Small businesses are the heart of Marshall Countys communitiescontributing to our vibrant downtowns and serving as an invaluable component of our local economies. To support them, the Town of Culver, Culver Redevelopment Commission, and MCEDC are partnering to create a Culver Microloan Program fund that will be made available to commercial and retail businesses.
MCEDC is excited to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors. Mr. Marty Oosterbaan (former Regional Casualty Executive at AIG) represents the Town of Culver. Additionally, Mrs. Jennifer Martin (President of Country Auto) who represents Marshall County, has joined MCEDC leadership. MCEDC board members are responsible for governance, adopting the budget and strategic plan, fundraising, and representing their local jurisdictions. The MCEDC boards influence is seen throughout Marshall County in the variety of projects and initiatives that are changing our community.
By developing a plan based on the shared goals of connecting, collaborating, and creating, the Marshall County Crossroads regional Stellar Initiative has brought our community together. Several projects within the original plan are already moving forward. These include the Lake Maxinkuckee walking trail, REES Theatre restoration, the Marshall County Workforce Development-Recruitment Program, Marshall County Branding Campaign, and more.
A county-wide branding and marketing campaign will bring every city and town in Marshall County together under one identity with the goal of attracting more residents and businesses. The marketing plan will soon be implemented thanks to the support of the Marshall County Commission, who recently approved the plan and budget.
The Aquatic Center, a development over seven years in the making, is set to open its doors in 2019, through the tireless efforts of 17 partner organizations. Approximately $8.4 million in funding has been secured, representing almost 90% of the projects total capital investment. Now, the Marshall County community is invited to help contribute the remaining funds through the Aquatic Center Capital Campaign to make the center a fully functioning venue.
Construction on a unique, quality of life enhancing project in Marshall County, known as the Early Childhood Learning Center, has reached the halfway point. This development will serve as an invaluable workforce development solution by providing affordable, high quality pre-K education and childcare to encourage more parents to join the workforce.
The highly anticipated Aquatic Center in Plymouth is on track to be finished August 2019, just in time for the start of Plymouth Community School Corporations 2019-2020 school year. Construction is roughly 25% finished with three walls already up, and the south wall being built. Concrete work is continuing with some of the bleachers in place. Steel truss for the roof are also being installed.
For 11 years, Marshall County Economic Development Corporation has endeavored to expand and diversify the economy and grow our community. This year, we have engaged in innovative planning and transformative projects that have touched every city and town in Marshall County. The following is a small sample of these efforts.
The Marshall County Crossroads regional Stellar initiative has brought remarkable results for the entire region by developing a plan based on the shared goals of connecting, collaborating, and creating. Although Marshall County was not designated a Stellar community, several projects within the plan are planned to move forward in the coming year. When implemented, this plan will raise quality of place and improve quality of life for area residents.
American Containers, Inc., headquartered in Plymouth, has just announced their third expansion in 4 years. The company plans to invest nearly $1.2 million in equipment to improve production capabilities and maintain their position as a valued Plymouth manufacturer.
Marshall Countys Stellar presentation kicked off with something speciala promotional video highlighting what makes our community Stellar. The short film shows Marshall County successes through their work on our Regional Cities application and nearly 6 years of community planning county-wide.
After 7 months of collaboration, 15 steering committee meetings, and 2 public workshops, Marshall County has completed the final step in the Stellar application process. On November 15th, the steering committee traveled to Indianapolis to present the final plan, consisting of 16 Stellar projects and 13 complimentary projects. These projects have an estimated $35 million capital expenditure and a $156 million return on investment.
Plymouth and Marshall County have reached an important milestone in a project that will address community needs, attract families, and improve the local economy. On October 22nd, the Plymouth Common Council approved a tax abatement for Marshall County Life Center, Inc. which will support the Early Childhood Learning Center. This development broke ground on July 18th and construction is well underway with the floor poured, panels erected, and the roof installed.
Bomarko, Inc., a global leader in the flexible packaging products industry will be investing $5 million to expand their business in Plymouth. This plan is expected to solidify their presence in the community for many years to come due to the amount invested and their strategic long-range plan. The capital investment will include an estimated $2 million for a 20,000 square foot building addition and $3 million to purchase a new printing press.
This year, students from Argos and Culver schools participated in Manufacturing Day for the first time. This growth demonstrates how Marshall Countys Workforce Development Student Engagement Program is blossoming across the county. The event, held on October 10th and 11th, builds our future workforce through youth engagement to meet the needs of local businesses.
Marshall County employers are asking for more opportunities to connect with local students, because they will soon be the next generation of workers. The Marshall County Economic Development Corporation is responding to this request to engage the youth with a unique event. On October 10th, eleven area businesses opened their facilities to host tours for over 280 Plymouth High School students as part of Manufacturing Day.
One of the most pressing needs for employers in Marshall County and Indiana is access to a skilled workforce. To meet this need, the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation is taking steps to engage the youth with area businesses and Bremen Public Schools. This goal of reaching out to students is resonating in Bremen where on October 10th, over 490 high school students participated in Manufacturing Day.
Marshall County is near the end of an intense process leveraging public engagement and years of planning to create an over 110-page comprehensive plan aimed at improving quality of life. On September 21st, the Marshall County Crossroads Stellar Initiative team officially submitted the Regional Development Plan (RDP) to the Stellar selection committee. Since being named a finalist in April, Marshall County has held 10 steering committee meetings, formed 4 subcommittees, conducted 2 surveys, and held 2 public workshops.
At a press conference on September 5th, Governor Holcomb reviled that a long-awaited interchange will be created at the intersection of U.S. 31 and S.R. 10 in Argos. The Argos community has collaborated widely to secure this interchange, earning support from local and state leadership. This project is estimated to be completed by 2023.
Training is one of the most important needs for incumbent workers according to Marshall County employers, as determined through MCEDCs recent employer interviews on workforce development issues. To address this need, Ancilla College and MCEDC partnered together last fall to work with local businesses and launch the Ancilla College Management and Leadership Training program. In the past year, Ancilla has provided training for four local organizations. Southwire is the most recent business to go through the program; twelve leaders have completed coursework so far, with more expected to register in the future.