As a Stellar finalist for the 2nd year in a row, Marshall County is taking a broader focus through Quality of Life Planning that will grow our community for years to come. The Stellar steering committee recently held a workshop to engage stakeholders, allowing them to learn more about Stellar and get involved in the planning process. As a further measure of public engagement, our communities are stepping up to provide more funding to make sure that our Quality of Life Plan is supported at the local level.
Plymouths shell building, originally developed in 2014, was a proactive economic development plan to attract new businessone that not every community in todays market utilizes. This strategy has paid off by attracting snack manufacturer Pretzels, Inc. to the location and facilitating its continued success with three expansions in less than three years.
A 3rd generation, family-owned and operated food manufacturer, Harrington Noodles, has found a new home and opportunity for expansion in Plymouth. The new facility is currently under construction just across the street from Pretzels, Inc. The building will expand their operations to 6,000 square feet from 2,000 square feet and create up to 8 new jobs bringing the total number of employees to 12. Construction should be completed by July, with production to begin quickly after.
A popular and unique workforce development event called Made in Marshall County, recently returned with more participating businesses than ever before. The 3rd annual event is an opportunity for businesses to showcase their good paying jobs and encourage students, especially those without established career paths, to stay in Marshall County.
SIMBA Chain, Inc. is paving the way for entrepreneurship and technological innovation in Marshall County by winning the 1st Source Bank Commercialization Award at Notre Dame's IDEA Week. The award honors companies for their exceptional research discoveries and the translation of these discoveries into marketable products and services.
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.