Task Force Progress

Task Force Summary Report Presented to the Commissioners 11-28-18 – See Gazette Article


Click on the report below to see a full copy of the report.

The Task Force’s task is to engage local citizens in a participatory process to create a set of recommendations for the County Economic Development Plan. This process is taking place in four focus groups of local stakeholders, each tackling one of the following:

  1. Agriculture.
  2. The renewable energy sector.
  3. Building construction and materials.
  4. Environmental restoration and stewardship.

On September 28, 2017, the Steering Committee held a kick-off event at Indiana County Technical Center (ICTC). The event began with introductory remarks by County Commissioner Sherene Hess, who outlined the purpose and plan for this process. Following her introduction, Matt Ward Co-Founder of Sustainable DC presented a keynote address. This firm helps governments secure resources for revitalization and tools for success in a green economy. Ward’s address focused on the key elements of sustainable economic development, and highlighted success stories to inspire the group. Following his comments, Susan Boser provided a brief overview of the specifics of the process, and then she and group facilitators Josh Krug, Jeff Raykes and Kay Snyder described the topic for each group. The individual focus groups had separate break-out sessions at that point to get started with their work.


Each group is charged with identifying new opportunities in each of the following strategic areas: economic development, education, and job training/workforce development. Following this Kick-Off Event, each group will meet monthly through April to identify priorities, do their own research and prepare a set of recommended strategies in these three strategic areas, specific to their substantive topic.

At the conclusion of this process in spring of 2018, the Task Force hosted the final focus group meeting where the groups presented their big ideas and action steps. Stakeholders were asked to review our goals and action steps at a meeting on June 13th, 2018. A survey is available for your input on the 'Stakeholder Listening' page. The summary report will be written and presented at a second Sustainable Economy Summit on September 28, 2018. The work of the Task Force at this stage will be made publicly available through this website, and invite public input and engagement. At the conclusion of this synthesis, the final report will be presented to the Indiana County Center for Economic Operations as input into the Indiana County Economic Development/Work Force Development Plan.

Structure of Focus Groups: Topics for each Meeting

Meeting 1:

Introductions, orient to project, brainstorm a “wish list” in each of the three areas: economic development, education, job training/workforce development.

Meeting 2:

Review wish list; any additional ideas? Brainstorm existing assets that support achieving each wish.

Meeting 3:

Review wish list & existing assets. Any changes needed? Brainstorm what would be needed to achieve each wish.

Meeting 4:

Review wish list, assets, and needs. Any changes needed? Working down through each item, brainstorm potential sources, partnerships, or opportunities to achieve that wish.

Meeting 5:

Review wish list, assets, needs & potential sources or partnerships. Any changes? If these wishes were to become goals, what action steps need to be taken, and by whom, to move forward toward achieving these goals?

Meeting 6:

Review potential goals, existing assets, needs, potential sources of addressing the needs, and action steps. Any changes needed? What does this Focus Group wish to recommend to the County Economic and Planning Dept.? Create outline for the report.

Meeting 7:

Review draft of report. Any changes needed? For members of the Focus Group, are there any implications or potential actions that they wish to take in light of this process? Reflection/feedback on the process itself.

Meeting 8:

Our final large group focus group meeting to review the progress in all groups. Each group reported out with their "Big Ideas" and action steps. We will ask stakeholders to review our information to get any additional feedback then we will be working on the final written report. September 28th will be the Summit II with speakers and the unveiling of our final written report,

Stakeholder Meeting 6/13/18

We asked stakeholders to review our information to get any additional feedback then we will be working on the final written report. September 28th will be the Summit II with speakers and the unveiling of our final written report,