Economic analysts are praising Kokomo, Indiana for its success in job market recovery following the recession. Forbes Magazine moved the north central Indiana city up 177 places on its “best cities for jobs” list. It was only three years ago when Forbes declared Kokomo as one of the nation‘s fastest dying cities.
Jeb Conrad with the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance said the local government‘s commitment to infrastructure, and quality of life issues helped keep the workforce from migrating to other communities, even when times were bad.
“When you‘ve got low cost of living and a lot of the aesthetics and community activities that lead to quality of life, it‘s pretty easy to make that choice to stay here,” Conrad said.
Conrad said the stabilization of the auto industry also brought security to the city‘s largest employers which in turn invited smaller businesses to also invest in the local community. Conrad said the community is still trying to diversify the local business and manufacturing job market to industries not related to automotive interests, but the investment of Chrysler and Delphi in the local economy was essential to their success.