Monday, June 21, 2010

Regional Economic Summit Invites Input from the Community

It's not too late to RSVP for the Regional Economic Summit which will take place this Wednesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Wayne Center. You've probably heard and seen much about this Summit - it's something you're not going to want to miss. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP by emailing Here's some background information.

Since 1995, Northeast Indiana has experienced a 15 percent decrease in per capita income compared to the nation overall. According to the latest statistics, Northeast Indiana workers are earning nearly 20 percent less than the national average. While the nation averages a dollar, we make only 80 cents in Northeast Indiana. How much further will our earnings fall before we take action? When will we have a sense of urgency?

Mike Packnett, President and CEO of Parkview Health, and Keith Busse, President and CEO of Steel Dynamics, are leading a group of community representatives from across business, education, government and foundation sectors to develop a compelling and actionable vision for the ten-county Northeast Indiana region. At the conclusion of Vision 2020, we will have a clear and unifying vision for the future, shared regional priorities and accountability, plans with specific strategies and tactics, and an attitude of passion and urgency to see the vision to action.

Vision 2020 is a six-month process of community engagement aimed at shaping the vitality of the regional economy. From in depth interviews to regional outreach meetings, to focus groups and a regional economic summit, Vision 2020 will individually touch hundreds, if not thousands, in Northeast Indiana. Insight gathered from surveys and conversations will allow Vision 2020 to understand the significant assets of the region, and what's missing, and how to best use that information to move forward. Immediate and long-term strategies are being developed for the following areas of focus: competitive business climate; 21st century talent; quality of life, infrastructure; and entrepreneurship. The Regional Economic Summit is the culmination of studies, interviews, focus groups, country outreach and focus area discussions about goals and strategies for the improvement of Northeast Indiana. The summit is free and open to the public in order to receive the best, most comprehensive input from the residents and workers in Northeast Indiana.

On June 23 at 6 pm, the region will gather at the Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort Wayne to shape the future of our community. Everyone in attendance will receive a keypad for real-time voting. The audience will have the ability to rank and prioritize key goals and strategies that have been developed through Vision 2020. Everyone in the community will have a voice. We must be bold in our thinking and in our actions as a region if we hope to combat the economic decline. Together, we can show our commitment to our community and the pride in our corner of the heartland.

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