GOSHEN — Elkhart County Council approved a $12,000 contribution to a regional economic development partnership on a split vote Saturday.
Council approved the appropriation from the Economic Development Fee fund for the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership on a 4-3 vote, after learning about the organization from President Regina Emberton. County Commissioners previously approved the money after hearing that the request was made based on the size of the county.
Councilwoman Tina Wenger asked what the county gets for its investment, which comes out of money that companies receiving tax abatements pay as a percentage of their benefits.
Emberton said they hope to raise $1 million a year to support the four-year plan they're now pursuing, which is focused on the areas of workforce, talent, industry, startups and inclusion. They hope to raise the post-secondary attainment level from 30 to 50 percent, transform net migration out of the region into an inflow of workers, grow jobs in higher-paid industries by 20 percent, establish 200 high-potential startup companies and improve the region's national rank in minority income disparity from the 15th percentile to the 80th percentile.