Business View Magazine Jan-2019

193 E LAKE COUNTY NOMIC ALLIANCE OF INDIANA DRIVING JOBS AND INVESTMENT L ake County, Indiana, population approximately 500,000, is located in the northwest portion of the state, some 43 miles southeast of Chicago, Illinois.The county has a total area of 627 square miles and is a mixture of urban, suburban, and rural areas.Originally inhabited by Potawatomi tribes, Lake County was established in 1837. It began to grow slowly in the 1850s when the railroads arrived to link Chicago to the rest of the country and en- abled tens of thousands of settlers and immigrants to buy land.The arrival of the steel industry jump- started the county’s population explosion in the early 1900s and other industries, such as automo- biles, oil, chemicals, consumer goods, food process- ing, and construction supply, also found the county to be an ideal location because of its cheap land and well-developed transportation networks. Lake County’s population peaked at 546,000 in 1970, after which it suffered a 20-year industrial decline brought on by foreign competition and pro- ductivity gains from new technologies.The falloff was particularly intense in the steel industry: steel employment exceeded 60,000 in the 1960s, and declined progressively to just 18,000 by 2015. In 2013, the Lake County Economic Alliance of Indiana (LCEA) was created with the goal of driving jobs and investment to Lake County. More specifically, the LCEA’s role is to: • Promote stability, growth, and development of business and industry in Lake County, Indiana • Recruit new and retain existing business, jobs, and investment • Market Lake County to site selectors and com- panies through conferences, tradeshows, and media outlets • Respond promptly to inquiries, gather informa- tion, and provide area knowledge • Maintain a comprehensive database of available AT A GLANCE THE LAKE COUNTY ECONOMIC ALLIANCE OF INDIANA WHAT: A business development organization WHERE: Merrillville, Indiana WEBSITE: