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NWI Forum wants public input on Region's future

The Northwest Indiana Forum hosted a 2017 Indiana General Assembly update event on Tuesday at the White Hawk Country Club in Crown Point last May. The economic development agency is asking for public input on its five-year plan.

What's the Northwest Indiana you want to see in the future?

What industries should the Region court to diversify the economy? Should it focus more on revitalizing downtowns, redeveloping brownfield sites or both? Is it important to improve the perception of Northwest Indiana by outsiders or its own residents?

The NWI Forum, a seven-county economic development agency that bills itself as "the voice for Northwest Indiana business," is soliciting public feedback for a sweeping $200,000., five-year economic development plan it's developing with the help of the consultant TIP Strategies, which is based out of Seattle and Austin, Texas.

The input will be used to craft a playbook on how to expand existing industries, recruit new businesses, develop the workforce, and attract and retain the talent employers need.

TIP Strategies, which has more than 20 years of experience devising strategic plans for economic development in 38 different states, will use feedback from the public, community leaders and local businesses to determine what areas should be targeted for investment and how to improve Northwest Indiana's quality of place and quality of life.

"We encourage you to take the survey if you haven’t already and share this link with employees, business associates, neighbors, family and friends," the Northwest Indiana Forum said in a news release. "The more voices of Northwest Indiana contributing to the process, will provide a most effective plan."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.