The Hancock County Economic Development Committee has formed three task forces composed of 25 volunteers each.
They are looking for ways to encourage future economic development in the county.
An initial meeting of selected three priorities; job creation, vocational training and entrepreneurship and encouraging residents to shop at local businesses. Each task force will hold an initial meeting in the next few weeks. They will then meet on a quarterly basis.
The Hancock County Economic Development Committee will host a county economic summit March 29th. It hopes the summit will be the first step to reduce decades-long trends of job, business and population losses.
Committee Chairman Jerry Bartell said the county was home to about 30,000 people at the beginning of the 20th century. He said the county population is down to about 19,000 people.
He said, “But another alarming figure that got my attention was the fact that we lost 20% of our sales tax-paying businesses since 2000.”