I have been enjoying my visits with residents during the “Report to the People” sessions. These reports give me a chance to meet with citizens and hear from you about how we can make local government better. Thank you for your input.
I have announced some exciting new initiatives. These programs are designed to help us build a better city to attract new jobs and businesses. My theme this year is innovation and investment. The investments we make to retain and create jobs will help our city grow and become a city recognized as a leader in innovation and technology.
The Innovation Initiative supports new business development and job creation. The initiative features an Innovators Forum, the formation of venture capital funds and the creation of iTeams for Broadband. The Innovators Forum will allow the community to come together to explore innovative business ideas. It will provide a network of support for new business owners that will give Fort Wayne a competitive edge in technology.
A partnership with the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center includes a $250,000 commitment from the City to help start-up technology companies establish a presence in Fort Wayne. The iTeams for Broadband will each examine health care information systems, intelligent transportation tools, public safety, learning technology, advanced manufacturing, and library services.
I have also set an ambitious goal of seeking $1 billion of investment in the City over the next three years. We will achieve this through tax incentives, the development of an urban investment strategy and a partnership between the City, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Downtown Improvement District. We will work together to aggressively seek the interest of developers to make investments in the City.
A new Community Builders program has been established. This is a series of workshops that will give neighborhood and community leaders the information and skills they need to organize, revitalize and improve neighborhoods and organizations. The first workshop is on February 26. For more information, call 427-1111.
We are off to a great 2005. I look forward to sharing more good news with you in my next report.
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