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Introducing the White County Economic Development Committee

A self-described think tank, the White County Economic Development Committee has positioned itself as a group of community members who want to see the community grow and prosper.  Dr. Clint Taylor, one of the founding members talked more about the group, it’s mission, and how he sees it making an impact at Kiwanis Thursday.

“We are a partnership between business leaders, local non-profits, and local elected officials that promotes economic growth by identifying and working to rectify economic development needs in White County.  Special emphasis is put on retaining current businesses and recruiting new businesses and making our community a more desirable place to live and work.”

The committee is made up of Chairperson Caleb Hughes, Taylor, Brittany Murray, Lance Barbre, Luke Sailer, Amber Carney, Holly Healy serves as Secretary, and Justin Dartt is the Treasurer.

Taylor says they don’t handle any funds currently.  Their purpose he says, is simply to assist without overstepping boundaries already established by established organizations.

“We want to help.  We want to facilitate economic growth.  We want to promote it, encourage it, amplify it.  We don’t want to come in and be over any of the entities we have already.  We want to work with city government, county government, Chamber of Commerce and we want to help them and help our community grow.  We have fantastic people in place.  The city administration of which Holly is a part, Mayor Jeff Pollard, city council, county board, we have fantastic people in place and we just want to help them, so that’s our goal.”

Taylor says personally, he wants to make the homegrown pastures greener than elsewhere so young people want to stay or come back here.  Taylor pointed to Marion and Effingham of examples of municipalities that have bucked the trend and are growing.  He also talked about Columbus, Indiana which has made itself a hub for architecture.

“at one time was just a small town that was no different than any other.  They decided they wanted to be a regional hub for architecture…and I’m sure a lot of people thought that was crazy.  Well now, Architectural Digest has named them as the sixth most architecturally advanced city in the United States behind New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and one other…and then Columbus.  So it can happen.”

Hughes says the group is focused on the future and he sees the new Stan Williams SIC Career and Training Center providing a unique opportunity.

“We really want to try and visualize where we see Carmi in twenty years.  And one thing we’ve identified all as a group is you know is if we work well and the community works well with the vocational center…an example of something that we helped accomplish was obviously Stan’s great gift to help get things started over there didn’t finish that totally.  So there are more funds that need to be available.  So we were able to work with the county on the grant they got and there’s going to be another grant awarded for $250,000 towards that.  We want to be more of the training hub for those kinds of jobs.  Think about how many plumbers and electricians we could use.”

The group doesn’t have a headquarters to this point.  Members say they want to hear from the community though.  For now, making contact with them equates to reaching out to any of them at their jobs.

  1. bob
    November 2, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    be nice to have save- a-lot again…long john silvers, Ky. chicken and golden corral and a real dollar tree store. A lake to go fishing without traveling for miles..

  2. Anita Riley
    Anita Riley
    November 4, 2023 at 11:22 am

    Sounds great. Unfortunately Carmi lacks ingredient Effingham and Marion have in common an interstate though we are close. I-57 is why Marion has more than Carbondale. I’ve worked in all these towns and Effingham has always impressed me for being able to maintain their small town feel while integrating the businesses I-57 & I-70 have brought. They still have several family restaurants. Wish you much success.


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