Executive Director, EDCMC
Welcome to a momentous year of economic growth from the city whose time has come in Northwest Indiana – Michigan City. Tucked on the southern tip of Lake Michigan and home to the nation’s newest national park, Indiana Dunes National Park, Michigan City continues to forge forward in creating jobs and capital investments while enhancing its small-town appeal through quality of life projects.
In early spring 2018, we celebrated the successes of 13 local companies that believed in the community by investing and creating economic growth for Michigan City at the Business Investment Awards Banquet. Our speaker, Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America, delivered a powerful and well received message about creating value in the workforce and the importance of appreciating your human resources. She added that “wages are the cost of entry. You don’t have to be ahead (of the market), but are you in line with the market?” This message holds true in the tight employment market today.
One of EDCMC’s major focuses has been building the pipeline for our existing companies who are experiencing significant growth but who are also challenged with finding qualified employees. The EDCMC has partnered with Michigan City Area Schools to create symbiotic relationships with the business community to focus on building a curriculum to support current and future employer needs. To that end, the Compressed Air Academy was formed at Michigan City High School with the support and resources from five local companies that are projecting future growth and will need qualified employees to facilitate their economic investment. This business education partnership approach is also followed in the healthcare, software, advance manufacturing and hospitality industries.
In 2018, the EDCMC continued to build on its Business Retention and Expansion Program (BR&E) and saw record returns on its investment in local companies. Most common issues responded to were workforce, expansion and relocation within the city. Both the BR&E and Business Attraction programs saw 14 projects completed, yielding 1,710 retained jobs, 306 new jobs and generating over $305 million in capital investment.
Significant developments that occurred in 2018 that will continue to grow future dividends were the SiteLink Forum Conference that featured seven site selectors that visited our community and left with positive impressions, two insightful articles in FDI Alliance Magazine that heralded our presence in European markets, and last but not least, the annexation of 426 acres to city boundaries and planned for two new business parks and a major residential subdivision. These initiatives have laid the groundwork for increased economic capital investment and higher paying jobs for all Michigan City residents.
It is time for Michigan City to seize this moment. Lots of planning, public investments and hard work has been carried out by many past community leaders and residents. We are on the cusp of many great accomplishments, projects and initiatives, and we need to keep the momentum moving forward. Let’s seize this time to build Michigan City for all our current and future generations. The TIME is NOW!
Clarence L. Hulse