Can Indiana’s Elkhart County add to its manufacturing base in a significant way to have a more balanced economy?

Amid a solid recovery from the Great Recession, now is the time to undertake that effort, said Christopher Steele, the president and COO of Boston-based Investment Consulting Associates.

As reported by the South Bend Tribune, Steele delivered his comments Thursday (April 24) before about 100 business leaders at the Matterhorn Conference Center in Elkhart.

Prior to Steele’s talk, the audience was told by Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president and CEO of the Elkhart County Economic Development Corp., that the county is in the midst of a 40-year decline in per capita personal income. “It’s no longer business as usual in Elkhart County,” she said.

Picking up on that, Steele said there’s a need and opportunity to diversify Elkhart County’s economic base. With a high concentration of employment in vehicle assembly, the entire county feels the effects when that industry is hurting, he said.

For the past year, Steele has been working with the Elkhart County EDC on the idea of a paradigm shift in the county’s economy.

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