STRATEGIC PLANNING: Something old is new again at the EDC

COLUMBIA CITY — While focusing on the future, it is also important to remember the past and where one has been.This fact is true of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The EDC just released its strategic planning process. This process did take a forward gaze, but also looked back to some of the successes the EDC has had in the past 20 years.“This was put together for our 20th anniversary, it is a nice way to memorialize the work we have done for the past 20 years and validate our current work program and show that if we are going to work we are going to continue the same approach,” EDC President Alan Tio said. “We have goals and objectives in mind that will provide direction going forward.”While continuing to do what it does well, the EDC is also hoping to cut a new path for the county. With this broad-based goal in mind, that means there is not a one-size-fits-all mentality.Part of the strategic planning process included crafting a vision statement. The vision statement now reads as follows, “The EDC will be recognized as a focal point for planning, building and equipping businesses.”This vision statement is driving the EDC to become the central hub for ideas and assistance to any business owner at any stage. While providing this help, all control is still in the hands of the individual companies.The EDC startegic plan was led by John Stafford for the Community Research Institute at IPFW. Stafford wrote the plan for the EDC as well. The planning process included gathering stakeholders and asking individuals throughout the community what they felt would be advantageous for the EDC and the community.Unique dynamics in Whitley County are one of the assets present. The county is situated as part of the greater Fort Wayne metropolitan area, one of three counties part of that group (Allen and Wells). It is also on U.S. 30 just east of Warsaw, which is central for the orthopedic industry. Whitley County has experienced many blessings and Tio hopes it continues.To do that, the EDC has focused on enhancing its programming and getting its name out in the area. The goal is to have this place the EDC in a place for future success that reflects the past.Part of this forward look was the strategic plan that has been developed. Tio hopes it is a milestone and a marker of where the corporation is at and where it can go.The new EDC strategic plan can be found on the EDC’s web site at a more in-depth look at this story, see the Jan. 22 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.