaction with our progress and to discuss the Marshall County EDC budget.
We learned at our initial meeting that between the Commissioners proposed budget and the projection by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) there was a 
$1,000,000 difference.  WOW - just stop and think of moving the puzzle around to make up that huge difference and still provide a level of County services that everyone expects.
I attended the Council's special meeting on August 18th and noticed adjustments being suggested by Commissioners in an effort to bring the difference closer.  What we didn't see through the process was how the leadership came together in subsequent meetings, the phone calls or all the adding machine tape used to run the numbers as countless suggestions were made during the budget adjustment process. 
Fast forward to this past Monday (9/14/2015) when the Council came together to finalize the budget.  After a lot of heavy lifting behind the scenes and where in real time with the aid of "Gateway", the online DLGF budget form, the 2016 Marshall County Budget drew closer to the DLGF proposed budget of more than $8,800,000.  I would like to commend the Council members and Commissioners with finalizing the budget and note that they paid particular attention to leaving enough room to work in raises for all County employees.
I would like to also say thanks to the County officials for your continued support of economic development and their acknowledgement of the progress that has been made by Marshall County EDC.  
As I wrote in the May ED Perspective, individuals that step into leadership roles often find themselves faced with difficult decisions as represented in the case outlined above.  However, through a process of debate, discussion and many times compromise ... good governance and policy can occur.  I'm sure that the future will bring more debate ... no doubt.  We look forward to making well-informed recommendations on economic development to the local jurisdictions.  I feel confident in working with governing bodies that together, in the case of economic development, we will take charge of issues and examine how to make changes that allow our County to prosper.


County Development for the Future:
A Platform for Priorities & Success

The "County Development for the Future" (CDFF) round table discussions provide a platform where communities share accomplishments regarding their respective priorities for growth and development.  Local leaders built upon the established momentum of ongoing efforts and cooperative spirit, and sometimes a bit of competition, from the last quarterly CDFF meeting to the recent meeting held August 19th.

Some of the significant accomplishments in the last quarter include:

Town of Argos
  • Development of an industrial park master plan to include the design of rail served properties.
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment on the former Eley Forest site.
  • Planning for an extension of Rochester Telephone Company services to the community.
  • Construction underway on Marshall County's first solar park by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA).


Town of Bourbon

  • Annexation and rezoning of 60 acres for industrial development.
  • Secured vacant land for future purchase and industrial development.
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment on the Shells, Inc. property.
  • Establishment of the town's first Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district and redevelopment commission.
  • Completion of an income survey required for pursuing OCRA grant to fund a comprehensive plan.


Town of Bremen

  • Discussion with a local property owner on a potential 13 acre residential development.
  • Planning for the redevelopment of the former Clark gas station.
  • Construction underway on $4 MM water improvement project.
  • Adoption and implementation of new comprehensive plan.


Town of Culver 

  • Planning for potential entry-level residential development to provide needed local housing.
  • Adoption of a 5 year action plan to implement the comprehensive plan.
  • Adoption of a 5 year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for construction of public infrastructure.
  • Construction underway on a $1.7 MM water improvement project.
  • Secured $1.2 MM to improve the storm water system.


Town of LaPaz 

  • Marshall County and community leaders begin development of a U.S. Hwy 31 & 6 corridor plan.
  • Consultant retained to prepare $1 MM roadway and aesthetic improvement plan for the U.S. Hwy 31 / downtown corridor.


City of Plymouth

  • Manufacturing training center included in Regional Cities of Northern Indiana (RCNI) application for advancing workforce skill sets.
  • Marketing of 45,000 sq. ft. Commerce "shell" building to new and expanding businesses.
  • Promotion of the St. Joseph Valley Metronet throughout the community resulting in 17 business connections.
  • Completion of $2.5 MM airport improvement project.
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment on four properties.
  • Construction completed for Phase I of Freedom Park, an all-inclusive playground.
  • Construction of gateway signage underway.
  • Secured funding from Redevelopment Commission for downtown improvements.
  • Discussions with potential developers on increasing downtown housing options.


Marshall County

  • Approval of tax abatement supporting Faulkner Fabricating, Inc. expansion.
  • Development of a Regional Cities of Northern Indiana (RCNI) application with potential of receiving $42 MM for the three-county region.
  • Implementation of U.S. EPA Brownfield Coalition grant continues as 8-10 sites countywide are in process.
  • Continue with implementation of countywide online permitting system improving process efficiency.
Over 30 community leaders were present in August .... clearly demonstrating the value of the economic development forum.  


STEM Curriculum Expands:
PLTW Courses Added Countywide
Marshall County schools are making great strides in increasing the skills of our future workforce, which according to area businesses will benefit regional employers.  Every school corporation in the county expanded the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses offered this year through a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) grant.

The STEM curriculum begins in K-5 with the Launch program focusing on problem solving through structured approaches and critical thinking.  The Gateway program offers project-based learning courses in engineering and biomedical science for middle school students.  Courses in engineering, biomedical science, and computer science are offered at the high school level.    

This is the second year that the region has had access to the $4.4 MM PLTW grant.  In 2013, Marshall County raised $250,000 providing the local match required for the grant.

STEM courses currently being offered include the following: 

  • Launch (K-5) - New for 2015
  • Gateway (6-8)   
  • Computer Science (9-12) - New for 2015
  • Gateway (6-8) - New for 2015
  • Engineering (9-12) 
  • Launch (K-5)
  • Gateway (6-8)
  • Biomedical Science (9-12) 
  • Engineering (9-12) - New for 2015
  • Launch (K-5) - New for 2015
  • Gateway (6-8) 
  • Biomedical Science (9-12)
  • Engineering (9-12) - New for 2015
  • Launch (K-5) - Offered in five elementary schools
  • Gateway (6-8)
  • Biomedical Science (9-12)
  • Engineering (9-12)
Other noteworthy PLTW statistics include:
  • 21 STEM courses offered in Marshall County in 2015-2016, up from four courses two years ago.
  • Marshall County second only to St. Joseph County in the five-county region for the number of courses implemented.
  • 9,500 Marshall County students have access to PLTW courses. 
Funding for implementing additional programs will be available through 2016.  
Regional Cities of Northern Indiana:
Three Counties Showcase Initiatives


On August 18th, leadership from Marshall County and northern Indiana hosted a delegation from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and showcased planned projects in key development districts within the region.  This coalition came together over the past nine months to develop an application for pursuing $42 MM in state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative.  The goal is to retain and attract talent to north central Indiana.


The half day event - attended by Jim Schellinger, the newly appointed President of the IEDC, and Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith - included briefings on many projects included in the application with stops at Notre Dame, South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart.  Many common themes are incorporated in these projects such as innovation, public infrastructure and broadband development, redevelopment of properties, workforce development and launching entrepreneurship opportunities.       


The Regional Cities of Northern Indiana (RCNI) application, which was submitted on August 31st, includes many Marshall County initiatives with a focus on increasing amenities, density, productivity, and connectivity.  The complete application can be found here.        

Local officials will present the RCNI grant application to the state selection committee in early October.   


The IEDC expects to announce the award recipients in mid-December.      


For more information, please visit the Regional Cities of Northern Indiana. 


Marshall County EDC Releases 2014 Annual Report
The Marshall County EDC continues to make organizational changes and the release of its 2014 Annual Report is yet another change.  Fundamentally, the report is designed to have a countywide feel providing more information on how each of the six communities are progressing on their economic development priorities.

Highlights of the community achievements include the establishment of the Metronet providing unlimited bandwidth capacity, now used by 17 businesses in Marshall County; the availability of a shell building for new businesses in Plymouth; the designing of Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts and industrial parks; as well as developing and updating comprehensive plans.

Other sections of the report highlight MCEDC's activities in business expansion and retention (BEAR), business attraction and marketing, and a month-by-month year in review. 

Marketing is a core function, and in 2014, MCEDC's marketing activities included:
  • Provided 21 proposals to separate out of area companies looking to base operations in a new location.
  • Conducted 5 site tours where corporate representatives visited Marshall County, and toured vacant sites or buildings.
  • Contacted 422 national site selectors with marketing information on sites and community information.
  • Leads categorized by industry are:

    - 2 in plastics and rubber products.

    - 6 in food processing and pet food.

    - 1 in paper products.

    - 3 in fabricated metals and metals


    - 4 in automotive and agricultural
    - 2 in chemical processing.
    - 1 in other industries.

In closing, MCEDC would like to thank Harmony Press, in Bourbon, for their talent and producing a quality report.

Please click here to read the 2014 Annual Report.

City of Plymouth:
Named Safest Place                                                               
The City of Plymouth is recognized as one of the safest places in Indiana.  Safety and a low crime rate are key quality of life factors influencing people's decisions on where to live.  Additionally, businesses choose where to invest based on these and several other factors.   

The 2015 "Safest Places in Indiana" report, issued by ValuePenguin, a consumer finance research firm, placed Plymouth at #8 in its rankings for mid-sized cities (10,000 to 20,000 population).  An overall ranking of Indiana communities, when adjusted for population, placed Plymouth at #27, which was the highest ranked community in our region.  

As mentioned in the July ED Perspective newsletter, a 2015 survey conducted by Area Development magazine identified low crime rates as the number one quality of life factor driving corporate decisions on expansions. 

For more information on ValuePenguin study, please click here.  
Ancilla College:
Opens Residence Hall


Change is in the air with Marshall County's higher education system.  Ancilla College, after developing a well crafted expansion plan, unveiled their first on-campus residence hall as students return for the school year. 


The initial response to the $6 MM hall has been overwhelming and all 100 rooms will be filled with incoming freshmen.  With the availability of on-campus living, Ancilla experienced a 25% increase in enrollment over the prior academic year.  Interest has been so great that there is currently a waiting list for future occupancy.


The college, which has traditionally been a commuter campus, now has a national and international reach as reported by college officials.   


We look forward to more changes from Ancilla College.   


Click here for more information.  


City of Plymouth:
Sharing the "Love"(s)
Development of the Love's Travel Center in Plymouth has begun and is expected to bring millions of dollars in capital investment and an anticipated 40 new jobs.

In early August, earth moving equipment, stock piled utility pipe and stripped top soil could be seen on the 12 acre site at the northwest corner of U.S. Hwy 30 and Pioneer Road.  Construction on the estimated $10 MM project commenced at the beginning of July.  Rains temporarily delayed the project.

Much work has gone into the preliminary planning and engineering .... a special note of recognition goes out to City of Plymouth staff.  A word of thanks goes out to Love's for their investment in the community.

While traveling on U.S. 30 notice the development at Pioneer Road......... you can't miss it! 

Marshall County:
Manufacturing Strength Leads to Job Creation
Marshall County businesses continue to grow and create jobs driving an increase in manufacturing employment and decreasing the unemployment rate. 

Preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Marshall County's unemployment rate at 3.9% in July, which is near an all time low.  The jobless rate has decreased from 4.8% in September 2014 and has been below 4% twice in the last four months.  This decrease is significant in that it has not been the result of people dropping out of the labor force.  Over 630 jobs have been added since last September. 

According to Headlight Data, a national economic and workforce firm, Marshall County is among the top 5% of the counties in the U.S. for net growth in manufacturing employment between 2013 and 2014.  Their data show an increase of over 430 manufacturing jobs during this period placing Marshall County at 136 out of the 2,746 counties.  

Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) reporting indicates that more business expansions are expected in the future.

Economic Indicators Reveal Growth
Tracking data and providing information is a key aspect of how your Marshall County EDC functions.  A snapshot of some of this data is referred to as local "economic indicators", which reveals the health and vitality of the economy.  This data answers the general question of "What is the condition of the Marshall County economy?", and is often used by site selectors and businesses as they consider where to expand operations or open a new facility.

The latest indicators are:

Economic Indicators
  • Unemployment Rate (July 2015) - 3.9%
  • Marshall County Labor Force (July 2015) - 24,736
  • Labor Force within 60 min. commute (2015) - 426,236
  • Average Annual Wage per Job (2013) - $34,263
  • Cost of Living - Marshall County (June 2014) - 82.0%
Marshall County Building Construction Permits - Total Valuation
  • 2014 - $69,924,144
  • 2013 - $37,087,246
  • 2012 - $30,591,990
Marshall County Major Business Expansion 

Number of Expansions 
Capital Investment 
Expected Jobs Created
Estimated Payroll 
$50.5 MM
$20 MM
$36 MM
$12.3 MM

These indicators are revised and published on the MCEDC website.


Marshall County Council:
Supports Business Expansion
The Marshall County Council showed strong interest in supporting local business with the approval of a ten year property tax abatement for Faulkner Fabricating, Inc.  The Council approved the abatement request and went through the process in the minimum amount of time allowed by state statute all in an effort to meet the needs of the business.

The company, located just west of Bourbon, plans to invest approximately $1.53 MM in a building addition and new manufacturing equipment creating 5 new jobs.  Faulkner Fabricating's 25 year history is marked by diversifying its production capabilities and growing operations to 34 employees.  Today, the business supplies production and shipping racks, and components to the automotive, window and coal mining industries. 

This expansion is reported to be Faulkner Fabricating, Inc.'s largest investment in its facility since establishing roots in Marshall County.  The planned capital investment will include a $925,000 building addition, which nearly doubles the total square footage of their facility to 75,000 sq. ft.  The company will also invest approximately $600,000 in new equipment and machinery in order the meet the growing demands of its customers.

Thank you..... "Marshall County Council" for supporting yet another growing local business.  
Plymouth-Based Manufacturer:
Partners with Universities & National Firm

Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) and the University of Notre Dame recently announced an innovative $11 million 3D printing initiative with the University of Pittsburgh and Johnson & Johnson.  ITAMCO is a precision machining and precision gear manufacturer located in Plymouth. 

The partnership focuses on the development and commercialization of design practices for manufacturing metal alloy parts.  ITAMCO is tasked with creating an Autodesk application, software commonly used in manufacturing design, for analyzing product orientation, distortion, and heat factors related to product development.

This partnership between local manufacturing, nationally regarded higher education institutions, and a Fortune 500 company demonstrates the innovative nature of Marshall County's businesses and workers. 

The project is expected to be complete in 2017.

MCEDC congratulates the ITAMCO leadership on truly being visionary and cutting edge.

For more information on the partnership, please click here.
Calling All Entrepreneurs:
Free Business Consulting Available in Marshall County

Small business development support continues in Marshall County with free consulting services offered at the Marshall County EDC offices in Plymouth.

Alan Steele, a Regional Director and Business Advisor with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, will assist participants in assessing current and future needs for long-time business owners or entrepreneurial start ups.

Assistance is provided with business plans, financial reviews, demographic data analysis, marketing strategies, process or energy assessments, and legal, management, or human resources issues.

Please call Alan at (574) 520-4291 to schedule an appointment on October 6th, or send an e-mail to, to preregister.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership:
The Expertise of Purdue University is Available

The Marshall County EDC proudly partners with the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to bring relevant low-cost training opportunities to our businesses and industries.
Upcoming courses are being offered in two separate series, one in leadership development in Elkhart and one in quality improvement in Plymouth.

Leadership Development Series
  • L eadership Development Series: Session Two - Managing Across Generations - September 21st
  • Leadership Development Series: Session Three - Stress & Time Management - October 19th 
  • Leadership Development Series: Session Four - Managing Organizational  Change - November 10th
  • Leadership Development Series: Session Four - Emotional Intelligence - December 14th 
For more information on the leadership series and how to register, please click here .

Quality Improvement Series - Introduction to Basic Manufacturing Skills
  • Basic Shop Mathematics - October 7th
  • Blueprint Reading - November 4th
  • Measurement for Manufacturing - December 2nd

For more information on the quality improvement series and how to register, please click here.  


Contact Dietra Rosenkoetter, Senior Account Manager, at (317) 275-6812 or, if you have any questions.  

      "Invest in Marshall County"

The Marshall County EDC would like to say "thank you" for your support and financial commitment in supporting the "Invest in Marshall County" campaign. 

The campaign, which was launched in April to increase private sector support for economic development, has achieved early success reaching one-third of its goal. 

In a recent press release issued by 1st Source Bank, the bank publicly pledged $15,000 becoming the latest business to support the campaign.  The bank joins forty-one other businesses and organizations which have all made either financial contributions or donated in-kind services.  These generous investors include banks, retailers, utility providers, non-profits and other organizations that collectively recognize the value in economic development and the new direction in programming for MCEDC.  

New investors pledging funds to the campaign, or partnering with MCEDC, include: 
  • Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDCO)
  • Pioneer Rail Corporation
  • Krieg DeVault
  • Marshall County Museum - non-cash member

"Thank you"    Together, we will strengthen and grow Marshall County's economy.   



2864 Miller Drive, Plymouth, IN 46563

(574) 935-8499

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