FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Jurisdictions participating in Northeast Indiana’s Permitting Excellence Coalition (PEC) were honored at a permitting recognition reception Wednesday, Feb. 20, hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and HPG Network.
Streamlined business permitting is a top priority in the region’s business attraction efforts through the Vision 2030 initiative, spearheaded by the Regional Partnership. HPG Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating thriving communities, manages the PEC on behalf of the Regional Partnership.
The collaborative effort aims to increase Northeast Indiana’s business-friendly environment by making it easier and faster for companies to obtain appropriate permits to build and expand in the region, encouraging economic growth.
The 12 participating jurisdictions in the Permitting Excellence Coalition include:
- Allen County / City of Fort Wayne
- City of Angola
- City of Decatur
- DeKalb County
- Huntington County
- City of Huntington
- City of New Haven
- Rome City
- Steuben County
- City of Wabash
- Wells County
- Whitley County / City of Columbia City
PEC representatives met throughout 2018 to focus on process and communication improvements that align with the core customer values of consistency, transparency and easy access.
Notable accomplishments last year included:
- Collection of data from each jurisdiction to compile regional data and understand the collective regional impact of the work of the PEC
- Communication with stakeholders and potential investors through a marketing flier and webpage
- Ongoing collaboration between jurisdictions
The PEC achieved these results by administering a customer service survey region-wide, creating a uniform communication piece for potential investors, tracking annual metrics, standardizing websites, creating a PEC membership badge and comparing fees for various types of projects.
“Our goal is to make the permitting process easier for businesses. By streamlining the permitting process, we can help businesses obtain appropriate permits so they can build faster and quickly expand in the region,” Mandy Woods, executive director of community development in Huntington County.
Clinton Knauer, director of building and planning in Steuben County, said communities in Northeast Indiana are experiencing tremendous growth. This growth also causes an increased demand for permits.
“In the PEC, we know we must meet the increased demands for permits. It’s a very busy time. For us to succeed, the process must be efficient, affordable and straightforward,” Knauer said.
After more than four years of collaboration, the Permitting Excellence Coalition has a strong foundation to continue work on its three core values of consistency, transparency and easy access. The group’s efforts in 2019 will allow it to better measure and communicate the effectiveness of the permitting process in order to meet customer needs.
John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, said planning and building departments are critical local infrastructure that support the development of businesses and homes that will accompany the region’s population growth.
“No other region in the country has shown the tenacity to pursue streamlined permitting processes the way we have in Northeast Indiana,” he said. “The PEC’s determination to streamline their permitting processes gives Northeast Indiana a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and encouraging growth in the region’s existing businesses.”
To learn more, visit the website at www.neindiana.com/permitting.
About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s mission is to build, market and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment. Founded in 2006, the public-private partnership strives to build a globally competitive region. The Partnership’s Vision 2030 framework supports collaborative regional efforts to increase per capita income, population growth and educational attainment by focusing on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development. The Partnership represents 11 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com.
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership