Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Meet Clarence Hulse, Indiana Director

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been on the Mid-America EDC board?

One year plus as a board member but have been a member for  a while – over 13+ years for sure – I see myself as a change agent and love to make improvements and push the envelope in my community where I have worked.

Tell us about your organization, Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, and your role.

As a private nonprofit, the EDCMC is best able to serve the business community. We are dedicated to attracting new companies, helping existing businesses, spurring entrepreneurial efforts, developing educational opportunities and cultivating a strong workforce. We work toward this by uniting private and public sectors, business and community leaders and government and industry officials – all to incite economic growth. Michigan City Economic Development Corporation (EDCMC) hosted its Silver Anniversary and Business Awards Gala Dinner on July 21, 2022.  We are celebrating 25 years of hard work by staff, volunteers, and supporters; 25 years of contributing to creating thousands of jobs for our residents; 25 years of running amazing community events; 25 years of supporting arts and culture; 25 years of supporting small businesses; 25 years of attracting billions in capital investment to our community; and 25 years of working with community members and business leaders to build a community where everyone can thrive. I am the Executive Director and have been here almost 9 years.

Michigan City, and the surrounding region, is in the midst of some pretty expansive transportation improvement projects. Can you tell us a bit about what’s happening and the expected impact these projects will have on the local community when finished?

Michigan City, Indiana. Tucked on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, 50 miles SE of Chicago and home to the nation’s newest national park, Indiana Dunes National Park, Michigan City continues to forge forward in creating jobs and capital investments while enhancing its small-town appeal through quality-of-life projects. A Northwestern Indiana community with a great quality of life in a place where commerce and industry can prosper and grow, Michigan City has experienced $1.5 billion in public and private capital investment and poised to capture an additional $1 billion over the next 5 years due to the Double Track commuter rail project. Over 1,200 multi-family units in mixed used developments are projected and over 5,000 new residents projected over the next 10 years. Three new industrial parks in process and two residential subdivisions are being planned – lots of excitement and energy in the community.

What are your economic development specialties?

Having been in the game for a while I have done a little of everything to be effective, but my specialties are downtown development, real estate development (multi-family), redevelopment, business park development, tourism, workforce development, marketing strategy and building effective partnerships

As a public-private nonprofit you’re all about building partnerships. Are there any unique partnerships your organization has been able to form that you would recommend similarly structured organizations explore?

Business – Education partnerships – Air compressor manufacturers worked together to form the only Compressed Air Academy in the USA – creating a pipeline out of our local high school to improve and expand the talent pool. We also have coding, energy and metal fabricating partnerships within our K-12 system and these partnerships are duplicable all over the country. Partnerships are key to improving our communities!!

What do you like to do in your down time? What are some favorite ways to spend a Saturday in/around Michigan City?

Lots of fun stuff to do in our community – living near the newest national park in the country – Dunes National Seashore, I get to hike the beaches and browse both the lake and landscapes. We have wineries and a brewery in our city and lots of beach events – yes, we do have a real beach in Michigan City!  We have a fantastic art district and lots of art-related events I attend, and of course golf and watching sports.

Please add anything else you would like to share!

I have been in economic development for over 20 years and have seen lots of positive changes and personally have had to adapt to be effective. I love what I do and do not see it as a job but as a calling and encourage the next generation to jump on board to take this profession to the next level!

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