Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation, in conjunction with The Kresge Foundation, has designated northeast Indiana a talent hub and awarded the region a $125,000 grant to help it increase educational opportunities.
To receive the designation, the foundation says the 11-county region has created an environment that cultivates, attracts and retains talent among students, including adults.
“At the (Northeast Indiana) Regional Partnership, we exist to increase the prosperity of residents in Northeast Indiana,” said Ryan Twiss, vice president of talent initiatives for the partnership. “We know that increasing educational attainment has the potential to increase wages, raise overall economic wealth and meet the needs of current and future employers.”
Twiss says the Talent Hub designation will help the partnership continue toward its 2030 goals for talent development.
Those goals include increasing per capita personal income to 90% against the national average, growing the region’s population to 1 million residents and increasing postsecondary attainment to 60% within the next 10 years.
The regional partnership works with area colleges and universities to connect interns and recent grads to local employers. It also helps to better equip adults who have postsecondary work experience but no credential.
“We see this group of adults as the tipping point as they represent 21 percent of the region’s adult workforce,” said Jerrilee Mosier, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne. “Because of this designation, we can further support these individuals as they get over the finish line and into their next career.”
In addition to northeast Indiana, Cleveland, Southwest Florida, and the Tampa Bay area have been designated as talent hubs.
“These communities…are taking today’s students and transforming them into tomorrow’s talent,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president and chief executive officer.