State officials designate the Eastside Economic Recovery and Mobility District Indiana’s newest 21st Century Talent Region

State officials designate the Eastside Economic Recovery and Mobility District Indiana’s newest 21st Century Talent Region
By: Blair Milo Last Updated: June 2, 2020

Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo virtually joined state and local officials today to announce the Eastside Economic Recovery and Mobility District as Indiana’s sixth 21st Century Talent Region, a statewide designation awarded to Indiana communities focused on working collaboratively to attract, develop and connect talent.

“The Eastside Economic Recovery and Mobility District, a unique collection of Central Indiana neighborhoods including the federally designated IndyEast Promise Zone and surrounding Opportunity Zones, is dedicated to increasing educational attainment, raising household income and growing population in Central Indiana, recognizing the importance, now more than ever, of bringing community, educational and business leaders together to better connect Hoosiers with work opportunities and partnering with data-driven organizations to meet people where they live, work, and play,” said Secretary Milo.

The Office of Career Connections and Talent, with technical assistance from CivicLab, launched the 21st Century Talent Region initiative to encourage local governments, businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits, and economic and workforce development partners to create and implement plans to increase educational attainment, raise household income and grow the population in a region. By taking a comprehensive, systems approach, participating regions will identify strategic priorities and projects aimed at helping its communities create a better quality of place, develop and skill up its workforce, and connect talented Hoosiers with businesses seeking to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs.

During the event, Secretary Milo, along with Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers and Indiana Destination Development Corporation Secretary & CEO Elaine Bedel, presented James Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of the John Boner Neighborhood Centers, with the official 21st Century Talent Region designation. The Eastside Economic Recovery and Mobility District encompasses the federally designated IndyEast Promise Zone and the surrounding Opportunity Zones.  

“We are thrilled that working groups formed through the Promise Zone designation saw this as the next step in formulating a long-term strategy for talent development, connection and attraction that is based on the rich existing assets of our respective communities,” said Taylor. “The strength of our community is founded on resident engagement, collective impact and deep cross-sector partnerships and this designation speaks to the success of those efforts.”

Spearheaded by the John Boner Neighborhood Centers, the region identified key priorities through the 21st Century Talent Region initiative, including:

  • Use the 21st Century Talent Region dashboard to identify and prioritize supporting regional initiatives that need sustainable resources to accomplish their goals;
  • Organize and coordinate workforce training opportunities across community organizations in the talent region to develop a consistent calendar of opportunities residents can access;
  • Partner with Indiana Business Research Center and Indiana Management Performance Hub to ensure consistent long-term data reporting to evaluate current and inform future talent development and connection programming; and
  • Collaborate with neighboring communities and the Central Indiana region to further increase educational attainment, raise household income, and grow population.

“The Eastside Economic Recovery and Mobility District’s priorities include enrolling more students in the state’s early college promise program, the 21st Century Scholarship. The program is one of our best tools for ensuring educational equity, as data show Scholars go to college at a rate over twice that of their low-income, non-Scholar peers,” said Commissioner Lubbers. “These regional partnerships are helping move Indiana toward the goal at least 60 percent of Hoosiers with quality education and training beyond high school.”

For more information on how to receive the designation, visit in.gov/cct/21CTR.htm or contact the Office of Career Connections and Talent at secretary@cct.in.gov to communicate your interest and discuss next steps.