Insight on regional competitiveness
In December, Crystal Vann Wallstrom, the Regional Partnership’s business development consultant, attended Mid-America Economic Development Council’s annual 2015 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum in Chicago. Vann Wallstrom and other attendees toured the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII); heard presentations from Craig Hagen, corporate director of Global Affairs at EA Sports; Ankur Gopal, CEO of Interapt; Eric Nieukirk, global economic development manager at Catepillar, Inc.; and Aaron Brickman, senior vice president of strategy and development with the Organization for International Investment. Vann Wallstrom was able to hear from 10 site selectors during a panel on Midwest competitiveness.
Key takeaways about the Midwest include:
• Indiana is at the top of the list for business-friendly climate
• Talent attraction is a big need
• Each site selector has their own preferences and methodologies
• Branding your region is more important than ever