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KOKOMO, Ind. — The Howard County city of Kokomo was once described by Forbes as one of the nation’s fastest dying cities.

This was due to the loss of automotive jobs like many small cities throughout the United States. Now, Kokomo seems to be putting a halt to hat trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Kokomo say a small increase in population between 2016 and 2017.

“A lot of it has to do with strategic investments that we have made with public money,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight on Inside Indiana Business. “Our large employers have doubled down and stuck with Kokomo and our local institutions like IU-Kokomo have really put together a quality product for our young people.”

Bloomberg recently ranked the city as having the third-best jobs improvement in the country since the recession, when local unemployment topped 20-percent. Goodnight says a lot of it has to do with talent attracting by investing in quality of place, similar to what both 93 WIBC and Inside Indiana Business reported on last week.

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“I try to tell people in Kokomo we’re trying to do the best we can for our current residents, but also what is best for our future residents,” Goodnight continued.

Kokomo’s economy remains heavily dependent on manufacturing, but there are diverse signs in the city’s business mix to include companies focused on advanced industries.

(PHOTO: Google Maps Screem Cap/WIBC)