Steps, Hurdles to 'Thriving Communities'

Posted: Updated:
Lawrance says population migration from rural areas to larger communities continues to be a challenge for the state. Lawrance says population migration from rural areas to larger communities continues to be a challenge for the state.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Hoosier communities must keep a focus on education, leadership and quality of life efforts to thrive over the next decade. That is a major takeaway from a two-year study from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, which used three place-base commissions to compile data on rural, mid-sized and urban communities. In addition, Director Mark Lawrance says rural communities should work to beef up entrepreneurial efforts, specifically in agriculture and supply chain businesses, to spark economic and population growth.

Lawrance says population migration from rural areas to larger communities continues to be a challenge for the state. According to the institute's report, 96 percent of Indiana's land is rural or small-town, but those communities only account for 37 percent of the state's jobs. In addition, it details projections that, while many areas in Indiana are projected to grow in population between now and 2040, west central Indiana is expected to remain flat, while east central Indiana is predicted to have a population decrease.

Lawrance says agricultural entrepreneurship can help bridge that gap. He adds that rural communities should also focus on creating businesses to supply larger companies throughout the state. Another top issue, he says, is broadband access. He says in rural communities, the issue is availability. In urban areas, it was about affordability.

Another big focus is the continued effort to increase educational attainment in Indiana. Lawrance says the state has a large population of people age 25 and older who have some college credit, but no degree. He says that could be a "sweet spot" to increase attainment levels. The Lumina Foundation has set a goal of 60 percent of all Hoosier adults having a degree, certificate or other credential by 2025. The institute says Hamilton County is the only county in the state currently achieving those levels.

You can see the report by clicking here.

The organization says 53 volunteer commissioners from the private, public and nonprofit sectors worked on the study to define issues for each of the three commissions and what is important for Indiana as a whole. The Institute will detail its recommendations this afternoon at the Indiana State Museum. Inside INdiana Business Television Host Gerry Dick will moderate the event.

Lawrance says the next step is to spread the word.
  • Perspectives

    • How to Find a New Audience After Hitting a Marketing Plateau

      It may sound like a marketer’s dream scenario: efforts have proven to be so successful it appears a company has completely saturated their target audience. While it may be a good problem to have, it still may be a problem. Hitting a marketing plateau is an opportunity for companies in any industry to reevaluate, re-energize and come to the table with new ideas for better understanding existing customers and engaging new audiences.

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Eleven Fifty is headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      State to Launch 5G Hub in Downtown Indy

      The state of Indiana has announced plans for what it says is a first-of-its-kind 5G hub. Launching in October, the Indiana 5G Zone aims to "attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies." The hub will be located inside the new downtown Indianapolis headquarters of the nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy. The Indiana 5G Zone will include a 3,000-square-foot research lab, which will be used to develop and test...

    • (photo courtesy of Wes Mills)

      Ethanol Plant to Stop Production, POET Blames EPA

      Ethanol production at an Indiana biofuels plant will be stopped and the owner blames Environmental Protection Agency policies and the oil refining industry. South Dakota-based POET Energy announced the plant in Cloverdale will be placed in “idle production” within several weeks, though no date has been set. The ethanol producer says 100’s of local jobs will be impacted, but the news release did not specifically mention “layoffs” at this point.

    • (Image courtesy of Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District)

      Michigan City Commits $12M to South Shore Track Project

      The Michigan City Common Council has formally committed to contribute $12 million towards the proposed $416 million Double Track project for the South Shore commuter line. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the council voted unanimously to pay $7 million upfront and finance the remaining $5 million through a 20-year bond issue. 

    • Fort Wayne Tops 'Hottest Real Estate Markets'

      Fort Wayne just opened its brand new riverfront Promenade Park to pomp and pageantry, hoping to make it a draw to Indiana’s second largest city. But now the Allen County community has something else to celebrate. The editors of Realtor.com declared Fort Wayne as the hottest real estate market in July for the entire country. 

    • Scott Kleine is one of the senior interns at Idea Co-op. (photo courtesy of NineStar Connect)

      Senior Interns Shining at Greenfield Coworking Space

      Wednesday was National Senior Citizen Day and three seniors are being celebrated for their contributions at a coworking space in Hancock County. Idea Co-op, which officially opened its doors earlier this year, has taken on three "senior interns" following a chance encounter at a local Kiwanis meeting in December. Jill Snyder, director of economic and business development for Idea Co-op operator NineStar Connect, says the men approached her with the goal of being involved in...