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Andy Maletta named Portage Economic Development Director
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Andy Maletta named Portage Economic Development Director

PORTAGE — Lifelong Portage resident Andy Maletta was named the city's first economic development director Friday.

Mayor James Snyder made the announcement during the annual Portage Economic Development Corp. luncheon at Woodland Park.

"He is the very part of the city's fabric and the city's DNA," Snyder said about Maletta.

Maletta, 57, whose father, Sammie Malette, served three terms as Portage's mayor, has worked for Indiana Beverage since 1986. He presently works as marketing director for the company. He will begin his job with the city on Jan. 18.

"It took a lot to pull me away," Maletta said about taking the job, but added that Snyder had approached him and "floated the idea" of becoming economic development director.

"It is exciting at this point in my life," said Maletta, who also was elected president of the Portage Township School Board this week, adding it would give him an opportunity to serve the community.

Maletta was appointed to the school board in April 2014. He served on the Portage Township Advisory Board from 2011 until then and has run for City Council.

Last month the city's Redevelopment Commission approved Snyder's proposal to stop funding PEDCO and instead hire a city economic development director.

Snyder said Friday one of Maletta's first jobs will be to make sure the partnership between the city and PEDCO remains strong.

Snyder said he believed with the continued growth in the city it was a "pivotal point in time" for the city to bring on its own economic development director.

"I am really grateful and really excited about it," said Snyder.

Snyder said Maletta will also be responsible for reviewing city regulations to pare down "red tape" in attracting businesses to the city. He will also be involved in workforce development.

Snyder said he will also reach out to smaller neighboring communities such as Lake Station and Burns Harbor to offer assistance in their development efforts.

"Good jobs do not have city boundaries," Snyder said.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.

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