Economic Development of Kosciusko County

Staff


George Robertson

George Robertson - President
Kosciusko Economic Development Corp.

Contact George

George Robertson is currently the first full time CEO of Kosciusko County Economic Development Corp. Kosciusko is a rural county in North Central Indiana. The economy is strongly based on both agricultural and manufacturing. In agriculture, it has the largest duck processing plant in the US, a major Soy Bean biofuel processing plant and is a major egg production area. It is the leading orthopedic products manufacturing center in the world plus has a large number of other state-of-the art manufacturing facilities. Percentage-wise the County has one of the largest percentage of manufacturing jobs in the US.

In 2010 when Robertson arrived, the County’s employment had sunk to one of its lowest recent levels at 33,000 people employed and a 13.5% unemployment rate. At the end of 2015, it had its highest employment level of nearly 40,000 employed and a 4% unemployment rate. This was done through an aggressive business outreach and retention effort, creative solutions to workforce challenges, and a strong community collaborative effort.    

This is the third ED organization that Robertson has served as its first CEO. He now terms his career as “economic development organizational entrepreneurship”.

Prior to Indiana he served as the Director of Development for Charles County Maryland (population 140,000), located in southern Maryland, Charles County lies in the center of the Baltimore-Washington D.C.- Richmond metro area. It is composed of small towns, rural areas and a suburban corridor of 80,000. He headed up a County Department responsible for all economic development and tourism activities including attraction, business retention, site development, technology and small business development. Targeting foreign direct investment, the County announced the location of a major British defense manufacturer in its new 277 acre Science Technology Park.  Under his leadership, the County instituted a business retention program and a disadvantaged business loan program. He also re-positioned the county in marketing and developed a strong new web presence.

Prior to Maryland, Robertson was the first President of the Cenla Advantage Partnership, a regional economic development organization serving 11 parishes across central Louisiana. The 400,000-population area is rural with a number of mid-size and small cities, towns and villages. Primary program emphasis was on workforce development to meet the needs of existing employers and entrepreneurial development. Several innovative workforce programs such as Bring ‘em Home to recruit back young people and Raise ‘em Up to improve the existing workforce skills were developed. These were augmented by cluster industry training.

Prior to this position, he was the President for 20 years of the Schenectady Economic Development Corporation. Schenectady, New York, is a Northeast-manufacturing city that lost over 20,000 jobs from its largest employer and had to recreate its economy. Primarily by a concentration of retention/expansion activities and small business start-ups, all of the lost jobs were replaced. A devastated downtown saw over $100 million of investment in 48 months. A two-decade out migration of young people was reversed with the recruitment during 36 months of over 6000 immigrants to the community.

Before New York, Robertson was Director of Economic Development for the Governor of South Dakota, which became known for its creative economic development activities and resulted in the attraction of thousands of new jobs to the State. Previously he was a site selection consultant for several Fortune 500 companies; worked in the corporate environment; and has owned several small businesses.

Active in professional training for economic developers, Robertson was Course Director of the New York State Economic Development Course for 17 years. He served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute for twenty years. He is, also, an instructor at the New England Economic Development Course, the Kentucky Economic Development Institute, Ball State Economic Development Course, and the New Hampshire Economic Development Academy. Robertson served on the EDI Faculty for the University of CETYS, Ensenada, Mexico and spent three weeks in eastern Hungary advising local elected officials on the creation of economic development programs in a post-socialistic economy.  He has also been a community college adjunct professor on small business and entrepreneurship.

He is a national speaker on the subject of future trends and economic development and has made presentations to groups ranging from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities; to the Kansas/Missouri Chambers of Commerce; to the City of Lakewood, Colorado; to the La-Tex-Ark Economic Development Summit, to the Maine Economic Development Association.

He has taught small business/entrepreneurial development as well as workforce development and business retention to the National Association of Workforce Boards Executive Institute in Washington D.C and the World Future Society Convention where he discussed workforce challenges and solutions into 2030.

Active in professional associations, he is a member of IEDC and the Indiana Economic Development Association. He is a past Chairman of the New York State Economic Development Council, founding chairman of The Capital Region (NY) Economic Development Corporation; a past Board member of NASDA; and served on the AEDC Education Committee. He also has served as a Board member of the numerous Workforce Investment Boards including currently on the North Central Indiana WIB. An Eagle Scout, he is also an active Cub and Boy Scout leader.

 

LinkedIn

 


Cindy Scott

Cindy Scott - Office Mgr.
KEDCo

Contact Cindy

Cindy Scott joined as Office Manager in May, 2013.  She is responsible for day to day functions of KEDCo. Having started and operating a small business for 21 years, managed all the office side of the business and learned alot about a wide variety of business owner issues. Cindy sought a position where she could meet new challenges and stay involved in the community which brought her to KEDCo.    

Cindy was an administrative assistant for a non profit organization in Wyoming. Moved back home to settling in the Warsaw area. She was actively involved in PTO and as a volunteer tutor in the School System.  She also served on the Ag Advisory Board of the Warsaw Chapter of FFA. Cindy has a daughter and a son who live in Warsaw and has two grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys traveling and motorcycling.