Members of the Grundy County Industrial Development Corporation, the Trenton City Council, the Grundy County Commission and representatives from business and education met last week to review a report on community and economic development needs and to discuss goals.
The report was compiled as a result of the announcement that ConAgra would be closing down operations in Trenton by May of 2018. Several entities including the city of Trenton and Municipal Utilities and Grundy County Commission provided funding for an outside firm to develop the report.
It includes a marketing component for ConAgra. That portion of the report was paid for by the company and has been turned over to ConAgra for its use in marketing the facility at Trenton.
Community Developer Ralph Boots noted the report was developed over several months by Ady Advantage and several community stakeholders. The report focuses on both the local and regional aspects of economic development.
Boots said the report identified three target industry areas in which Trenton can be competitive when looking for new business. They include agriculture/food processing, automotive suppliers, and distribution.
There’s also a 40-page “to do list” which centers around three goals:
- Growing Grundy County from both a business and a quality of life perspective
- Developing the workforce in Grundy County to mirror current and expected future employer requirement
- Engaging persons to help promote cooperation and economic success in the county.
Boots said a small team of community stakeholders will work through the plan and start implementing the recommendations suggested by Ady Advantage.
Representatives from the city, county, school district, NCMC, Wright Memorial Hospital, the IDC and the business community are anticipated to be part of that group.
Boots added the process will continue as Trenton and Grundy County, as he put it, strives to take charge of the economic future.