BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA (April 12, 2012) – The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) announced today that Fourth Economy Consulting released the new “Fourth Economy Community Index” and named Monroe County, Indiana as the #2 small-sized county in the nation. The index category features counties with 100,000 to 150,000 residents that are ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth. Monroe County received an “A” in innovation capacity.

“The ‘fourth economy’ defines our nation’s current economy, reflecting a combination of the previous three: agrarian, industrial, and technological,” said Rich Overmoyer, Fourth Economy President and CEO. “This new index is intended to serve as a dashboard for community stakeholders to gauge their capacity to attract and retain modern investment.” 

“Our community has approached economic vitality as synonymous with quality of life,” said Ron Walker, President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation. “We have nationally recognized industry expertise and have been noted as the number one small MSA in the United States for medical device production, as well as number three for pharmaceutical development,” Walker adds.

Other features of Monroe County highlighted were the retention and investment of General Electric, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, state and local investments in infrastructure, including public water and sewer, state highways, and alternative and public transportation, a thriving arts scene, a historic downtown square, trails, parks and various other assets.

The FEC Index (www.fourtheconomyindex.com) considers several county-level measures within five areas: 1) Investment, 2) Talent, 3) Sustainability, 4) Place, and 5) Diversity. These five areas serve as a foundation for future economic success to include wage and employment growth, education levels, drive times, home values, minority business ownership, agricultural capacity and population density. The measures are weighted based on the level of influence they have on both internal and external investment decisions.

Among other communities were Clarke County, Georgia, Johnson County, Iowa, and Tompkins County, New York. For the full Fourth Economy Index report, click here.