Greater Fort Wayne Inc. announced Wednesday that it already has lined up nearly a quarter of the $5 million it is trying to raise to help sustain its first five years of operations.
That came during a news conference that formally launched the group's “Be Part of Something Greater” fundraising campaign. At the announcement, in the lobby of the 1st Source Center, 200 E. Main St., GFW said its first eight corporate investors have already committed $1.2 million, or 24 percent of the goal for new, private‐sector support.
At the same time, GFW provided more information on the new “Fort Wayne Competitive Index” that it will use to measure its progress toward a key goal: making Fort Wayne one of the top 25 metro areas in the Midwest.
John Stafford, until recently director of the Community Research Institute at IPFW, explained how the new index would help peg Fort Wayne in comparison with other midwestern metro areas. He said the index combines population growth, two measures of employment change, two measures of per capita personal income, productivity of the workforce and gross domestic product of the metro areas to arrive at the competitive index.
The Institute came up with index rankings for 100 mid-sized Midwest metro areas for seven key prosperity and job creation indicators. The numbers place Fort Wayne at 52nd out of 100 metro areas.
In improve Fort Wayne's ranking on the index, GFW said it will focus on multiple strategies, including community and product development, business retention and expansion, business attraction, support for entrepreneurs, small‐business innovation services and business advocacy.
GFW was created by combining the Fort Wayne‐Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.