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From Site Selection magazine, March 2021

Talent Attraction Efforts to Focus on Custom Solutions


On January 7th, Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the end of a fourth consecutive, record-breaking year for economic development in Indiana, with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) securing 282 commitments from companies to locate or grow in the state. Together, these businesses plan to invest more than $5.6 billion in their Indiana operations and create up to 31,300 new Hoosier jobs with average wages of $28.13 per hour, which is 22% higher than the state’s average wage of $23.01 per hour. Of the 282 commitments made, 186 have committed average wages at or above the county average wage, and 65 are between 80-99% of the county average wage.

“Despite being an incredibly challenging year for Hoosier businesses in many different ways, I’m extremely encouraged and inspired by the perseverance of our business community,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Achieving another record-breaking year for economic development in 2020 shows us that Indiana is on the right track and that better times are ahead for Hoosiers, with more than 31,000 new career opportunities over the next few years.”

Businesses announcing the largest growth commitments, based on the number of new jobs or capital investment planned, in 2020 were: Services LLC (800 committed jobs in Hancock County),

Barletta Boat Company (250 committed jobs in Elkhart County),

Corsicana Mattress Company (350 committed jobs in LaPorte County),

Elanco Animal Health Inc. (537 committed jobs in Marion County; 1,600+ jobs retained statewide),

Electric Last Mile Inc. (960 committed jobs; $300 million investment in St. Joseph County),

Forest River (369 total committed jobs in DeKalb and LaGrange counties),

INCOG BioPharma Services (150 committed jobs in Hamilton County),

Inteva Products (400+ committed jobs in Wells County),

Milwaukee Tool (450 committed jobs in Johnson County),

Mission Foods (544 committed jobs in Hendricks County),

NewCold (202 committed jobs in Boone County),

Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. (350 committed jobs in Tippecanoe County), and

Walmart (1,000 committed jobs; $600 million investment in Hancock County).

Also in January, Governor Holcomb announced a new strategic alignment that will create a tool to bolster the state’s business attraction and expansion efforts. The Indiana Office of Career Connections and Talent (CCT) will integrate with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), positioning the state to provide direct support in talent retainment, recruitment, attraction and development for growing businesses.

“Over the past four years, Indiana has broken record after record for economic development as businesses across the state and around the world continue to choose the Hoosier state for growth,” said the governor. “We have spent years building a pro-growth business climate that offers fiscal predictability, reduced red tape, competitive incentives and a skilled workforce. And now, with the leadership of Secretary Milo, we can offer businesses a custom solution to better access high-caliber talent and leverage training resources, ensuring job creators are best positioned to continue creating quality career opportunities for Hoosiers for years to come.”

“This is a critical time for Indiana’s businesses and for our talent community, and it’s important, now more than ever, that we build on our successes and continue to advance new solutions in talent fulfillment.”
— Blair Milo, IEDC’s Secretary of Career Connections and Talent

At the IEDC, Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo will provide a critical link between businesses and talent resources, including universities, education institutes, government agencies and resources, as well as community and education stakeholders, to make it as easy as possible for employers to cultivate robust talent pipelines, meet hiring goals, and implement training and development programs. This integration will enable the IEDC to offer talent connection services to business prospects considering locating or expanding in Indiana, adding another key selling point to the state’s incentive toolkit.

“When we talk to businesses here and around the world about their expansion and attraction in and to Indiana, after we have shared our incredible Indiana economic value proposition, our conversations turn to availability of a quality workforce,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “They want to know they’ll have access to the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed and that they’ll have support in developing a talent pipeline and connecting with education and talent partners. Secretary Milo’s expertise provides just that, enabling Indiana to be a true talent partner to growing businesses and bolstering our competitiveness in attracting new investment opportunities.”

Since its establishment in 2017, CCT has focused on advancing talent attraction and retention in Indiana, increasing engagement with and amongst employers, educators, community and government to create a strategy for local talent development needs, which led to the creation of the 21st Century Talent Regions.

The team will initially focus on prioritizing support for new business prospects and for growing businesses with active IEDC incentive contracts, helping both navigate available resources and leverage key data and insights made available through 21st Century Talent Regions.

“Over the past three-plus years, we’ve made incredible progress in aligning state and regional partners toward a bold, systems-driven approach to attract, develop and connect Hoosier talent,” said Secretary Milo. “This is a critical time for Indiana’s businesses and for our talent community, and it’s important, now more than ever, that we build on our successes and continue to advance new solutions in talent fulfillment.”

Mark Arend
Editor Emeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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