Tribune Editor

A $12,500 grant will help pay for the development of a three-year strategic economic development plan for Jackson County.

Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. recently received that grant from Duke Energy Foundation.

The corporation applied for the grant in the fall of 2014, said Jim Plump, the corporation’s executive director.

“This new plan will be our road map for the future of economic development in Jackson County,” Plump said.

The plan will include interviews with key business and community stakeholders. It also will allow local economic development officials to compare the organization with other similar Midwest industrial and economic development groups.

“It’s extremely important to us so that we understand what our function should be specifically — what are the best practices, what are other organizations doing and are they doing something we should replicate,” Plump said.

The project should be complete sometime during the middle of this year.

Plump said the corporation has received other types of grants from Duke Energy in the past, and those funds were used for infrastructure, development and marketing. This is the first grant for strategic planning the corporation has received from the foundation, he said.

In Indiana, Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable grants of nearly $2 million annually to support the environment, economic development, education and community vitality.

“Duke Energy has a long history of helping the communities we serve identify and develop new and expanding business opportunities,” said Chip Orben, Duke Energy Indiana community relations manager for Jackson County. “We look forward to partnering with the JCIDC on this important initiative.”

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 800,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7051.