Historic meeting addresses regional talent needs

Historic meeting addresses regional talent needs


Source: Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, 8/8/13


Photo caption: Several leaders from Huntington County attended the meeting on regional talent needs. They included Mark Wickersham, Huntington County Economic Development executive director and 2013 chairman of the NE Indiana LEDO Council; Darlene Stanley, president, Johnson’s Junction and a member of the Workforce Investment Board for NE Indiana; Leon Hurlburt, president, Huntington County Board of Commissioners and member of both the NEIRP Board and the HCEDC Board; and John Niederman, president, Pathfinder Services of Huntington and a member of the Workforce Investment Board.


Today, for the first time in history, three regional organizations held one collaborative meeting with members of their boards of directors to confront regional challenges. Leaders of these organizations—the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board, the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership—re-affirmed their commitment to building collaboration that has the power to change the future of our regional economy.

The leaders spent a majority of the meeting discussing regional talent needs, including supporting the Big Goal, which is one of the top seven priorities of Vision 2020. The Big Goal aims to increase the number of residents in Northeast Indiana with a degree or credential to 60% by the year 2025. 

The discussion included the book The Coming Jobs War, written by Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup.  To attract jobs, Northeast Indiana must have the talent to support them. Currently, the region stands at less than 35% degree/credential attainment.The Coming Jobs War states, "Talent is an incredibly valuable commodity because it's at the core of entrepreneurship and innovation. It's the extreme differentiator of all mankind. And talent attracts more talent."  

National economic development leader and president and CEO of the Metro Denver EDC, Tom Clark, was the featured speaker at today's meeting. Denver is setting the standard nationally for best practices in regional collaboration and leadership.

"Northeast Indiana is one of very few regions in the nation successfully aligning the efforts of economic development, workforce development and regional advocacy," said Clark. "This type of collaborative leadership will enable you to make substantial progress in the war for jobs and have a lasting impact on your economy. Your regional leaders are definitely on the right track."  

The board of each organization committed to identify specific actions within the next 60 days on how their organization can advance the Big Goal. The leaders who serve on these boards also issued a challenge to themselves and fellow leaders to take this important message back to their respective businesses and organizations to see how they can advance the Big Goal. 

In addition to board members from the three regional organizations, representatives from each of the 10 local economic development organizations (LEDOs) in Northeast Indiana were also present at the meeting. 


About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership  was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board 

The Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board is a local nonprofit that provides employment and training services to individuals and businesses to meet the talent needs of regional industries. The Board sets policy for the use of public and private funds to support talent development, attraction and retention, and oversees the WorkOne Career Centers located in each county. Individuals and businesses may access resources and services by visiting or contacting WorkOne at www.workonenortheast.org. 

About the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana 

The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana promotes an environment in which individuals, businesses and communities thrive in a global economy. Through advocacy and collaboration, the Regional Chamber promotes policies that yield a limitless future in Northeast Indiana on the strength of 21st-century talent, world-class infrastructure, and a business climate that fosters investment, growth and success. For more information, visit www.neinadvocates.com