It was Indiana native John Mellencamp that sang about his love of living in a “small town”. While Terre Haute isn’t necessarily a small town compared to others in Indiana, but we often give off that small town vibe. The image of Terre Haute as a small town may never change for some of our big city neighbors around the state, but many local leaders are working to take our small town to a bigger stage.
Earlier this month the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce officially announced its plans for a regional collaboration, titled “West Central 2025”.
Inspired by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s long-range economic development plan titled “Indiana Vision 2025”, the statewide initiative measures Indiana against other states on more than 60 metrics. It’s with those markers that help measure the state’s progress toward 36 goals of prosperity and growth.
The goal of the West Central initiative is to spark conversations among Chambers and other interested entities in surrounding counties.
“The initiative started as collaboration between our local Chambers, but has grown into something that has the ability to incorporate any business or organization in our region that is interested in growing together,” explains Terre Haute Chamber Vice President Kristin Craig.
Goals for West Central 2025 include increased collaboration among entities in West Central Indiana, with a main focus on strategic and cohesive political and economic development influence and funding opportunities for collaborative projects.
“The purpose of West Central 2025 is not to duplicate any existing regional collaborations,” Craig explains. “This is just a way to bring all interested parties to one table, identify our common problems, then explore our opportunities as a collective unit, which may include joint projects and regional funding opportunities.”
The West Central 2025 concept was introduced to the Chamber membership at the annual Groundhog Day Economic Forecast on February 6, 2018. Further planning and discussion involved Elaine Bedel, President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
For more information, contact Kristin Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Shane is the Director of Member Engagement for Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.