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Regional Economic Development Plan

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Last week, in Mishawaka, Pete McCown, President of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, gave an update on the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Development Authority. The report included the first Regional Economic Development Strategy, which has been developed after months of work on the part of volunteers throughout the region.

The Regional Cities Initiative has been a huge catalyst for the renewed combined regional efforts of St.  Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Lagrange, Kosciusko, and Fulton counties in Indiana as well as counties in lower Southwest Michigan.

At the heart of the plan are five pillars that were identified as focus areas for regional economic development. The five pillars are educating a world class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new companies, helping entrepreneurs thrive, and promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for women and minorities.

As those pillars align very strongly with the 8 priorities of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, we support this plan and will work very closely with all involved during implementation. You can access the full plan at

It is appropriate to remember the people that had the foresight to begin the work of tying our region more closely together by creating the “beltway” around our region that includes the US 20 Bypass, the Toll Road, County Road 17, and US 31 which have led to a greater sense of connectivity. The economic development generated from that work has allowed us to move people, goods, and services on highways, railways, and airways in a more efficient and effective manner. 

If you have thoughts or ideas concerning the Regional Economic Development Plan please don’t hesitate to contact us here at your Chamber.

By Levon Johnson
Chamber President/CEO

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