FORT WAYNE, Ind. (May 1, 2018) – Whitley County and the City of Columbia City were honored at a permitting recognition reception Wednesday, April 18, hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the HPG Network.

“We are proud of our strong business community in Whitley County. With collaborative efforts, and a more efficient permitting process, we hope to better meet the needs of our growing business community, and exceed expectations,” said Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf.

Streamlined business permitting is a top priority in the region’s business attraction efforts through the Vision 2030 initiative, spearheaded by the Regional Partnership. The HPG Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating thriving communities, manages the PEC on behalf of the Regional Partnership. The collaborative effort aims to increase Northeast Indiana’s business-friendly environment by making it easier and faster for companies to obtain appropriate permits to build and expand in the region, encouraging economic growth.

The 12 participating jurisdictions in the Permitting Excellence Coalition include:

  • Allen County / City of Fort Wayne
  • City of Angola
  • City of Decatur
  • DeKalb County
  • Huntington County
  • City of Huntington
  • City of New Haven
  • Rome City
  • Steuben County
  • City of Wabash
  • Wells County
  • Whitley County / Columbia City

PEC representatives met throughout 2017 to focus on process and communication improvements that align with the core customer values of consistency, transparency and easy access.

Major accomplishments last year included:

  • Tracking and reporting of performance metrics, including the number of permits issued, total permit value and fees collected;
  • Development of printed and digital marketing materials; and
  • Continued surveying of permitting customers with assistance from Andy Downs of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)

Michael Lautzenheiser Jr., executive director of the Wells County Area Plan Commission said Northeast Indiana is experiencing tremendous growth, and that means increased demand for permits. “By streamlining our permitting process, we can meet these increased demands with efficient, affordable and transparent processes to support our strong business climate,” he said.

After more than four years of collaboration, the Permitting Excellence Coalition has a strong foundation to continue work on its three core values of consistency, transparency and easy access. The group’s efforts in 2018 will allow it to better measure and communicate the effectiveness of the permitting process in order to meet customer needs.

“In Northeast Indiana, we are growing our region’s population from 790,000 residents to one million. Planning and building departments are essential local infrastructure that support the development of businesses and homes critical to our region’s population growth,” said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “Thanks to the work of the PEC, Northeast Indiana has a competitive advantage in attracting and supporting new businesses and talent.”

To learn more, visit the website at www.neindiana.com/permitting.


About Whitley County EDC
The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The EDC works closely with local, regional, and state partners to support our industry clients’ growth and success. Our mission is to lead a comprehensive economic development program that retains and expands employment opportunities for local residents and attracts business investment to Whitley County. The Whitley County EDC was established in 1992 and represents Whitley County, Columbia City, and the Towns of Churubusco, Larwill, and South Whitley. For more information about the EDC, visit: www.whitleyedc.com.

 About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s mission is to build, market and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment. Founded in 2006, the public-private partnership strives to build a globally competitive region. The Partnership’s Vision 2030 framework supports collaborative regional efforts to increase per capita income, population growth and educational attainment by focusing on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development. The Partnership represents 11-member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com.


Media Contact:

Katie Dewitt (Whitley County EDC) – 260.244.5506 kdewitt@whitleyedc.com


Pictured above (left to right): Jon Myers, president, Whitley County EDC; George Schrumpf, Whitley County Commissioner; Nathan Bilger, executive director, Columbia City/Whitley County Joint Planning and Building Department; John Sampson, president & CEO, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership; Ryan Daniel, mayor, City of Columbia City.