The Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, the Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) and the Northwest Indiana Forum are on the way to establishing Northwest Indiana as a 21st Century Talent Region. On September 4th, they hosted Secretary Blair Milo from the state’s Office of Career Connections and Talent for a discussion about taking the region to the next step for the designation, based on an application submitted by CWI and the Northwest Indiana Forum.
21st Century Talent Regions are places that commit to using a systems approach to attract, develop, and connect Hoosier talent. The regions are self-defined with regard to their geography and are working toward building and implementing a plan to increase educational attainment, raising household income, and growing the population. The framework for the application being used is the regional economic development plan called IGNITE the Region. “With the support of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Office of Career Connections and Talent, and technical assistance from Civic Labs, becoming a 21st Century Talent Region will allow Northwest Indiana the opportunity to build upon the many efforts and initiatives currently in place, especially if you look at our Ignite the Region plan” said Linda Woloshansky, President & CEO of CWI and chair of the Talent Pillar of IGNITE. Woloshansky said that the community driven plan is intended to support the development of an even stronger talent pool of a future generation of workers and our current well prepared and highly motivated working citizens.
Heather Ennis, President & CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum believes that the teams engaged and working on Ignite the Region are certainly a model on how collaboration across the many industries and community organizations can make a difference on numerous fronts related to attracting, developing, and retaining talent here in our region. “Progress is already being made as a result of Ignite,” Ennis said.Northwest Indiana stakeholders who supported the application included Indiana University, Ivy Tech, Northwest, NIPSCO, Indiana Beverage, Hoeppner Wagner & Evans, NW Indiana Community Action, Lake Ridge Schools, School City of Hobart, and La Porte County Commissioner Dr. Vidya Kora.