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Strong 2016 for NWI Forum Sets up 2017 Goals

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Northwest Indiana Forum, a non-profit which represents the seven counties of the region and more than 130 member organizations, recently celebrated the successes of 2016 at its annual meeting in Hammond, IN.

According to the organization, 2016 saw:

  • 200 meetings with sight selectors, brokers and developers
  • 60 business attraction leads and/or expansion efforts in the region
  • 26 of these contacted the Forum directly
  • 34 were referred by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation or by other economic development agencies
  • Approximately 1,200 new jobs brought to the region

Looking ahead at 2017, President and CEO Heather Ennis said the organization will continue its work attracting businesses to the region and will be launching a new website. One goal is to “allow Northwest Indiana to compete in a global economy,” Ennis said.

At separate meeting earlier in January, the Forum rolled out its legislative agenda for 2017. The priorities outlined by the organization are meant to “dramatically improve the economic development landscape of Northwest Indiana,” Ennis said at that presentation. Consistent with what was presented at the annual meeting, the agenda is meant to prioritize those projects the organization’s membership believe will contribute to developing the region’s economic climate to better compete in the global economy.

Priorities range from infrastructure investment (Northwest Indiana Commuter Rail Expansion, transportation infrastructure legislative improvements and continued support for the Coalition for the Improvements of US 30) to supporting workforce development with public funding for training and quality of place initiatives, such as permanent funding for the Regional Cities Initiative grant program.

Heather Ennis, President and CEO

Northwest Indiana Forum