Accelerate West Central Indiana Economic Development is a regional partnership dedicated to the growth and prosperity of Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in West Central Indiana.
The alliance serves to increase the area's development opportunities and competitiveness through global marketing efforts, but will not replace established development strategies in the region.
The six-county area is home to more than 223,500 residents.
"I feel this is a great opportunity for Clay County to be part of this six-county area," Clay County Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "We are very hopeful, once the economy turns around, that we will have laid some solid ground work for new industry to locate in West Central Indiana.
"By working together, we can better promote each of our counties in a competitive market place."
Duke Energy Economic Development Manager Mike Heaton serves as the group's chair. Other members of the partnership include area business leaders, economic development professionals, utilities and representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
"Creating Accelerate West Central Indiana Economic Development is a way for us to leverage the economic development resources in West Central Indiana and strengthen each county's marketing and business attraction functions," Heaton said.
The cooperative economic development marketing group will focus on targeting industry clusters, identifying existing business supply chains and promoting West Central Indiana through coordinated site consultant and industrial broker sales trips, media placement and marketing initiatives.
Accelerate members have already participated in two site consultant trips -- meeting with Indianapolis- and Chicago-area business leaders to reinforce established relationships and promote the region's development opportunities.
Accelerate West Central Indiana Economic Development plans to launch a website in the first quarter of 2011.
"Regional marketing efforts like Accelerate West Central Indiana are vital to getting the word out about the strengths and advantages of doing business in various corners of our state," Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Mitch Roob said. "Regional collaboration has increased the pace of new investment across the state, which is an encouraging sign for Indiana."
Sinders -- along with Clay County Redevelopment Commission President Tom Ames -- are both members of the newly formed West Central Organization. Sinders currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the group.