WHAT IF? ELKHART THRIVES IN MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES

Elkhart is not a diverse economy; it is underserved in the commercial sector, while strong in the manufacturing sector but dependent on a handful of industry types. The City of Elkhart has seen little growth in population over the past two decades. The Elkhart community has significant challenges in attracting a diverse workforce and talent.

Having served as a manufacturing hub for over six decades, Elkhart has experienced its share of large business closings and consolidation. The result has been the creation of significant pockets of underutilized land and properties in the older industrial areas. These same areas have not seen much new infrastructure investment since their original development. By asking such questions, we open doors to explore, invent and create new industries that should be here. Any ideas for what they should be?

  • What industries are complimentary to the existing industries that exist here?

  • What new industries could benefit from our thousands of acres of underutilized real estate?

  • What new industries should could capitalize on our Midwest location and access to highways and railways?

  • What new industries should we attract than no one else can as well as Elkhart?

WHAT IF…

The City of Elkhart plans to determine the new industries that will benefit from our infrastructure, real estate and location to grow our economic tax base so we can reinvest back into ourselves for the future. Share your thoughts about what industries we can attract.


Click image to download Elkhart’s Diversification Plan (2018)

Click image to download Elkhart’s Diversification Plan (2018)

Case for ElkharT
Industrial Diversification

The City of Elkhart, as it has been throughout history, is a manufacturing hub, contributing significantly to the regional and state economies. Elkhart County is know as the “RV Capital of the World,” and employment in Elkhart is highly concentrated within RV Manufacturing and its supplier industries. While these Base Industries are currently providing a strong backbone to Elkhart’s economy, over-reliance on manufacturing - especially when concentrated in a handful of industry groups that produce discretionary goods - has led to severe economic and job distress from recessions, factory closings, technological disruptions, and workforce shortages. Current levels of economic prosperity provide opportunities to prepare for the future. Economic diversification, programs to address workforce and quality of life issues, and investment in real estate and infrastructure are needed to ensure Elkhart’s resiliency.


DIVERSIFICATION Recommendations


Elkhart Diversification InfoGraphics

Economic
Base

Workforce & Talent
Development

Economic
Diversification

Real
Estate