By Sean Rice
The economy of Mercer County is solid and expanding," county community development director Larry Stelzer said Tuesday.
Stelzer, who gave a economic development update to Celina Rotary Club, said his office is having more activity in 2004 than the past couple years combined.
Now that the national economy has "got legs and is going to sustain," Mercer County will soon see results in terms of new industry and job creation.
"There is one you will be reading about fairly quickly, hopefully by the first of the year," Stelzer said, referring to a new company setting up shop.
The county is having a spike in site visits and questions from companies looking to relocate. Many companies are now finding Mercer County through a state development network. Forty eight companies have contacted the county through the state network this year, looking for information on available buildings, land and resources.
Stelzer hopes a new eight-county graduate retention effort will help stop Mercer County from losing the best young workers to "bright lights of the big cities." The site www.workinged.com provides a link between industry and local jobs seekers.
Stelzer said a renewed relationship between the county and Celina also equals a plus for the local economy.
"We have never worked so close with the city of Celina," Stelzer said, later mentioning city community development consultant Kent Bryan. "And that is thanks to the new administration."