A Model to Examine: Columbus Indiana Economic Development Board

June 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

I really like how Columbus Indiana has put its organizations under one roof to make things happen. Click here to learn more about the its Economic Development Board. What does the Board do? Read on…

Economic Development Board’s Mission

EDB mission is to contribute to building a world-class community in a small town setting by enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of our community and improving their economic opportunity and material welfare.

Environment – current environment and projected trends include:

  • Demographic trends
  • Flat under-30 population
  • Declining 30-60 population
  • Doubling of over 65 population
  • Growth in single parent households with young children
  • Current low unemployment
  • Globalization of unskilled and entry-level skilled positions as well as knowledge-based jobs
  • In-migration of unskilled labor
  • Shortage of educated labor in all skill segments
  • Large number of applicants lacking basic education and workplace disciplines

Regional assets

  • Life Sciences
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • 21st Century logistics and distribution
  • Information Technology
  • Education (Regional: PU, IU, Rose-Hulman. Local: IUPUC, Ivy Tech, Columbus Learning Center)
  • Thought Leadership
  • Young people leaving the area for better socio-economic opportunities elsewhere (region-wide)
  • A smaller proportion of total jobs in durable goods manufacturing
  • A larger proportion of lower wage jobs
  • Increasing divisions between the “haves” and “have nots”
  • Limited access to healthcare for the unemployed and underemployed.


To support EDB’s Mission and in the context of the current environment, the EDB’s Strategy should be to:

  • Keep our profitable existing businesses healthy and growing
  • Target our recruiting efforts at new businesses domestically and internationally which will:
  • Focus on job opportunities in high value-added manufacturing, service and technology companies which support the growth of:
    • – Advanced manufacturing
    • – Life sciences
    • – 21st Century logistics and distribution
    • – Information Technology
    • – Agri-Business
    • – Others as identified;
  • Provide workers opportunities for upward economic mobility;
  • Export a product or service outside the community and/or
  • Diversify our local economy beyond the automotive industry and draw upon regional assets of the 21st century

Entry filed under: Best Practices, Chamber-Economic Development Organization, Columbus Indiana. Tags: , , , .

Best Practice: Chamber Board Member Self-Evaluation Transparency is the Name of the Game

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