Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance Introduces Vision 2021 Program

Janet Holcomb, Indiana's First Lady answers questions during a panel discussion with Jud Fisher and Jeff Daniels during the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance introduction of the Vision 2021 economic development plan. Photo by: Mike RhodesJanet Holcomb, Indiana's First Lady, answers questions during a discussion with Jud Fisher and Jeff Daniels during the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance introduction of the Vision 2021 economic development plan. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Mike Rhodes—

This morning the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance introduced the Vision 2021 5-year economic development program at a breakfast for community and business leaders. The program was held at the Horizon Convention Center. Jay Julian, Chief Economic Development Officer, President/CEO, introduced the program and acknowledged those in attendance and special guests.

Accomplishments of the Vision 2016 economic development plan, were also presented and reviewed by Jeff Daniels, Vision 2021 Co-Chairman. “Every winning team needs a playbook. Our playbook has been the Vision program which started in 1983,” said Daniels. “Every vision program since 1983 has had its own goals and objectives.”

Jud Fisher, Vision 2021 Co-Chairman, then reviewed and communicated the goals and objectives of the new Vision 2021 plan. Fisher explained in the late spring of 2016, the public was invited to attend one of two focus groups to discuss the community’s economic development priorities for the coming years. The feedback from these meetings created the framework for Vision 2021.

One key point that kept coming up in the focus groups was…

“People want to live in a place they love to live in.”—Jud Fisher


Indiana’s First Lady, Janet Holcomb was the keynote speaker and spoke about her time growing up in Muncie.

Indiana's First Lady, Janet Holcomb. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

Indiana’s First Lady, Janet Holcomb. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

“Even from a young age, I learned that Muncie was a very good place to own a business.  My grandfather was a serial entrepreneur, constantly starting new businesses. Life in Middletown, USA was always good and IS good. The challenges Muncie faces are similar to those of every midsize city across the state. But, I know that this community has an edge on the competition.”—Janet Holcomb

The Vision program, established in 1983 and led by the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance is founded on public/private partnerships that represent the most comprehensive and successful economic development program the history of Delaware County. The program is supported by financial contributions and in-kind services from Vision Investors which include companies, foundations, public entities, and individuals.


The Core Goals of Vision 2021 include:

  1. Enrich Quality of Life
  2. Enhance Quality of Place
  3. Expand and Retain Existing Business
  4. Create a Culture of Education
  5. Prepare the Community for the Future
  6. Encourage Jo Growth in Target Sectors

Each core goal has defined specific objectives and associated tactics as well as measurement methods to attain each goal.

Sample Vision 2021 tactics from all 6 goals include:  Creating and online portal to highlight community diversity; Working with employers to recruit workers to the area; Support wellness activities for healthy living; Identify vacant/blighted lots for adaptive reuse; Create an incentive program for revitalization efforts; Ensure a range of housing options are available at multiple price points; Consult with builders and financiers on new construction; Encourage downtown retail growth and further promote downtown activities; Support efforts to increase business investment and job growth; Create a consortium to develop alternative energy strategies; Market Muncie-Delaware County as a regional economic center; Promote visits by state and national leaders; Promote kindergarten readiness and the BY5 program; Create partnerships between businesses and schools; Identify and promote apprenticeship programs; Expand high-quality internet access to the county and work to implement citywide Wi-Fi in Muncie; Assist the Muncie Action Plan in achieving goals; Establish and promote shovel ready sites; Collaborate to meet training demands of the local market; Help entrepreneurs recognize “next step” opportunities; Promote the Innovation Connector, Co:LAB and MadJax; Create business profiles with statistics on products and services—and much, much more.

You can view the entire report and all goals, objectives, and measurements by clicking on the image below.

Photos from the program can be seen below.

For more information, visit