LIMA — The Allen Economic Development Group is soliciting input from industry leaders to help build a comprehensive, collaborative growth plan for the region’s economy.
Six focus groups will be conducted over the course of five days, from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23 in Lima. The focus groups will examine external trends and internal research impacting local communities, map out how individuals currently connect within the region, and determine the next steps and action items to position the economy for future growth.
“We’re getting input from the various sectors of our ecosystem so that these groups understand how they impact, or how they will impact, the growth of Lima and the surrounding region over the next 10 years,” said Cynthia Leis, project manager for AEDG and the Allen County Office of Economic Adjustment.
Specifically, the focus groups will analyze workforce needs through the year 2024, the flow of goods and services in and out of the region, business retention and expansion, and innovation of products and processes. These economic development issues will be explored in eight local counties, including Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert.
“When you look at the 45-mile radius around Lima, we know that we’re getting workforce from all those counties,” Leis said. “It’s not just Lima or Allen County, it’s more of a region when it comes to the workforce pool.”
Here are the six focus groups that will be conducted:
•Economic development: 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at Cambridge Center, 424 N. Central Ave., Lima
•Not-for-profit community organizations: 8 to 10 a.m. Sept. 20 at Cambridge Center
•Local government: 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Allen County Sanitary Engineer’s Office, 3230 N. Cole St., Lima
•Business and industry: 8 to 11 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Allen County Sanitary Engineer’s Office
•K-16 education: 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at Lima Senior High School, 1 Spartan Way, Lima
•Young professionals: 8 to 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, 144 S. Main St., Lima
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima