Addressing Northeast Indianas Job Talent Needs ’

August 8th, 2013

News Coverage:

Addressing Northeast Indiana's Job Talent Needs

By Jeff Neumeyer

August 8, 2013 Updated Aug 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. ( --- Charting a course for attracting more job talent to Northeast Indiana.

A meeting was held Thursday to focus on the task of waging war for jobs.

It's not a battle for the faint of heart.

In the global economy of today, Fort Wayne is competing not only against Grand Rapids and Toledo, but places like Hamburg, Germany and Seoul, South Korea.

Leaders of three regional economic development organizations met at Manchester University’s Fort Wayne campus to discuss ways to keep more top job talent from slipping through our fingers.

The main goal of the organizations involved is to boost the number of residents in the region with a degree or credential to 60 percent by the year 2025.

It stands at 35 percent right now.

" If we can get a workforce that is just energized and talented, that will draw businesses to this area," said Paul Chodak, President and CEO of Indiana-Michigan Power.

" That means that we're going to have to have about 6,000 to 7,000 new credentialed workers every year, and that kind of set us back on our heels, so we're having to think how we're going to do this," said Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis.

Among the points of discussion at the summit, how families and school officials should be working with middle school age students about selecting a career path, to help this area get ahead of the curve.

Tom Clark, an economic development expert for the Metro Denver area, says it’s also important that Northeast Indiana works to offer more entertainment and recreational opportunities for residents, because he says job talent will demand those things more and more in the future.

Officials with the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board plan to re-convene later this year to work out more details of where we go from here.