Pharos-Tribune

Business

March 30, 2014

CLEDO CHAT: What goes into economic development?

CLEDO has gone through a number of changes over the years, and more recently reorganized from LEDF (Logansport Cass Economic Development Foundation) to CLEDO (Cass Logansport Economic Development Organization), and within the past six months to CLEDO (City of Logansport Economic Development Organization.) Our funding is a combination of city CEDIT, or County Economic Development Income Tax, funding and individual member donors, companies and supporters in our region.

CLEDO has three stated organizational goals of business retention; business growth; and business attraction. Business retention is focused on doing what we can within our bylaw limits, funds, and potential grants within the area to support our existing businesses. Business growth relates to those existing businesses and working on infrastructure and training and tax abatement programs that make Logansport attractive for additional investment. And business attraction relates to locating new businesses with confidence in our local amenities and facilities to entice companies to consider and then locate here.

Economic development is the concerted and sustained actions of policymakers and communities that promote a standard of living and economic health of an area. Included in that description are human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, diversity and other initiatives. Without economic development, the process of economic growth is not easy to achieve. Keys to both are skilled workers, relationships with Ivy Tech, the Career Center, Indiana University-Kokomo and WorkOne. Advancing Manufacturing, the Certified Production Technician program and other initiatives like IMMT are critical for workforce development.

For business attraction to occur, several things must be in place. Included in that list are an inventory of buildings and facilities; acreage in a service area (industrial park), and often rail access is a plus; other locations with access to all utilities; housing or living options to attract outside companies; office space for non-manufacturing groups; and other services and support business nearby. Other less well identified amenities are health access, trails and quality of life options.

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