LIMA — A new nonprofit was recently formed through a grant received from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to bring together eight different counties to foster economic growth.
Greater Lima Region, Inc. was formed with the goals of growing employment by 22,000 jobs by 2024 and for gaining recognition as an ideal location for new business and for being the most livable area in the Midwest.
“Some of us who were born and raised in Lima, that were born and raised here like me, actually recognize the fact that this is a great community to raise kids and to be a part of, in those cases,” said Mike Swick, Chair of the GLR Board of Directors, during a media conference Tuesday.
Through leadership and regional structure, the hope is to build a region that is functional, recruiting from surrounding counties and organizations.
GLR hopes to develop an industry and a multi-faceted workforce strategy, expand LINK LIMA, create programming to help retirees with work, retain current college students and recruit college students to the region.
Another focus for GLR is supporting business retention and expansion, retaining capital investments and promoting job retention. Swick mentioned a study that determined that the newest generation will change jobs 18 times over a career.
“They are going to be more flexible, and we need to continue to figure out how we are going to adapt to that,” Swick said.
The community development focus of GLR centers on region revitalization, creating an ecosystem approach to community development.
“We have to think regionally,” Swick said. It’s not just about Lima, but about the region. We have to look around us because that’s what’s most important.”
Communication and promotion are additional key elements of GLR, according to Swick.
“We have to be able to communicate more,” he said. “They [the media] are willing to run stories but they are saying give us the information. We have to toot our own horn.”
The board’s 2018 collaborative growth goals for the region are being “open for business by expanding business, grow the workforce by recruiting youth, create communications marketing plan to gain state, national and global recognition, and gain support from other community leaders,” according to a release.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.