Area recognized for efforts to attract, develop and connect talent.
– TRUTH STAFF | Jan 17, 2020
SOUTH BEND — The South Bend-Elkhart Region has been named a 21st Century Talent Region by Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo.
The designation is given to Indiana communities focused on working collaboratively to attract, develop and connect talent, the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnerhship said.
“The South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership has been instrumental in driving innovation across northern Indiana, partnering with local, regional and state leaders through various education and workforce development opportunities such as the Regional Cities initiative,” Milo said. “As a 21st Century Talent Region, the South Bend-Elkhart Region continues to build upon these partnerships to further connect the cities and towns of Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, working to create a more talent-driven region.”
The Office of Career Connections and Talent, with support from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and technical assistance from CivicLab, launched the 21st Century Talent Region initiative to encourage local governments, businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits, and economic and workforce development partners to create and implement plans to increase educational attainment, raise household income and grow the population in a region.
Through a comprehensive approach, these regions should be able to improve quality of place, upskill their workforce and connect Hoosiers with businesses seeking to fill high-wage jobs.
Regina Emberton, president and CEO of the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, accepted the award Friday on behalf of the partnership that spans Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties.
“The South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region work together to achieve what cannot be done individually,” Emberton said. “The tools and resources provided through the 21st Century Talent Region designation process have been instrumental in creating a common framework and set of metrics for use as we implement our talent attraction, development and connection strategies.”
According to a news release, the 21st Century Talent Region initiative builds on the momentum created by the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, which dedicated $126 million in matching funds to three regions in order to advance long-term plans focused on talent attraction and quality of place investments. The funds support 65 projects, leveraging $1.22 billion in additional co-investment from other public and private sources.
Spearheaded by the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, the region identified key priorities through the 21st Century Talent Region initiative, including:
- Establish a digital Center for Work-Based Learning through the development and launch of a Regional Innovation Asset Portal in support of regional industry advancement, entrepreneurship and talent development initiatives.
- Grow student and adult career coaching through Career Pathway initiatives.
- Launch a regional brand and implement talent retention and attraction marketing strategy.
- Adopt a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus with the intention of narrowing the opportunity gap for disadvantaged and/or minority populations that have been historically underserved across the region.