Northeast Indiana Region on ‘The Road to One Million’
updated: 8/13/2015 3:33:33 PM
Region on 'The Road to One Million'
Andy Ober, InsideINdianaBusiness.com
Northeast Indiana is looking to strengthen its economic fortunes by reaching a population of one million. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership says the region must focus on quality of life efforts to attract the young talent local businesses need. Vision 2020 Coordinator Lauren Zuber says the "Road to One Million" effort will focus on collaborating with area schools, businesses and political leaders to fast track quality of place initiatives.
"The Road to One Million" is the centerpiece of Northeast Indiana's Regional Cities Initiative bid. That effort encourages communities throughout the state to fight population stagnation. The state will award $84 million over the next two years to fund the efforts.
Zuber says much of the initiative is focused on attracting Millennials. She says a growing number of young professionals find the place they want to live before they move. Zuber says establishing a vibrant arts and culture scene is a key component to convincing them to choose northeast Indiana.
The region is no exception to the state's struggles with population stagnation. The partnership says northeast Indiana's population is growing at a rate of .7 percent, while benchmarked communities elsewhere throughout the United States are averaging around 2 percent.
Zuber says, regardless of whether northeast Indiana is chosen for Regional Cities funding, "The Road to One Million" will be a "decades-long" effort. She says the initiative is necessary, especially as Baby Boomers age, to make sure local businesses have access to the workers they need.
She says the region's population currently stands at about 750,000.