The Economic Development Perspective 
Message from Jerry
As the lead economic development organization serving Marshall County communities, it is MCEDC's responsibility to chart the path that will lead to an improved economy. We began that process some sixteen months ago by examining market opportunities, the needs of our business community, and the goals of our local communities. The MCEDC Board of Directors then defined and adopted this Economic Development Plan. Now, we find ourselves with the task of developing financing necessary to ensure proper execution of the vision.
For over a month, approximately 70 plus individuals from across the county have come together to discuss needs and explore funding solutions that will transform Marshall County. What has brought this citizen's group together is the desire to make Marshall County a better place to live, work, and play by taking the necessary steps to fund the implementation of a county-wide plan.
Additionally, MCEDC and some of these citizens have met with county commissioners and county council members to discuss the plan. Here are a few highlights of those discussions.
  • Business and community leaders are making an effort to seek solutions to improve the quality of place in our community.
  • Adjacent counties are moving their progressive, county-wide plans forward with financing tools which are available to, but not yet utilized by Marshall County.
  • A change is needed to attract young professionals, create housing, recruit a workforce to fill immediate jobs, address public infrastructure needs, and repair our roads.
  • We need to rely on ourselves to make the necessary transformation for Marshall County in terms of direction and funding.
  • Elected officials are often faced with making unpopular decisions; this citizen's group is willing to stand shoulder to shoulder in support, should the council move forward with MCEDC's recommendation. 
Finally, MCEDC has presented our plan to six service clubs throughout the county. We have also conducted a Town Hall meeting in Bourbon on the same topic, with the goal of conducting similar meetings across Marshall County in the near future. To date the response and conversation has been very positive in support to make changes. We intend to discuss the plan with elected community leaders soon.
The list of citizens in favor of our plan is growing. We want to provide a platform so others can join this effort as well as opening the door to invite others to continue the dialogue and work towards a solution. If you are interested in learning more about the community development plan and how to fund it, please send your email address to

More to come later.
  Connecting with MCEDC

The MCEDC is updating its communication plan, which means you might notice some changes in the New Year. Some of our plan has already been implemented, such as improving our social media presence. Please consider liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what we're doing in the community. MCEDC is excited about these changes, as they will help us stay better connected to you, and give you the opportunity to be more informed and involved in our activities.
North Central Region Impresses in Regional Cities Initiative

In order to grow and develop the economic climate in our community, it is essential to create an environment which attracts a young, talented workforce. That is why Marshall County is participating in the Regional Cities Initiative (RCI), a program which is equipped to provide $84 million in grants to fund regional improvement of quality of place. In the spirit of regional collaboration, Marshall County joined St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties to form the North Central Region, which is competing against 6 other Indiana regions for the grant.
Recently, the Regional Cities Strategic Review Committee met to deliberate the submissions. They revealed that the North Central Region not only had the highest return on investment of all submissions, but was also one of the top 3 applicants. The committee will announce the final grant recipients In December.
  Economic Outlook Sheds Light on Business Retention and Expansion

WNIT's program, Economic Outlook, recently engaged in an in-depth analysis on the importance of Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) in economic development. It is vital for an economic development strategy to incorporate BRE tactics, seeing as roughly 80% of a region's economic growth comes from existing businesses.
MCEDC's President and CEO, Jerry Chavez, served as a panelist for the episode alongside St. Joseph County Chamber President and CEO, Jeff Rea, as well as Elkhart County EDC President and CEO, Mark Dobson. Topics of discussion included the factors to an effective BRE Strategy, the role of TIF Districts in helping expansions, and how to balance the growth of existing businesses with the recruitment of new ones.
You can see the full episode here.  
County Development for the Future Meeting
Regionalism is alive in Marshall County, bringing leaders from each city and town together for regular economic development round table discussions. MCEDC held its 11th County Development for the Future (CDFF) meeting on November 17th at the Swan Lake Resort & Conference Center. These quarterly meetings provide a platform for communities to learn from each other by sharing challenges and successes related to economic development priorities.
At this past meeting we discussed Marshall County's involvement with the Regional Cities Initiative, progress with implementing Main Street programs in our towns, our County's application for the Career Success Coalition program, as well as progress on several key business expansions and building developments. A true example of regionalism at a county level, CDFF discussions are unique, fostering collaboration and friendly competition between communities. CDFF seeks to build upon the established momentum of previous discussions, encouraging continuous improvement in our county. The next meeting will be held on February 17th.
BEAR Forecast on Proposed Investments                                                 
A vital program for the growth of existing companies in Marshall County, the MCEDC Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program has seen a great deal of success since its launch in 2014. Through the use of one-on-one interviews with business leaders in our community, the program has identified several expansion opportunities, allowing MCEDC to assist in these expansions.
So far in 2015, the BEAR program has conducted 21 interviews and uncovered the following estimated investments for the coming years:
  • 166 new jobs to be created
  • $51 million in investment
  • 65,000 additional sq. ft. in building space
  • $5.6 million in direct and $4.6 million in indirect payroll
  • $120,00 in Annual Real Property Taxes for 2016
  • $500,000 in Annual Personal Property Taxes for 2016
By conducting these interviews through our BEAR program, we are able to get a snapshot of not only upcoming business expansions, but also the changes to Marshall County's economic climate as a whole.
  Progress Across Marshall County
Argos Solar Park Opens
The Indiana Municipal Power Agencies (IMPA) and the Town of Argos have come together to bring Marshall County's first solar electric generation park online, giving local residents and businesses access to green energy at no additional cost. Developing clean energy solutions such as this plant, will not just benefit Marshall County's existing businesses, but also make our community more attractive outside ones. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Tuesday, November 10th, and brought together town officials and IMPA leadership. The $1.3 million project consists of over 2,700 solar panels and will generate 0.7 megawatts of AC for the community.

Bourbon Officials Take Steps to Secure Plan Funding
The Town of Bourbon displayed great commitment to their community and residents by inviting the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to perform a site interview. This meeting, held on October 27th, was the first step for Bourbon in their effort to receive a planning grant from the state. The funding, provided by OCRA will allow Bourbon to develop a new comprehensive plan aimed at community growth. Developing a comprehensive plan for the Town of Bourbon is vital, as it will allow town officials to enact develop goals for the community and enact policies that will aid them in meeting those goals.

Bremen Water Filters Increase Services to Community
The Town of Bremen is making big strides towards improving services to both residents and businesses by adding a new filter to its water plant. This approximately $4 million capital investment will benefit the community by providing savings to residents and meeting the growing needs of businesses. At 54 feet long, 14 ½ feet tall, and 15 feet wide, the filter drew a great deal of attention from residents as it was installed on November 4th. The 4-chamber filter uses a gravity-feed pump with an added capacity of 1,200 gallons per minute, making it twice as effective as its previous system.

Culver Makes Progress on 5 Year-Plan
In the interest of community growth, the Town of Culver has moved forwards with implementing its 5 year plan for development. On November 12th, residents and community leaders gathered together to assess the Town's plan. The meeting was noteworthy as members were able to review the completed plan for the first time. Culver's 5 year plan covers many areas, all aimed at Town growth and development. With this meeting, community leaders are one step closer to executing their plan.

LaPaz Working to Develop Commercial Corridor
With the recent development of the new US Hwy 31, LaPaz is moving forward and planning effective solutions for the Town. Their priority is developing a commercial corridor at the crossroads of US Hwy 31 and US Hwy 6, which will likely require annexation of the property in question. The LaPaz Town Council met on November 12th in order to explore their options regarding this development. The Council is working to determine the best way to accomplish annexation through a process guided by state law.
Free Marshall County Business Consulting                                         
Entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, and business owners in Marshall County are encouraged to sign up for one-on-one, confidential business counseling with Alan Steele, Advisor with the North Central ISBDC.
The next session will be Tuesday, January 5th at the MCEDC offices, 2864 Miller Drive, Plymouth. Preregistration is required. Please call 574-520-4291 or email, identifying yourself as a Marshall County participant.
Invest in Marshall County Update                                  
The Marshall County EDC would like to say "thank you" for your commitment in supporting the "Invest in Marshall County" campaign. The campaign was launched in April to increase private sector support for economic development, and has already surpassed one-third of its goal.
New investors pledging funds to the campaign, or partnering with the MCEDC, include:
  • Plymouth Land Surveying & Design, Inc.
  • Digger Specialties
  • All Points Tool
  • Easterday Houin, LLP
  • Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLC
  • Town of Culver Redevelopment Commission
  • Michiana Contracting
  • Plymouth Chamber of Commerce - 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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