'Big Goal' Represented at Chicago Event

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Executives from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership are taking part in a national education conference. Vice President of Regional Initiatives Katy Silliman and Big Goal Collaborative Director Ryan Twiss are serving as mentors at StriveTogether's event in Chicago.

March 24, 2014

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind. -- Ryan Twiss, director of the Big Goal Collaborative at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and Katy Silliman, vice president of regional initiatives at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership have been selected to serve as mentors and speak at StriveTogether's "2014 Exploring Communities Convening." This national conference will take place today and tomorrow, March 24 and 25, in Chicago.

The conference helps communities from across the country develop a cradle to career approach to improve educational attainment. Nearly 150 representatives from more than 40 communities and three countries will be in attendance.

StriveTogether was instrumental in helping Northeast Indiana develop its own cradle to career talent continuum, now called the Big Goal Collaborative. In recognition of the progress being made in Northeast Indiana, StriveTogether has asked Twiss and Silliman to share how leaders in our region are working to improve educational opportunities to reach the "Big Goal." The "Big Goal"--one of the priorities identified through the Regional Partnership's Vision 2020 initiative--aims to increase the percentage of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60% by 2025.

"The success that our region has achieved through Vision 2020 and the Big Goal Collaborative would not have been possible without the support and guidance from leaders in other communities, like Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Montgomery. They provided us with great insight such as pitfalls to avoid, and the important strategies for maintaining momentum and community engagement," said Katy Silliman, vice president of regional initiatives at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "We are really looking forward to combining those lessons learned with our own and paying it forward to other communities."

Twiss and Silliman will lead two sessions at the conference: how Northeast Indiana has created a shared community vision to support the Big Goal, and fundraising and sustainability strategies for a cradle-to-career partnership. Additionally, Twiss and Silliman will be meeting with leaders from Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL and Tulsa, OK to provide one-on-one coaching for those respective communities.

"The Big Goal Collaborative team is honored to be recognized by StriveTogether for the work leaders in Northeast Indiana are undertaking to transform our educational opportunities. Northeast Indiana wouldn't be as far along in the process as we are today if it weren't for the commitment and enthusiasm from our regional leaders. It is truly a community effort," said Ryan Twiss, director of the Big Goal Collaborative at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "We look forward to sharing our experiences with communities that aren't as far along in developing their partnerships, and we are excited to learn from them as well."

Twiss and Silliman will be joined at the conference by Paige Krouse, continuous improvement manager for the Big Goal Collaborative.

For additional information on the convening and a detailed agenda, visit www.strivetogether.org/strive-network/convenings.

About StriveTogether

StriveTogether, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks , works with communities nationwide to help them create a civic infrastructure that unites stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, supporting the success of every child, cradle to career. Communities implementing the StriveTogether framework have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, standardized test results, and college retention. For more information about StriveTogether, visit www.strivetogether.org.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Big Goal Collaborative

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

The Big Goal Collaborative was established in 2012 and is comprised of regional educators, community partners, businesses, civic leaders and others from throughout Northeast Indiana committed to the "Big Goal."

The "Big Goal"--one of the priorities identified through the Regional Partnership's Vision 2020 initiative--aims to increase the percentage of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60% by 2025. For more information about the Big Goal Collaborative, visit www.neindiana.com/vision/biggoal.

Source: The Big Goal Collaborative