Workforce critical component of economic development

 In City Leadership

The Northeast Indiana Region has done a lot over the last decade to draw more businesses to the area and show that we’re a region on the move… a place with access to what a business needs to succeed. In Auburn alone, we’ve highlighted low utility rates—among the lowest in the state—as well as our expansive fiber optic network. Both are extremely attractive features to businesses, particularly in a more competitive, global economy. Those advantages, combined with the region’s easy access to major metros, established transportation network and overall low cost of doing business, have boosted the number of businesses considering our city as a possible site.

As important as those elements are for attracting business and boosting our regional economy, there is still one factor that is more valuable to businesses: workforce. Companies want to know if they establish a facility here that we have the talent to support them. And I believe talent is one of our region’s greatest assets. We have skilled workforces in multiple sectors, including advanced manufacturing, defense command and control systems, food processing, emerging medical devices and more.

Workforce needs are continually evolving, so developing talent in Northeast Indiana has been growing in importance over the past few years. As a result, the Talent Initiative was launched by economical development organizations, business and educational leaders to coordinate and concentrate efforts around growing the region’s talent.

This year, as part of that initiative, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership launched the “Your Story. Made Here.” campaign to showcase the talent already here, as well as attract and retain new talent, particularly young professionals. This campaign is already bringing greater awareness to the region and the companies located here, thanks in large part to grassroots efforts to help spread the word.

The campaign is purposely designed to be used by companies, Human Resource departments, and recruitment professionals—those invested in this region and its success. There are a number of free recruitment tools online at Plus, just recently, they announced a free downloadable iBook (compatible with iPads) featuring the region’s impressive and diverse assets in photo slideshows, videos and fun facts.

Please take the time to visit the website, watch the videos and share it with others. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources and add a link and/or embed a video to the recruitment page on your company’s website to help you attract the right talent. Showcasing Auburn and the greater Northeast Indiana region should be something every person supports, regardless of job title. Ultimately, all these efforts strengthen our economy and the quality of life in this region—something that benefits everyone.

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