Shining the Spotlight on Bryan Robbins and Decatur County, Indiana

Shining the Spotlight on Bryan Robbins and Decatur County, Indiana

The South Central Indiana Economic Development Group (SCIEDG) is comprised of the local economic development organizations (LEDOs) in a 10-county area and the River Ridge Commerce Center, with strong support and assistance from partners such as Duke Energy and Hoosier Energy. Members collaborate regularly with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and other regional organizations.   

Within each issue of our newsletter, we enjoy highlighting one of our member communities or partners. This month, we highlight Bryan Robbins, the director of the Economic Development Corporation of Greensburg and Decatur County.

Economic development continues to evolve, with traditional business recruitment and development practices remaining essential — yet a focus on community development and quality-of-life initiatives is increasing in importance. Since 2003, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Greensburg Decatur County has been working to encourage economic development and growth in the region, doing so by adapting to the changes in the economic environment and preparing the community for the future.

Director Bryan Robbins has been at the head of the organization since 2018, and he admits he comes to the position through a less-than-typical path. “I have a Masters in Archaeology, have explored caves in Honduras, served as a park ranger at Yosemite National Park, and worked as a crew member at Ft. Vancouver Historic Site… among other things,” explained Bryan.

Relocating to his hometown of Greensburg in 2004, Robbins got his first taste of business and community development by helping to start the local Main Street Program, which allowed him to cultivate relationships that are still crucial today. “I discovered quickly that you don’t have to know all the answers, you just need to know how to find them — and knowing your community and region is paramount. That’s what makes organizations like the South Central Indiana Economic Development Group so important.”

Robbins’ mixed background and experiences influence his approach to economic development, with his concentration on developing a “good mix” of different industries, small businesses and housing developments that all contribute to a pleasant, successful community. Home to companies such as Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Delta Faucet, Kova Fertilizer, Valeo and KB Foods, to name a few, Greensburg and Decatur County have managed to buck the rural trend of population loss to become one of the fastest-growing rural communities in Indiana. Robbins attributes this to a hard-working labor force, a good economy, great schools and the ability to offer the amenities of a small community, as well as access to two larger metro areas.

Decatur County is positioned on Interstate 74, exactly halfway between Indianapolis, Ind., and Cincinnati, Ohio. Robbins believes the location provides residents with the best of both worlds. “You can be in the middle of a quiet park surrounded by agriculture, then drive a quick 45 minutes and be in the center of the big city surrounded by skyscrapers,” said Bryan.

The positioning offers great potential for businesses as well, and the EDC has worked to take full advantage. Sites such as the 550-acre Business Enterprise Park and the 60-acre Adams Rail Park are both certified shovel-ready and provide instant access to Interstate 74 and other byways. The areas are strategic for commerce, supply chain and labor.

An ongoing project of significance is the Veteran’s Way Project, representing 220 acres of land along Interstate 74, ideal for retail development. Considering the parcels’ accessibility from two interstate exits and Greensburg’s position between two metropolitan areas, the opportunities abound for commercial and residential growth. Thanks to local, regional and state partnerships, all roads, utilities and even a pedestrian trail are on-site, giving the area an attractive character from the start.

To Robbins, Greensburg, Decatur County and the larger region are headed in the right direction, with a collective focus on the future that involves a mixed, coordinated approach. “The EDC needs to be as comfortable opening a new school training program or attending a soccer park ribbon cutting as we are welcoming a global corporation. Equally, we have to be as proud of our regional partners’ successes as we are of our own. I think we have that mentality in Decatur County, and it’s going to help us continue to grow.”

Robbins lives in Greensburg, Ind., in his great-grandfather’s house with his wife Jenny, daughter Dot, an unmotivated dog and an over-active cat.

/ Attraction, Indiana