WSJ – The Future of America’s Economy Looks a Lot Like Elkhart, Indiana

The capital of RV manufacturing, which once had the worst unemployment rate in the U.S., is now facing labor shortages and rising home prices and wages

ELKHART, Ind.—The self-proclaimed RV capital of the world gives a glimpse of what the American economy looks like when operating at full tilt.

High-school students around here skip college for factory jobs that offer great pay and benefits. For-hire signs sprout like roadside weeds. And workers are so flush that car dealers can’t keep new pickups on the lot.

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Employer Needs Assessment survey scheduled for Elkhart County

As a part of a larger economic study of Elkhart County, the county-wide 15-20 minute electronic 2018 Employer Needs Assessment is scheduled to begin in February targeting approximately 200 employers across different industries within the county. The survey link will be disseminated to select employers who will be asked to complete the assessment. The data provided by local employers will reveal drivers behind common employer problems and will be used to design strategies that enable the county’s workforce and businesses to be more efficient and effective.

Leading the economic study is consulting firm enFocus, working in close partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County. As part of the larger study, the 2018 Employer Needs Assessment will survey organizations throughout Elkhart County to identify the needs of employers of varying sizes and industries. This county-wide assessment will help address current workforce realities and future employer needs, and track the needs of employers over time to align workforce development programs. For a deeper understanding of employer needs, the survey will ask questions from the following areas: general hiring practices, trending hiring difficulty, employee recruitment and retention, and attainment of skill needs. Responses from Elkhart County employers will provide insight into several research questions in these areas.

“The primary objective of our work is to use insight obtained from the assessment to design strategies that will assist in addressing imbalances that exist between labor demand, hiring, and retention to support organizations establishing, relocating, or expanding their operations in Elkhart County,” states Connor Ratycz, an enFocus Fellow working on the project.“ We are eager to see what the data analysis yields and, more importantly, gain a more comprehensive understanding of the extent to which Elkhart County businesses are experiencing hiring and retention difficulties, and the top reasons for such difficulties across industries.”

Points to Highlight

  • 15-20 minute online survey with survey link emailed to select businesses via email
  • The survey will remain open for 1 month
  • Approximately 200 employers from the county will take the survey
  • Urge employers to please take the time to gather the necessary data and report accurately
  • Findings and insight from the employers will be analyzed to provide direction for future recommendation

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ElkhartCountyWorks.com Launches

The Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County announces the launch of Elkhartcountyworks.com 

This website and accompanying media campaign was created as a tool to help recruit workforce for our rapidly growing economy.  It is but one response to our community’s labor shortage.

The website aggregates existing information on Jobs, Housing, Schools, and other community amenities to help a job seeker learn more about our great community. We are marketing Elkhart County to the job seeker and family.  The site does not require additional input from your company.  It aggregates existing databases such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, & CareerBuilder.com in such a way that bring focus to the opportunities available in Elkhart County.

Elkhartcountyworks.com is the foundation of the effort to bring workforce to Elkhart County.  It is supported by an extensive Social and Traditional Media campaign strategically targeted to areas of high unemployment, which have recent job loss announcements, and/or have experienced natural disasters.  A local concierge is available to answer questions about the community and potential employers.  A soft launch of the website occurred this past weekend.  A video outlining five reasons to move to Elkhart County was posted on one person’s Facebook page. It was shared by two other Facebook users.  By Monday morning over 600 substantive visits occurred to the website.

Our project partner is TaigMarks, Inc..  TaigMarks initiated a nationwide press release today.  Please reach out to me if you have questions.

Thank you,

Mark A. Dobson, IOM, AE
President & CEO

The Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart Count
300 NIBCO Parkway | Suite 201 | Elkhart, IN  46516
P:  574.293.5627 | F:  574.343.2951 | C:  574.536.9083
E:  mark@elkhartcountybiz.com | W:  www.elkhartcountybiz.com

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Become a better leader – Listen!

Listening — it seems so simple. Yet, it’s estimated that the average person ignores, forgets, or misunderstands at least 75% of what he or she hears. Is it any wonder that mistakes occur, opportunities are missed, or that the “I’ll take care of it!” never happens?

Have you ever caught yourself saying “I know I’m forgetting something”? Does your family ever say “would you just listen to me”? Is building a better business environment and strengthening family relationships top on your priority list? If you have answered YES to any of these questions, this workshop is for YOU!

The Pfeil Innovation Center, sponsored by Beacon Health System, is proud to present the one-day LISTENING PAYS® workshop on November 20th  and December 2nd.  More details >>

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Environmental & Safety Conference

Stay ahead of regulatory changes at the Environmental & Safety Conference on Wednesday, November 4th from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Conference location is the Lerner Theatre, 410 South Main Street, downtown Elkhart. Download registration document or click here to register.

Conference topics will include:

  • OSHA recordkeeping and ways to save on insurance
  • Hearing loss prevention
  • Asbestos, silica and chromium
  • Soil remediation
  • Waters of the United States
  • Problem-solving with environmental audits
  • Planning annual environmental calendar
  • Hazardous waste determination
  • NESHAP/MACT/GACT Hot topics
  • Impact of proposed ozone standard

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Innovation

The Pfeil Innovation Center in South Bend, Indiana is helping for-profit and non-profit organizations develop Innovation as a core competency.  Named in honor of Indiana entrepreneur, innovation pioneer and visionary businessman Richard J. Pfeil, the Center opened March 2011.  To date, more than 1,000+ enthusiastic thinkers from over 100 future-minded organizations are inspired to innovate daily after attending one of the Center’s two-day Innovation Leadership Immersions.

Beacon Health System, Pfeil Innovation Center’s champion of innovation in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan, believes in

  • innovation as a core value,
  • innovation as a driver of growth and prosperity, and
  • innovation as a teachable trait that can benefit any organization, anywhere.

Leaders, individual disruptors of mediocrity, and dedicated teams are invited to join the innovation in-crowd and register today for an upcoming Innovation Leadership Immersion session, click here for the details, wakeupandsmelltheinnovation.com.

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2015 Wage & Benefit Report

Elkhart County employers can now access a key resource to use when setting or negotiating wages and benefits – the 2015 Elkhart County Wage & Benefit Report.

Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC, a top 500 accounting, tax and business advisory firm, provided analysis of the data for the published report.

Report shares information for,
• 150+ positions, from CEO to housekeeping, in administrative, technical, sales, production, legal, medical.
• Benefits section summarizes costs, health care plans and options.
• Typical practices and policies for vacation, time off, retirement, training and incentives.
Read more >>

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Elkhart County 4th Largest Growth in Manufacturing

Elkhart County has one of the fastest-growing manufacturing industries in the country.

In 2014, the county ranked fourth in the nation for manufacturing job growth, with 3,194 new manufacturing jobs added, according to Headlight Data, a firm that aggregates and analyzes economic and workforce data released by the federal government. For this study, Headlight Data looked at data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through its Quarterly Census of Employment and WagesRead on…

(source: Elkhart Truth, 07.23.15)

 

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Elkhart County Ranked Top 100 Leading Locations in U.S.

“Leading Locations 2015” study clearly reflects the strength of Elkhart County (Elkhart-Goshen MSA) as a place to do business.

Elkhart County Rankings

  • Top 100 Leading Locations in the U.S. – #51
  • #1 for Economic Strength among mid-size areas
  • #8 Year-over-Year Growth, mid-size areas
  • #6 “Recession-busting” attributes

Area Development analyzed economic and workforce data for 373 MSAs to determine which U.S. cities/MSAs are creating jobs and nurturing sustainable economic development.

The four key categories used in determining rankings for 2015 listed below are all critical factors for business leaders to assess when considering a location or expansion.

  • Prime Work Force
  • Economic Strength
  • Year-over-Year Growth
  • “Recession-Busting” Attributes

Every employer wants ready, well-qualified workers who are motivated, skilled, and require little training.

There are also big benefits in locating in communities with track records of economic growth. These cities/MSAs understand how business works and have the leadership, vision, and creativity to nurture sustainable economic development year after year — and not just in good economic times.

Perhaps what is most telling about a city or community is how it handled a bust cycle, or a recession — how did it get through? How did it still create business investment? How did it create jobs? How did it keep looking forward and creating positive results?

Click for link to full report at www.AreaDevelopment.com.

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