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The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Indiana’s Elkhart County recently took the message that it is “open for business” to a national level, according to a report in the Goshen News.
The EDC is hoping to spread the message that businesses can and are thriving in the area, despite the overall bleak outlook President Barack Obama gave during his recent visit.
An advertisement stating “Elkhart County, Indiana is Open for Business” was featured on the Times Square marquee in New York City and also in Las Vegas on Monday. The advertisement also posted the telephone number for the EDC.
According to Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the EDC, the idea to showcase Elkhart County in a positive light nationally was inspired by a discussion at the recent Elkhart County retreat.
“We just felt like the recent national coverage did not give the full picture of Elkhart County,” Heiden-Guss said, adding that advertisements promoting Elkhart County have also been placed in Texas newspapers.
Heiden-Guss explained that contrary to popular belief, businesses outside the recreational vehicle sector are diversifying and even expanding. A press release submitted explained that more than half of Elkhart’s workers are in manufacturing, and half of those are outside the hard-hit recreational vehicle industry, which does allow for growth.
The idea to post on national Jumbotrons was inspired during a recent Elkhart County retreat. EDC representatives requested that investors, elected officials and board members interview several companies in the area that are still successful as companies to showcase nationally. This resulted in 44 responses. Among those companies include:
• Adams and Westlake, an Elkhart-based facility that produces parts for railroads and commuter transit which has also branched into military vehicles, allowing it to expand its work force. Adams and Westlake sells supplies to Amtrak and transit authorities from New York to Los Angeles.
• ObeCo Inc., a long time supplier of custom netting and tie down material to the RV and marine industries has expanded to include applications in the forklift, farm, medical and military fields. Based in Goshen.
• Regional Health Care Professionals Inc., which is expanding its nonmedical service to people who need home care.
• SJC Industries Corp., an Elkhart-based company which is currently redesigning ambulances in an attempt to raise attention and lower costs.
• Sports-O-Zone, an Elkhart-based manufacturer of ozone chambers to sanitize items, including football helmets and wheelchairs. The business has grown by more than 50 percent over the past year.
Heiden-Guss said that feedback has been positive regarding the message being spread, primarily from local officials “who appreciate the EDC working to inform people nationally that Elkhart County has jobs available.”