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ECONOMY IMPROVES: Whitley Co. defies trend, sees growth in 2012

January 18, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — While some people in the country might feel they are still digging out of the Great Recession, some economic indicators show Whitley County might be back to normal.

The Community Research Institute (CRI) at IPFW released its 2012 document of business dynamics in Whitley County. Most of the findings showed growth in the county, with expansion in job numbers and dollars invested locally.

Studies showed three new manufacturing groups in the county, with one expansion, one acquisition and one closing. The one company that closed its doors, Greatbatch Medical, was not a total loss for the county either.

“They just went to a larger facility outside of Whitley County and they still employ scores of local residents,” said Alan Tio, president of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.

While there were only six companies measured in 2012 for the county, that was the nature of the study.

“We don’t track retail,” said John Stafford, director at the CRI. “We track companies that export product or service outside of their given community, and that is what drives an economy.”

Some of the new companies included Solstice Medical LLC, Impact CNC LLC and Indiana Materials Processing LLC. These companies added nearly 150 jobs to the county and invested nearly $20 million locally. PDQ Workholding Inc. also expanded its operation.

Stafford said 2012 continued off of the success of the previous year.

The reflection the local economy gives is much brighter than previous years, even though Whitley County did not experience every bump along the road that some lived through.

For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Jan. 18 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.

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