Forum Discusses Successes, Challenges of 'Vision 2025'

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The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released a progress report on its long-range economic development action plan. The chamber says some objectives of Indiana Vision 2025 that are still in progress include a strategic water plan, creating a more attractive business climate and implement a plan to position the state as a net exporter of energy. You can view a detailed report about Indiana Vision 2025 by clicking here.

December 9, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Assessing progress, sharing best practices and reaffirming regional priorities were the goals of an Indiana Vision 2025 forum conducted Monday in Indianapolis.

Indiana Vision 2025 is the long-range economic development action plan being coordinated by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and a team of statewide partners. First released in early 2012, the plan identifies 33 goals for advancing Indiana.

Longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar recently addressed the importance of Indiana Vision 2025.

"Indeed, if we were to reach a high percentage of those goals, it would truly be an awesome experience to see any state at that point of readiness to serve its citizens and for those citizens to enjoy a standard of life and comradeship really unparalleled in any state in the union."

More than 90 business, community, education and non-profit leaders were scheduled to participate in Monday's session (made possible by title sponsor Chase Bank). Two-thirds were involved in the 2012 regional forum where the plan was first introduced and/or statewide summit that followed in December of last year, while others were newcomers to these events.

"Those of us working at the local and regional levels need to act on the goals of Indiana Vision 2025 for real progress to take place. Many of our own efforts mirror those of the plan and support working collaboratively toward our many shared priorities," said Central Indiana Corporate Partnership President and CEO David Johnson.

In addition to presentations and interactive discussions at the forum, each attendee received a 12-page Regional & Statewide Initiatives document highlighting programs taking place to advance the goals in each of the plan's four drivers: Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate, Superior Infrastructure, and Dynamic and Creative Culture.

Among the objectives already achieved or for which notable strides have been made since the plan's inception:

-Eliminating the state inheritance tax (state law passed in 2013)

-Develop, implement and fund a comprehensive plan for addressing the skills shortages in adult and incumbent workers who lack minimum basic skills (as of summer 2013, Indiana Career Council in position and beginning its work to address this issue)

-Reduce smoking levels (first statewide public smoking ban law went into effect in 2012, plus Wellness Council of Indiana's Quit Now tool for employers and individuals)

-Becoming a right-to-work state (state law passed in 2012)

-Develop and implement a strategic water plan (an Indiana Chamber Foundation study is currently underway)

"It's important to point out that only a few of the Indiana Vision 2025 goals fall into the category of 'check this and we're done,'" noted Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. "The vast majority require many steps along the way if we're going to reach the desired results 12 years down the road.

"This report and the forum itself are ways to share some success stories and engage as many people as possible in working toward achieving that mission."

A few of the best practices shared in the initiatives document include:

-South Bend Career Academy: A public charter school aligning education with workforce needs

-Workplace wellness: Success initiatives from the Wellness Council of Indiana and Five Star AchieveWell certified companies

-Intermodal hub: A new Central Indiana venture saving time and money for logistics operations statewide

-Growing defense industry: Widespread opportunities for businesses, including partnering with the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Crane

The ultimate mission of Indiana Vision 2025 is to make the state a "global leader in innovation and economic opportunity where enterprises and citizens prosper." New laws or regulatory measures will only go so far in reaching that goal.

"The keys to continued progress are the work of our partners throughout the state and the people doing what they can to make their communities better places to work and live," Brinegar offered. "It is only through the sum of these many individual efforts that we will succeed. The Indiana Chamber is pleased to serve in the roles of convener and strong advocate for an even greater economic and jobs climate for our companies and workers."

Learn more about the plan's progress to date and the best practices throughout the state at indianachamber.com/2025.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce partners with 15,000 members and investors – representing 2.6 million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of "cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity."

Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce