March 30, 2009 - The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has launched an aggressive site certification initiative in associate with professional site selection and economic development consulting firm, Strategic Development Group, Inc. The certification process will expand the inventory of development-ready sites in northeast Indiana, resulting in fast, efficient and risk-free development throughout the region.
Funded through a grant from the Northeast Indiana Foundation, Strategic Development Group will conduct a rigorous certification process over the next nine months to verify that key elements necessary for development such as the presence of utilities, sound environmental conditions and land control are present. The effort builds on a program spearheaded by Allen County and aligns with the "Shovel-Ready" site certification program initiated by the state of Indiana.
"The certification standards implemented through this process will create a distinct competitive advantage for Allen County and the northeast Indiana region," said Allen County Commissioner Bill Brown.
Local economic development organizations from northeast Indiana's 11-county region will have the opportunity to submit eligible properties for the certification process. Possessing these certified sites will increase the region's chances of success in attracting investment and jobs.
"Timelines for today's site searches are progressing more rapidly and site selectors are requesting readily available properties and information to promptly meet their agendas," said Bill Konhya, President and CEO of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County.
"Defining a clear set of standards that area sites should comply with enables every local economic development organization to better serve site selectors' immediate needs."
"Well prepared communities stand the best chance of moving forward in the site selection process and ensures northeast Indiana is ready to win competitive projects," said John Sampson, President and CEO of the Partnership.
"Establishing standard criteria for the region's industrial sites effectively positions northeast Indiana as a prime location to attract more quality jobs and investments from our target industries."