INsiders: Quality of Life Projects Target Talent

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(L to R) Bill Oesterle, Gerry Dick, M.T. Ray, and Larry Gigerich. (L to R) Bill Oesterle, Gerry Dick, M.T. Ray, and Larry Gigerich.
INDIANAPOLIS -

As numerous high-profile quality of life projects continue throughout the state, the goal of attracting and retaining top talent remains a priority. During a special town hall edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, our INsiders panel discussed Indiana's efforts to bring talent into the state by creating an environment that is attractive to them. Bill Oesterle, chief executive officer of Indy-based startup TMAP LLC, says Indiana is about to enter a period where there will be "tremendous pressure" to bring in talent.

"The demographics tell us we're going to be short," said Oesterle. "That's the first time we've had to deal with that in maybe 100 years. So, these projects are going to be just critical in us attracting outside talent to the state. Obviously, big projects carry risk so we have to be prudent, but it's going to be required. The state's population is stagnating and we have to address that head on. We're going to have to go out and recruit."

Larry Gigerich, executive managing director of Ginovus LLC in Indy, says the state needs to do "big, bold things" to attract talent.

"It's important that we have bold talent initiatives and one of the things (Tennessee) Governor (Bill) Haslam did there a few years ago was create the Tennessee Promise Program; big, bold program around talent development at all levels," said Gigerich. "I think looking at those types of opportunities, the Next Level Jobs program that Governor Holcomb has started is a started, but we've got a lot more to do to build on that."

M.T. Ray, senior vice president of global resources for Indianapolis-based Cheetah Digital, says Indiana needs to get creative in its talent attraction efforts.

"We need to show that this is a place that you can live and work and play, and have opportunities for a career," said Ray. "I think that will help bring people here when they see what a great place it is to live.I think we do a great job with our entry-level talent with the different programs we have in place at the universities. But I think there's a lot of transitioning workers out there that we could retrain and offer programs to help them be trained up to take some of these open positions."

Ray adds Indiana has to do a better job branding itself as a state to attract talent, especially those that leave Indiana after college.

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