What is economic development?

Posted on Aug 07 2022 in LaGrange County REMC
Sherri Johnston
Executive Director,
LaGrange County EDC

The key to cultivating robust communities is economic development. Economic development seeks to improve the overall quality of life within a community. The scope of development typically includes job creation and business retention through incentives for small businesses and workforce development programs.

By supporting innovation, new ideas and new strategies, economic development promotes social change and improves the quality of life for a community and its residents. Economic development is the intentional practice of improving a community’s economic well-being and quality of life

At the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC) our focus is on attracting, expanding, and retaining businesses. The organization provides assistance, guidance and information to both current and prospective business partners. The core responsibilities of LCEDC includes a broad range of activities to attract, create, and retain jobs. These activities strengthen LaGrange County’s annual revenue stream, which allows it to foster a resilient, pro-growth tax base and an inclusive economy

In LaGrange County, our current initiatives include housing, workforce development and entrepreneurship.  LaGrange County has had the lowest unemployment percentage for many months. Our focus on adding workforce housing will hopefully increase our workforce for our local employers. We know that helping local entrepreneurs get started grows our economy. We have plans to collaborate with the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce to offer a small business/entrepreneur micro group starting this October.

We applaud LaGrange County REMC for providing access to high-speed broadband internet to residents of rural LaGrange County. Since Covid, we all realize that broadband is needed as a basic infrastructure in a community.  It opens so many opportunities for families and businesses with reliable broadband. 

In addition, economic development organizations have become more involved in making their communities the most attractive places to relocate or grow a company. Community development, which encompasses so much in a community is an attempt to make a community the best it can be to the rest of the world.

Our community development efforts include reinventing the Leadership LaGrange County Program, supporting efforts of local Main Street groups working on downtown revitalization and supporting the newly created LaGrange County Arts organization and the Hometown Hero Banner project.

At the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, we are focused on convening with partners and communities to build a strong, growing and lasting economy.  We aim to cultivate progress and partnerships that will continue well into the future so that our county will continue to succeed.

SHERRI JOHNSTON is executive director at the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation