Group looks to attract, maintain talented professionals

October 2nd, 2012

News Coverage:

Group looks to attract, maintain talented professionals

Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership unveils “Your Story Made Here” website

Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 4:00 am

By Megan Greve mgreve@h-ponline.com

ROANOKE — The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership unveiled the beginning of its “Made Here” campaign Monday morning, which emphasizes attracting and maintaining talent in the area.

A new website, YourStoryMadeHere.com, focuses on creating an “emotional connection” for new and potential young people who are interested but unsure about coming to the region, which includes Huntington and Wabash counties.

“We need to start telling our story to the world,” said Pete Eshelman, CEO of Joseph Decuis restaurant in Roanoke, where the unveiling took place.

John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, agreed.

“(A local) story’s got to be told by others, not (marketing professionals),” he said.

To do this, the partnership has included 13 “Made Here” videos on the Your Story Made Here website that feature different attractions around the region. The one shown at the press conference, “Farm to Fork,” for example, showcased Joesph Decuis but also talked with Wabash residents and discussed the Honeywell Center.

The website also contains a cost of living calculator and links to information about the counties that are part of the partnership.

There are other aspects to the website as well, including its ability to be shared easily and its connection to social media sites such as Pintrest and Facebook. Courtney Tritch, director of marketing for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, said there would be Facebook and television ads beginning immediately, as well as an iBook that would be available by the end of the month.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership had focus groups with human resources professionals before creating the website.

“Our main question was ‘What are your challenges to attracting and maintaining talent?’” Tritch said of the meetings.

The partnership also realized that “businesses like Pete (Eshelman)’s need centralized resources,” she said.

Sampson echoed the sentiment.

“To become a demand-driven region and continue to increase our talent pipeline, we must listen to the needs of our businesses and provide them with the resources they need to both attract top level talent and retain young professionals,” he said in a press release.

He also emphasized collaboration as a key to moving the region forward, and mentioned institutions such as St. Francis University, Ivy Tech, Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Vera Bradley that had helped the campaign.

Tritch said that while there is focus on Fort Wayne as the region’s largest hub, emphasizing other communities in the area is key as well.

“It is very important to showcase the region as a whole and the quality of life around the region,” she said. “We created this resource for the region, now we need the region to pick up the ball.”

Sampson said the success of what the partnership is trying to achieve – attracting and maintaining businesses and talented professionals – is very important.

“Our economic future depends on it,” he said. “We need an economic future that is secure; we need the right talent that will grow jobs.”

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to “help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana,” according to the press release. The partnership supports 10 counties, including Huntington County.