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Indiana Chamber casts lofty vision

June 7th, 2012

News Coverage:

Published: June 7, 2012 3:00 a.m.

Chamber casts lofty vision

Early goals aim at proficiency in Indiana’s students

Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

Indiana’s business leaders are dreaming big.

Really big.

As part of a 13-year economic development plan, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants the state to leap from 46th nationally in residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher to a top 10 international ranking.

John Sampson, president of the Northeast Indiana Regional Marketing Partnership, isn’t overwhelmed by the ambitious goal. He thinks Hoosiers sell themselves short.

“Why not?” he said of the goal. “It’s not a lack of potential. It’s a lack of commitment.”

Representatives from the state Chamber were in Fort Wayne on Wednesday to gather input on “Indiana Vision 2025: A Plan for Hoosier Prosperity.”

About 40 area business leaders met at Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne’s headquarters to discuss the more than 30 goals included in the report. The meeting was one of six being held this month at various locations around the state.

Specific goals support four main objectives: Creating outstanding talent, cultivating an attractive business climate, building superior infrastructure and fostering a dynamic and creative culture.

The plan was drafted over 14 months by Chamber staff with help from state, national and international consultants. The Chamber’s board has approved the document.

One of the goals of the closed-door meeting was to find common goals between the plan and northeast Indiana’s Vision 2020 effort.

Jim Marcuccilli, Star Bank’s president and CEO, said the region’s business leaders have been coordinating economic development efforts for about eight years and have made progress.