Northwest Indiana business leaders recently gave us a whole lot more reason to tout the positive, rather than dwell on the negative, of our Region's economic health.
Those words of optimism came from the 19-member Times Board of Economists, made up of business professionals from a diverse cross-section of the economy.
In a recent gathering of the group, those leaders loudly echoed one another in beliefs that a strengthening economy will only get stronger given a push for a more business friendly climate in Washington.
The promise of less or reformed business regulation and lower taxes elicited optimism from the gathering.
On a scale from 1 to 10, the group ranked the expected performance of respective business sectors at an average of 7.1 during the next three months and 7.2 nationally. That's up from 6.6 locally and 6.7 nationally during September 2015.
In fact, the group's outlook for Region economic health is at a 10-year high.
Evidence of economic health can be seen in more than just the Board of Economists' opinions.
Home developers, banks, hotels, hospitals, churches and senior living communities are building new facilities throughout our communities.
"We've got cautious optimism," Region-based Hasse Construction President Bill Hasse told the gathering. "We're seeing a lot of residential and non-residential building — lodging, office, commercial, recreational and transportation. We're expecting more federal government work."
It's yet one more strong sign Northwest Indiana is headed in a more prosperous direction — and one more reason to cast aside past notions of Region inferiority or pessimism.
Our Region clearly has challenges to success, even in the face of these strong economic tidings.
We still struggle to provide the skilled labor for some local jobs, and our communities must continue pushing aside their own fiefdom boundaries for the sake of a stronger Northwest Indiana.
But strong economic optimism, rooted in real business success and prosperity, is an excellent foundation upon which a better Region can be built.
It's time to realize we have the right tools for growth but must continue pushing our own boundaries for what is possible.