Over the past few years, Hardin County has been well positioned for economic growth and expansion. Hardin County continues to provide a strong and reliable workforce, a centralized location to major markets, and a vibrant community welcoming new opportunities for people to build here, invest here, work here, live here, learn here and love it here!
In 2014 & 2015, Hardin County has seen tremendous growth with nearly $200 million of new construction and capitol investments. This has created over 500 new jobs and lowered unemployment below four percent, which is a three percent drop compared to the previous year.
Now, as we “plan forward” and prepare our future, the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance has developed a new five-year strategic plan for years 2015 - 2019. Over the next several years, leading up to a new decade in 2020, the Alliance is taking proactive measures to prepare and position for another phase of new growth, jobs and investment opportunities to advance Hardin County’s economy. In preparation, we are developing a strategic roadmap and a set of business priorities to cultivate, promote prosperous business, agricultural and educational climate, to strengthen the local economy and to improve the quality of life, making Hardin County a great place to live, work and prosper!
In preparing this document, the Alliance Strategic Planning Committee, along with the board leadership and staff, held several meetings to 1.) redefine the organizations vision, mission and core values, 2.) develop a set of goals, objectives, action items, and 3.) define key outcomes for the five-year period. In addition, we gathered community feedback and input from membership surveys, BR&E (business, retention & expansion) visits to local businesses and focus group sessions with small business owners, civic leaders and core employers from retail, manufacturing, education and agribusiness industries.
Through this process, we have outlined six core goals that focus on business, work force, community, and our own operational excellance. The six goals outlined in this document include:
1.) Foster Economic Vitality: Position for new growth, jobs and investment opportunities.
2.) Revitalize Our Communities: Improve countywide image & appearance
and enhance the quality of life.
3.) Invest In People: Develop, cultivate and recruit workforce talent and entrepreneurial opportunities.
4.) Promote Agricultural Connectivity: Advancing agricultural innovation with agribusiness opportunities.
5.) Build Community Collaboration: Foster public-private partnerships with community stakeholders.
6.) Strengthen the Alliance: Remain a professional and resourceful member-driven organization.
With regards to the operating structure of the organization, we have completed a board and committee restructuring process to streamline the efficiency and effectiveness of our board and committee meetings. This includes lengthening our board leadership terms to allow for consistent leadership towards the overall mission of the organization. We have also consolidated a dozen various committees into four core committees: Executive, Chamber & Tourism, Economic Development and Community Development. This committee structure will parallel and compliment the four divisions of the Alliance and will allow for greater member participation by those who take on volunteer leadership positions.
Finally, we have updated the Alliance organizational chart to reflect the new leadership structure incorporated into the Alliance’s four divisions, new committees and financial partners. The focus of the Economic Development and Community Development Divisions includes developing a prosperous, pro-business climate by expanding employment growth, cultivating entrepreneurship opportunities, advancing local innovation, and revitalizing our historical downtown communities to increase new growth, jobs and investment opportunities. The focus of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Divisions includes fostering community engagement, commerce and public-private partnerships by promoting, networking and advocating for our local businesses, educational institutions, agricultural heritage and historical communities through year-round tourism, community events, marketing and policy initiatives, educational and training programs and member services.
We look forward to having you review this new strategic plan and seek your ongoing input. It’s important that diverse voices are heard during the implementation process. Your participation and leadership is vital for the long-term success in helping Hardin County become a model community in Northwest, Ohio.
President & CEO