Public Policy

As Northwest Indiana’s Regional Economic Development Organization and the Voice of Business Leadership,
The Forum’s charge is to create/retain quality jobs and capital investment fostered by a business friendly climate,
all in harmony with the environment.

The Forum takes positions on issues that its membership determines will have an effect on the development and creation of a strong globally competitive economy in Northwest Indiana. Focusing efforts on four areas we can address the most critical issues facing business and industry and the challenges of economic development.

Positions are intended to facilitate smart planning and growth, support communities with incentive options, attract companies with the potential to create and retain quality jobs, improve the quality of life and support the Forum’s mission to increased broad based wealth in Northwest Indiana.

A proactive policy approach is necessary to maintain the Northwest Indiana business climate.
The four main areas of interest for the Forum:

  • Public policy which provides for a competitive business tax climate.
  • Policy or legislative changes that would improve local government structure and function.
  • Public policy which provides for infrastructure support and development.
  • Regulatory environment which provides for economic growth and protects the quality of life for residents.



2015 NWI Forum Position Statements

Under the four guiding public policy principles, the Forum has established the following positions:

Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority: The NWI Forum supports continued funding of the RDA by the State of Indiana. Approval for the funding should be granted to limit interruption of projects critical to the northwest Indiana region. The RDA’s economic impact is more than $1.1 billion since 2006.

Illiana Roadway:   The NWI Forum supports the concept of construction of the Illiana connecting Indiana’s I-65 to Illinois’ I-55 in complete accord with environmental and other laws while minimizing the cost to the taxpayers of Indiana by allowing private investments in the Illiana throughpublic-private partnership.

Commuter Rail: The NWI Forum supports Commuter Rail in Northwest Indiana based on, among other things, its environmental benefits.

Redevelopment Commissions: The NWI Forum supports the creation and use of Redevelopment Commissions (RDCs).  RDCs must be allowed to respond to the needs of businesses seeking to locate in local communities while maintaining public accountability.  Any changes to the existing legislation governing RDCs must preserve or enhance the original intent in creating RDCs which was to provide economic development tools, such as infrastructure funding and project financing.  The current abilities for RDCs to respond quickly to an economic development prospect should be maintained.

Workforce Development: As an organization focused on attracting, retaining and expanding business in Northwest Indiana, the Northwest Indiana Forum supports a return to providing public funding for assistance to businesses for training, maintaining and upgrading the skills of their employees. As an incentive to preserve and grow existing companies, these funds should be allocated without the requirement of new capital investment or job creation.

Purdue University Calumet Emerging Technologies Building: The NWI Forum supports funding for the Purdue University Calumet Emerging Technologies Building from the State of Indiana. The funding plan for the construction of the Emerging Technologies Building is $40.5 million. Planning funds of $2.4 million were authorized in the 2007 Legislative Session. Approval and appropriation of these funds are still pending and should also be included as part of the overall 2015 project funding plan.



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