COLUMBUS - Columbus Mayor James Lienhoop, Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman and representatives from the EcO Network were Friday presented with the official 21st Century Talent Region designation at Columbus City Hall. The statewide designation is awarded to Indiana communities focused on working collaboratively to attract, develop and connect talent.

The EcO Network of Southeast Indiana represents Batesville, Columbus, Greensburg, North Vernon, Rising Sun and Seymour, and is the largest initiative under the Community Education Coalition.

The region has also identified key priorities for the 21st Century Talent Region initiative.

The priorities include:

  • Completing goal setting for regional talent attraction and connection numbers by the end of 2019
  • Building out talent dashboards for at least all partner communities by the end of 2019
  • Identifying the shared talent attraction, development, and connection strategies around which the region can build communities of practice in southeast Indiana.

"Ensuring a sustainable pipeline of talent to support our region’s critical industry sectors requires a systems approach to cross-sector collaboration that links the learning system with economic opportunity in the places we call home in southeast Indiana,” said Kathy Oren, executive director of Community Education Coalition in a news release. “Our region has established a long history of effective collaboration, and we are excited to continue this collaborative work through shared strategies to attract, develop and connect talent in our region.”