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Measuring our progress

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates

Some of you have heard me say that our work at KEDCO represents a 10-year project to build the organization that helps Kosciusko County realize its full potential as a leading Midwest community.

The Small Cities, Big Futures project completed in spring 2019 outlined 19 recommendations to grow our local economy and to enhance our quality of life. Note: Drop me a line if you’re not familiar with the project and would like to learn about it!

Only 15-months later, we can pause to review the recommendations and consider the significant progress that we have made toward putting so many of these recommendations into motion. Consider the following examples:

  • Strengthen collaboration across sectors: completing Civic Lab training to learn a stakeholder engagement process
  • Encourage and support corporate, private-sector investment in community and economic development: engaging new partners in our community development, housing, and talent initiatives
  • Play the long game: developing organizational capacity to sustain our programming
  • Strengthen the agricultural sector: continuing to be the only local economic development organization to invest in AgriNovus Indiana
  • Evaluate economic development capacity: building a team of subject matter experts to lead our initiatives and expanding board member involvement in our efforts
  • Enhance entrepreneurial supports: offering a single point-of-contact for entrepreneurs, re-establishing a small business loan fund, and making plans for a business incubator
  • Develop the community’s identity: becoming a member of Clearly Kosciusko and seeking opportunities to deploy the brand identity
  • Explore a land trust for future development: forming a land trust to support community development and housing initiatives
  • Create talent attraction programs: developing a menu services to support clients’ talent recruitment and retention efforts
  • Update comprehensive countywide land use plan: participating in a countywide comprehensive land use planning process
  • Develop new housing options: implementing the results of the housing market potential study and administering the workforce housing demonstration program

So in just more than a year, KEDCO is leading or contributing toward the implementation of more than half of the recommendations, not counting a few that are led by other organizations or that have been impacted by COVID-19.

These are long-term undertakings that have the potential to set our community apart as a leader among our peers. Our team at KEDCO is excited about the road ahead.

– Alan Tio