I admit to some mixed reactions in reading a Midwest Business.com column. It referenced a Forbes article on 10 dying cities in America. Four — Canton, Cleveland, Dayton and Youngstown — in Ohio were joined by Detroit and Flint, Michigan.
I was happy to see no Indiana cities on the list, but disappointed as the Midwest took a beating. If we’re to believe that regional economic impact that everyone keeps talking about, dying cities to our east and north can’t be a good thing.
The mixed thoughts went away as the writer went on to contrast Fort Wayne with the "dying 10." He noted that the city experienced similar challenges in job losses and corporate moves, but that "the political leaders saw what was coming and they got out of a traditional mode of approaching economic development." He detailed some of the expansion and efficiency measures and also cited the fiber-to-the-premises investment by Verizon as critical.
The Chamber’s BizVoice magazine captured these stories last year as former Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard was our Government Leader of the Year and Verizon regional chief Gale Given a Chamber volunteer of the year.
Congrats, Fort Wayne. It’s nice to see others recognize the accomplishments.