Hitting the Target

Northeast Indiana’s Established and Emerging Target Industries
Jun 5, 2017
Hannah Stork, Director of Business Development

In Northeast Indiana, we have historically strong industries generating world-class products, providing numerous jobs and sustaining our economy for generations. These established industries have shaped our economy for decades and will continue to be vital to the success of our region. Additionally, we have emerging industries that stretch our imagination and test our ambition with the potential to propel us forward in the global marketplace. 

Foundation for Our Economy

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has fostered and supported six target industries since 2007. In 2016, the Regional Partnership, along with Greater Fort Wayne Inc., commissioned a new target industry report to better align our target industries with state and local partners and assess our strengths post-recession. The report, produced by the Community Research Institute at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, evaluates post-recession trends, recommends new targets and provides strategies for the growing industry sectors.

The purpose of the report is to establish specific industries that the Regional Partnership will attract. The report will drive business attraction, talent attraction and talent development strategies for the Regional Partnership based on the region’s current economic, industry and workforce strengths. 

“The region is evolving, and it is important that we adapt our strategies to compete in the global marketplace,” says John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “The target industry report allows us to fully understand which industries are flourishing here and where there are value chain gaps or workforce shortages. We are using this critical information to fulfill our mission to build, market and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment.”

Based on the recommendations of the report and collective input from our economic development partners, the Regional Partnership is in the process of formally adopting three established target industries: Medical Device & Technology, Vehicles, and Specialty Insurance. We will add four emerging targets: Logistics & E-Commerce, Food & Beverage, Design & Craftsmanship and Advanced Materials. These targets allow us to continue to support our historically strong industries, while at the same time taking necessary steps to diversify our economy.  

A Vision Forward 

Target industries will serve as the lens by which Northeast Indiana will achieve the goals of the Regional Partnership’s Vision 2030. Each target was chosen and analyzed based on the industry’s ability to contribute to above average wages, population growth and a skilled workforce.  Vision 2030 establishes these goals:

  1. Increase per capita personal income (PCPI) annually against the national average; 
  2. Increase the population of Northeast Indiana to 1 million residents; and 
  3. Increase postsecondary educational attainment to more than 60 percent.

If we are going to be successful in achieving these goals by 2030, we must focus our efforts on attracting and retaining high-wage, high-skill and high-growth industries. 

“To achieve the bold goals set by Vision 2030, we must work in the smartest, most strategic way possible,” says Ryan Twiss, vice president of Regional Initiatives of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “Focusing our business attraction, talent attraction and talent development efforts on the industries we know are primed for growth allows us to do just that.”

Now that we understand our target industries, it is time to act.  Today, the region’s top leaders are executing research-based strategies through Vision 2030 to ensure sustained growth and prosperity for every resident of Northeast Indiana. 

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