On Tuesday, the Lake County IN Economic Alliance (LCEA) met at the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana to provide a networking opportunity and economic update for business leaders and community officials who attended the event.
“The purpose of the gathering was to highlight what we have done in 2016 thus far and reflect on two years of what Don (Koliboski) and I have been able to do at LCEA. Our sole focus is on jobs and investment be it through attracting new operations, retention and expansion of existing facilities or identifying land space for further development of industrial or business parks. Our job is to support the communities that do not have economic development professionals on staff and to enhance the opportunities for the communities that do,” said Lauerman.
Lauerman added, “This year we are looking at $420 million in investment and over 1,500 new jobs with our top ten new projects and we have 60 plus in the pipeline. We are generating our own leads for Lake County through the relationships that we have built, attending conferences and trade shows, participating in the regional marketing effort, and through all of the contacts that we have from those that are here this evening.
“This is one of our annual events and this year is a bit special as it landed close to our second year anniversary. It’s a part of our outreach to communicate our activities to both our private sector and municipal Investors and those that are not yet part of the LCEA, to celebrate the positive impact of what we have been doing,” said Lauerman.
“We have success stories out there and we have made it a priority to help companies get from the inquiry stage of wanting to come here and actually landing them in Lake County. It’s a process working with utility partners, finding incentive programs with the state or local municipalities, appropriate zoning or infrastructure, costs associated with moving and so much more. What we are able to do is work with companies and site consultants to answer questions, provide information and take the guesswork out of the process,” said Don Koliboski, Vice President of Economic Development.
“They have had a lot of successful projects come to fruition since they have been in place,” said Erica Dombey, Executive Director of the Regional Development Company. “That's the purpose for which the organization was developed, to be the deal closers for Lake County, Indiana. That did not exist prior to the LCEA as there was not a non-municipal county-centric economic development agency.”
The LCEA is credited for and was successful in bringing businesses to Lake County, including: Hoist Lifttruck (East Chicago) with their investment of $60 million and 500 jobs, American Bar (East Chicago) with a $3.5 million investment and 40 jobs, RMS (Munster) with a $3 million investment and 75 jobs, and Polycon (Merrillville) with a $15 million investment with 100 jobs.
The Lake County IN Economic Alliance (LCEA) works to strengthen the economic base and quality of life in its communities by supporting the growth of business that results in greater employment opportunities in Northwest Indiana. In short, the mission is to attract and retain quality jobs and capital investment in all of Lake County.