PAULDING – Collaboration continues to be the theme in Paulding County and this week was an exciting culmination of that.  For the first time in many years, and perhaps ever, the three county Community Improvement Corporations (CIC) met jointly around the same table, in the same meeting, to discuss moving Paulding County forward together.

Members from the Antwerp/Payne Paulding County CIC, Oakwood Development Corporation (ODC) and Paulding CIC followed an agenda developed by county Economic Development Director Tim Copsey.

“Since I began in this role it has been a goal to get all three of these powerful entities together to possibly work collaboratively.  They all do tremendous things in their own local areas and each are represented on the county Economic Development Board, but beyond those meetings there isn’t any sharing of thoughts or discussion.  There have been some obstacles in the past, but little by little members have changed, philosophy has changed, and maybe even some old burned bridges have been mended or rebuilt.  We would like to think our office had a little to do with that, but however it happened, we are excited for this positive meeting and momentum,” stated Copsey.

Copsey shared about how the Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development (NORED) group works with area county economic development directors meeting and sharing ideas; shared the same about the Northeast Indiana Regional Growth Partnership; then updated the group on a recent meeting with eight area economic development directors from Steuben, Dekalb, Allen and Adams Counties in Indiana and Williams, Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert Counties in Ohio.  It was noted that if these collaborative meetings can work why not our three entities working together right here for the overall good of Paulding County?

Lively discussion followed about the possibilities but it was quickly noted that nothing would happen without funding.  The discussion then turned to the Land Reutilization Committee and Paulding County Area Foundation Director being invited to see if there might be further collaboration involved to get projects rolling together.  There was also in-depth discussion about establishing fundraising event opportunities to develop seed money.

The excitement was enough that there is already a follow-up meeting scheduled for the group to meet again in August to review initial thoughts and decide how to develop a collective plan forward.  For more information or questions about any of the CIC groups in the county contact the PCED office at 419-399-8282.