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Elkhart County Leaders Eye Continued Growth

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Community and business leaders discussed Elkhart County’s economic strength and their plans to maintain growth for the community at a Monday afternoon town hall event hosted by “Inside Indiana Business” at the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

This story by Matthew Straw originally appeared in The Elkhart Truth.

While acknowledging 2017’s outstanding economic investments totaling over $144 million, Mayor Tim Neese and other guests acknowledged the need to retain those who graduate from local high schools and colleges.

“We already know Elkhart County is a fun place to live, a vibrant place to live,” Shannon Oakes said during a question-and-answer session. “But if I were someone today watching this, what is the intangible – what is going to pull them to want to live here?”

Neese responded by saying not only is there “a lot of education and opportunities,” but that Elkhart residents also are adjacent to the Indiana Toll Road with easy access to Chicago.

In an earlier panel, Brian Wiebe, executive director of Horizon Education Alliance, said this year in Elkhart, every eighth-grader will see the inside of two manufacturing plants.

Kyle Hannon, executive director for Ivy Tech of Elkhart County, also addressed the need to keep students in Elkhart County, noting that “we’re all working on collaboration. Project-based learning kind of draws those skills out in K-8 children.”

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