The locally-focused action plan, made possible through funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, provides a framework for economic growth and community development with five primary elements: Discovery – including document review and data analysis; Stakeholder Engagement; Entrepreneurial Hub Feasibility; Infrastructure and Utilities Assessment; and Economic Recovery Strategies.

“Economic Diversification that brings opportunity to our community and its residents is critical to the prosperity of our county,” County Administrator, Tobi Lake said in a news release.  “We are fortunate to have received support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to develop an actionable framework for not only overcoming the recent loss of jobs and tax revenue suffered after the closing of our largest employer and taxpayer, but more importantly, for establishing long-term economic growth. The local volunteers serving on our Economic Diversification Advisory Group vetted several capable firms to lead this effort and has selected TPMA based on their significant expertise assisting rural communities to successfully utilize their unique assets for revitalization. There will be many opportunities for community leaders to engage in the important work ahead.”

The project launched in April, with completion expected in January 2025, the release said. The project team has started to review existing plans, as well as collect and analyze data such as demographics, labor market information, and industry clusters. TPMA is expected to be on-site in Lake County in mid-June for information gathering, meeting with key leaders, participating in tourism-related activities, and touring the county, including potential development areas.

“The opportunity to experience the community’s offerings provides critical insights for our work,” Lindsay Bloos, TPMA project lead said in the release. “It is imperative that we not only bring our outside perspectives to the table but truly connect and listen to residents, businesses, and workers. At the end of the day, this plan is about improving the economic conditions of the people in Lake County.”

The next phase of the project will include engagement with key stakeholders, including government officials and staff, and representatives from business and industry, transportation and utilities, healthcare, education, and nonprofit organizations.

Local oversight of the project will be provided by Lake County Economic Development Alliance and contracted services from The Right Place.  For more information, contact Jodi Nichols, Executive Director of Lake County Economic Development Alliance at 231-742-3328 or at

Source: Pioneer