Language Translation
  Close Menu

2019 - Marshall County Crossroads

Every quarter since 2012, the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation hosts “County Development for the Future” meetings that bring together community leaders and regional partners to strategize ways to leverage our assets and ensure our county maintains a high quality of life. All of the County's communities are represented at these meetings, as are stakeholders from across the County. These meetings have evolved over the past seven years with attendees coming from academic institutions, emergency management, the municipalities, tourism, nonprofits, social services, and more. The common mission among the dozens of organizations and hundreds of leaders from across the County is to ensure we are collaborating to create a region that has a high standard of living. We connect and share advice and information based on experiences and successes; we address our common challenges; and we share information, resources, and knowledge that makes us more efficient and capable to address the common challenges we face.

These meetings provided the framework for participation in the Northern Indiana Regional Cities initiative. Several Marshall County Crossroads regional planning team members participated in the successful 2015 application for $42 million of Indiana Economic Development Corporation State funds for quality-of-life projects in Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties. These meetings also provided support for Culver's Stellar Communities application in 2016 and 2017. Each of the towns, the city of Plymouth, Culver-Union Township, and the County supported Culver's Stellar Communities Strategic Investment Plan. Between the Regional Cities work and Culver's Stellar designation, Marshall County was primed for elevating regional planning efforts. The Stellar Communities program has taken the team to the next level and spurred a desire to make regional planning team permanent.

Key projects that also involved regional team planning and county-wide collaboration during this time, include:

  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW): A multi-county partnership raised over $250,000 to secure total regional funding of $4.1 million for the implementation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum in grades K-12 in Marshall County public schools, ensuring a knowledgeable and skilled future workforce.
  • Metronet Unlimited Bandwidth: A public-private partnership between two counties (Marshall County and St. Joe), one city (Plymouth) and two private businesses (Hoosier Tire and St. Joe Medical Regional Hospital) that through a $2.5 million construction project extends unlimited bandwidth dark fiber into Marshall County, creating capacities and speeds on par with Chicago and New York.
  • Early Childhood Education Coalition: MCCF and 12 community partners broke ground in July 2018 for a combined Aquatics Center and Early Childhood Learning Center that utilizes Regional Cities funding and New Market Tax Credit funding. Partners in this collaborative $10 million project are addressing a key workforce development solution by making high-quality childcare and early childhood learning opportunities affordable while empowering parent(s) to seek employment.

In 2018, OCRA announced that Stellar Communities would award regions. County Commissioner President, Kevin Overmyer, gathered leadership in the County and suggested the team leverage the collaborative work taking place to create a plan that would elevate regional planning and qualify the team for a Stellar Communities designation. Thus, the Marshall County Crossroads Committee formed. In 2018, we achieved a Stellar Communities finalist status and other accomplishments that spurred the team on to apply for a 2019 designation.

The team is again evolving into a permanent regional planning team with the mission of improving the quality of life in Marshall County. In 2019, a decision was made to formalize the team by creating a formal structure for moving regional planning forward in the County. Sean Surrisi, an attorney and member of the Marshall County Crossroads team, is working on setting up the formalized structure. The team plans to achieve the formalization before the end of 2019. The Marshall County Crossroads team will continue its regional planning work, focusing first on a Quality of Life Plan and then on funding and implementation. Achieving a Stellar Communities designation would launch the first phase of implementing the Quality of Life Plan. In partnership with Marshall County Community Foundation, the team will also apply for the Lilly Gift VII implementation grant. The team has worked on the Lilly Leadership planning grant throughout 2019 while simultaneously working on the Stellar Communities designation.

The Marshall County Crossroads Great Hometowns: One Vision plan now directs the team's mission. Follow their progress by visiting their website: