'No Truer Regional Resource' Than Talent

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Wendy Dant Chesser is CEO of One Southern Indiana, which represents regional business interests in Clark and Floyd counties. Wendy Dant Chesser is CEO of One Southern Indiana, which represents regional business interests in Clark and Floyd counties.

One Southern Indiana is building on efforts to cultivate and retain top talent. The economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, has announced the creation of the new director of talent development position. Paul Holba, a senior training consultant with NIKE in Memphis, will take on the new role. Chief Executive Officer Wendy Dant Chesser is also urging the state to dial up its investment in work force training, calling for leaders to double a $12 million investment in the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s Skills Enhancement Fund.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Chesser says there is "no truer regional resource than work force and talent." In fact, the organization's top state legislative priority for 2017 is work force development. "If the companies can't find the talent that they need to make them productive and profitable, they're not likely to stay," she said.

Chesser says the region, located in the greater Louisville area, is experiencing the benefits of 30 years of investment and puts it in a great position to take advantage. The latest of which is the recently-complete Ohio River Bridges project that joins Indiana and Kentucky, a $2.3 billion effort she says demonstrates that "connectivity is our key" in southeast Indiana. She cited the airport, road, port and rail infrastructure that help drive the businesses community. "If the roads on our side of the river are not up to speed, or they are not creating that ease of transportation, that bridge (project) doesn't do us as much good. So, we'd like the state to continue to have a sustainable source of funding for the roads."

Chesser is also continuing to gather support from area leaders to take another shot at a pitch for the next generation of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, which has been targeted for expansion by Governor Eric Holcomb.

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