develops new strategic plan
for economic development
include a consultants report,
new website, name
(March 2008) The Madison-Jefferson County
Economic Development Corporation (MIDCOR) is developing a new strategic
to generate economic development in the area. The corporation has hired
a consultant to develop a strategy that will identify strengths and
weaknesses in the areas economic development efforts and offer
suggestions for economic development growth. A possible name change
and a website update are also ways MIDCOR is looking to maximize efforts
to attract economic development to the area, officials said.
The strategic plan will identify action steps to
achieve our objectives, said MIDCOR Executive Director Corey Murphy.
It gives us the opportunity to broaden the scope of our economic
Tom Ticknor of Winnetka, Ill.-based Ticknor & Associates, is one
of North Americas leading independent economic development consultants.
He recently spent four days in Madison meeting with business and industry
leaders, county and city officials and other community members to get
an overall view of what was happening throughout the area.
Ticknor will identify where the community is at the present with regard
to economic development and offer suggestions on how to get where it
needs to be or where it wants to be, Murphy said.
We brought in a consultant because sometimes it is good to have
an outsider take a look at things and possibly shake things up,
he said. We want to create the kind of economic environment where
if you want to live here you can; if young people want to stay here,
good job opportunities will be available.
The draft of the plan was not yet available at press time, but it was
scheduled to be presented Feb. 25 to the MIDCOR Board of Directors.
We shouldnt see anything too drastic come out of this effort,
said Murphy, a Mitchell, Ind., native who took over as head of MIDCOR
in midyear 2007.
Murphy took control of the reins after former Executive Director David
Terrell left for a position in the Indiana Office of Community and Rural
Murphy said a few areas to work on in economic development had been
identified through the strategic planning project. Among those was the
fact that Madison has great strength naturally in attracting retirees
to the area but has not actively tried to encourage this trend.
There appears to be an opportunity here for us to advance this
area, but we need to work on what we should do and how we should proceed.
Another economic development tool Madison needs to work on is to capitalize
on the abundance of artisans in the area, he said. Many communities
use arts as an economic tool, said Murphy. We really need
to look into this.
Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong said his administration is working closely
with MIDCOR. I want to be very aggressive in attracting business
and industry to our area, said Armstrong. We also want to
establish good relations with the industry here and make sure they stay
In an effort to create stronger business relations, Armstrong and Murphy
plan to travel to Japan in early April to meet with industry officials
and business leaders. We are part of a global economy, and we
are reaching out, said Armstrong. We want to make sure companies
know our community is available and ready for business.
In fact, in an effort to be more competitive, Madison resident Joe Lackner
of Celsius has been hired by both MIDCOR and the City of Madison to
redesign their websites. Murphy said websites are crucial tools for
attracting business. Mark James of Ohios E.D. Solutions Inc. is
working with Lackner to update the websites. James company is
nationally known and specializes in websites for economic development
MIDCOR is also looking at a possible name change. One reason is to make
it easier for Internet users to find the corporation. So much
research is done over the Internet these days, said Murphy. We
want to makes things as simple as possible for people to find information
about economic possibilities in our community.
The state-certified Shovel Ready Madison Industrial Park
is another move by city officials and MIDCOR to make more competitive
in attracting business.
The certification is a lengthy paperwork process that identifies sites
within the state that have undergone extensive title work, proof of
ownership, legal and environmental review and qualify for expedited
permitting with state regulatory agencies.
The Madison site is one of only 30 in the state certified shovel
ready. It is on a special list that allows site selection consultants
and businesses to research available commercial and industrial properties
that are available for quick development and investment.
Timing is crucial in business deals, said Murphy. Simply
put, the certification puts us on a shortlist and provides us a competitive
advantage for competing new investment.
The 62-acre tract of land on the corner of Hutchinson Lane and Shun
Pike was purchased by the City of Madison. The Madison Redevelopment
Commission gave the city $300,000 for the land, and $500,000 came from
Argosy Casino, located in Lawrenceburg, Ind.
MIDCOR is a private nonprofit agency created in 1956 in response to
the Jefferson Proving Ground losing 1,600 jobs. It is made up of a board
of directors from local business and government. The agency is funded
by the City of Madison and Jefferson County and the town of Hanover
through contract-for services agreements, and through private contributions.
According to its mission statement, MIDCOR strives to improve the economic
climate of Jefferson County, to recruit new industries and to retain
and expand existing industries that improve the quality of life in this
For more information, visit: www.Midcor.com.
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