'Move to Indiana' Campaign Adds Key Partner

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Hobart is the first municipality to join the effort. Hobart is the first municipality to join the effort.

The city of Hobart has become the first municipality to join a comprehensive effort to try to get families to move from Illinois to northwest Indiana. The Move to Indiana campaign also involves partners including The Times of Northwest Indiana, Centier Bank and Purdue University Northwest. South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Chief Executive Officer Speros Batistatos says the goal is to reach out to "overtaxed and overburdened" Illinois residents and promote regional assets including lower cost of living, less commute time and quality of place.

Batistatos says the partners want families to "kick the door open" and explore northwest Indiana. He says, by joining the initiative, Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor is hoping they will check out his city first. Snedecor says he want to "let Illinois residents know they are welcome in Hobart to start a career, raise a family or escape from the city.”

In a time when rural communities are in tough competition for top talent and population overall, Batistatos says cities and towns are going to need to partner with private-sector players to get the word out about their attributes. He believes, "without question," other communities will get involved. He says Whiting has shown interest, but needs more housing stock for potential residents.

The campaign, which launched in the fall of 2017, is primarily digital and is targeting Illinois residents that are Millennials and may have young children as well as Baby Boomers who are now empty nesters. It involves online and mobile ads that bring users to the Move to Indiana website.

Batistatos says, while he doesn't want to beat up on Indiana's neighbors, he believes Illinois residents can get more house and more school for their money in northwest Indiana, while enjoying a higher quality of life.

"This isn't your father's northwest Indiana," says Batistatos.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Batistatos said "without question" other cities and towns will get involved.
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    • Patten is managing partner of Patten Consulting Group.

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