EDC of Wayne County Celebrates 2023 Projects and Partnerships

Around 130 people attended the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Wayne County’s annual meeting on May 6th held in Lingle Auditorium, on the Reid Health campus. Lunch was served as part of the program and sponsored by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) and Whitewater Valley REMC. The EDC recognized companies who invested in Wayne County in 2023, as well as the past chair of the board, and community partners.

Business investment awards were presented to five companies who collectively are investing a total of $420M in Wayne County and plan to create 184 new jobs. Companies recognized include:


Liberation Labs

  • $115M investment
  • Projected creation of 45 full-time jobs

Anchor Ingredients

  • $39M investment
  • Projected creation of 30 full-time jobs

Blue Buffalo

  • $200M investment
  • Projected creation of 50 to 60 full-time jobs

Menasha Packaging Company

  • $66M investment
  • Retention of 321 existing jobs

Supply Source Enterprises

  • $726,000 investment
  • Projected creation of 49 full-time jobs

In addition, the EDC conducted 71 visits in 2023 to local companies providing connections to tools, resources, and educational institutions to help support operations and grow their labor force.

The EDC of Wayne County presented two Economic Development Partnership Awards for extraordinary efforts in collaboration which resulted in several million dollars of grants and private investment for quality of place initiatives and projects across Wayne County.

  • Earlham College was recognized for their collaborative efforts involving several organizations to secure a $25M grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s College and Community Collaboration initiative. The resulting Revitalize Richmond plan is supported by $83M in committed investments in Richmond’s downtown resulting in more than $100M in planned investment projects.
  • Wayne County Government and the participating towns of Cambridge City, Dublin, East Germantown, Economy, Milton, Richmond, and Spring Grove were recognized for their combined efforts in developing a Strategic Investment Plan for each community as well as a plan for the County. After feedback from residents in each municipality a prioritized list of projects was developed. Each participating town contributed a minimum of 30% or a total of $2.7M of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds towards projects in their communities and Wayne County Government was able to commit $5.89M of ARPA money to assist the towns in undertaking what could eventually become an overall investment of $25.4M. This level of collaboration allowed officials to leverage ARPA funding and a $1M grant from Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs to accomplish more together than they could have done on their own.

Additionally, EDC President, Valerie Shaffer shared about the momentum of collaboration the county is experiencing that started with Indiana’s READI 1.0 program launched in 2021 resulting in a $15M award to the East Central Indiana Region from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in 2022. Wayne County received $2.95M of that award to invest in the redevelopment of the former Elder Beerman property in Downtown Richmond. That project was leveraged and allowed Earlham to apply for the full $25M grant from the Lilly Endowment for the Revitalize Richmond Plan. The HELP program’s Strategic Investment Plan built upon the spirit of collaboration and led the community right into READI 2.0 where the East Central Indiana Region again competed for additional resources to invest in quality of place projects. That endeavor resulted in a $35M award from the IEDC, a significant increase from the region’s 2022 READI award. All of the plans developed and the coming investment on the horizon is a result of the hard work, dedication, and collaborative spirit by Wayne County citizens and its leadership. The EDC is thankful to have so many partners in economic and community development that are committed to investing in our future.

The EDC of Wayne County also recognized Sherrilyn Johnson for her time as the 2023 chair of the board of directors. She is appointed by the Wayne County Commissioners and has just started her second three-year term on the board. EDC board and staff appreciate the time and experience Sherrilyn brings to the organization and are grateful she will be able to share her expertise for another term as a board member.

More details on the new investment projects, as well as other 2023 activities can be found in the EDC’s 2023 annual report.