About Grow Wabash County
Together, Growing a Prosperous Wabash County
Wabash County will be the model for small town America, making a relevant impact on the global community, by offering vibrant cultural experiences, enriching lifestyles and growing economic opportunities while building on our heritage.
Who We Are
Grow Wabash County is new organization that strategically combines the efforts of the EDG of Wabash County and the Wabash County Chamber of Commerce into a more streamlined and agile organization that is the single point of contact for economic and community development efforts in Wabash County. We are a one-stop-shop for business development efforts, the chief marketing arm of Wabash County and its communities for traditional economic development functions, and the primary supporting organization for businesses here in Wabash County and those we hope to attract to our community. We focus on five main areas:
Pillars of Service
Investor Services, Retention, and Expansion
Investor services would include functions such as traditional business retention services, legislative advocacy, investor events, municipality support, and others as community needs arise.
The primary focus of the new organization will be to grow the population of Wabash County and livability would include initiatives for housing development, quality of place projects and community engagement.
Workforce Development and Talent Attraction
It will be the goal of the new organization to ensure the availability of a high quality, trained workforce for Wabash County employers. Coordinating training opportunities, talent attraction, talent retention and talent development are all critical functions within workforce development.
The new organization will operate as the single point of contact for business development opportunities in our community and will spearhead marketing, site development and recruitment on behalf of our community and membership.
The entrepreneurship pillar will include small business services, supporting and maintaining our partnership with INGUARD and the Manchester University College of Business, building upon our educational offerings and others as needs arise.
Our organization thrives with the help and guidance of our active volunteer committees. Some of these hard-working groups include the following committees:
AG Committee: Wabash County Salute to Agriculture
The Ag Committee is responsible for bringing Agricultural issues to the forefront and identifying areas in which we need to be involved to further support this business sector. They establish contact and dialogue with the Wabash County Farm Community and Agri-Business. This group is responsible for nominating a family farm/business for the Wabash County Farm Family of the Year Award. The committee then plans and executes an associated annual awards banquet.
Annual Dinner Committee
This committee’s purpose is the entire process and planning of the Annual Meeting. This includes working closely with the Business of the Year (selected by the Chamber Chair by March 1), as well as the staff, and the facility where the event is to be held. The committee starts meeting monthly in March with frequency increasing as the event draws near. The evening includes the formal dinner, changing of our leadership, and acknowledgment of volunteers, the awarding of the Business of the Year, President’s Choice Award, and the Distinguished Citizen honors. Grow Wabash County's goals for the coming year are highlighted during the meeting.
This is the oversight committee for projects and communication between business and education in Wabash County. It is the birthplace of the LIFT project, Honors Student Luncheon, Leadership Development Wabash County, Speakers Bureau, CAPE initiatives, MAC program, etc. This Committee meets to discuss opportunities and identify areas of need for joint projects between the private/public school systems, Ivy Tech, Manchester University, Heartland Career Center, and Wabash County Businesses.
The Honor Student Luncheon is a county “Brain Gain” event which brings Wabash County Honor Students together with business persons in their first networking luncheon. A speaker shares their story of their higher education and post college experiences and why they chose to return to Wabash County to use their skills and/or raise a family. Students get to introduce themselves and share what college/major they will be pursuing. Businesses share internships or employment opportunities they may have for the students.
The Leadership Development Wabash County is a course of study to learn leadership skills and apply those skills in your business and through community service within Wabash County. This course offers participants the chance to learn about resources available in Wabash County, to network with other Wabash County business professionals, and to enhance their leadership and communication skills. The course is open to anyone in Wabash County but may be especially beneficial to those new in the community, young professionals, recently promoted staff members, and anyone looking to assume leadership in community organizations.
Workforce Education Programs are held as needed to assist employees in the latest training for our Wabash County Workforce.
Government Affairs Committee
This Committee is responsible for the dissemination of material concerning all state and federal legislation that may affect Wabash County businesses. They may recommend statements of position on individual pieces of legislation, and they work closely with the President to ensure regional, state and federal resources are available to our members. The group organizes 3rd House Sessions; Legislative Updates and conducts debates and/or meet the candidate sessions for local elections. This group also holds the annual State of the City/County Event and Economic Outlook Forum.
This group determines the needs of the membership through annual surveys and makes recommendations and implements member benefits. This includes Member/Prospect Orientation Luncheons, Ribbon Cuttings, the Blue Ribbon Business of the Month, awarding 1st Dollar Plaques, Shop Local initiatives, the Member2Member Discount Cards, GiftCheck Program, Young Professionals Network and so much more. It really is all about our members!
The Membership Division oversees the tremendously popular and successful Business Before Hours held bi-monthly October through August. Attendees enjoy a full breakfast buffet, networking at the round tables, perusing the business sponsor displays and the chance to pass business cards in a lively manner (you’ll have to attend and find out the “how”).
Communications/Public Relations Committee
The Communications/Public Relations committee oversees the Calendar Project, Community Attraction Guide, and branding; as well as, our website and social media. They meet as needed throughout the year.
Small Business Development
We are proud to partner with the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center to bring their business counselors to our offices providing FREE business counseling for marketing, finance, business plans, succession planning, etc. We also host the CO.STARTERS Entrepreneurial Development Program which is a nine-week cohort based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. This entrepreneurial program is made possible by the fiscal sponsored by the Community Foundation of Wabash County. Other co-sponsors are Manchester University Business School and INNOVATE at INGUARD.