By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana
Talent attraction and workforce development are two of the most important aspects of economic development. Talent attraction focuses on recruitment from the talent pipeline outside of a given community, while workforce development aims to further an individual’s ability to grow their skills and develop the tools they need for business success in their community. Radius Indiana has implemented several initiatives over the last few years to bring new employees into the workforce as well as retain skilled employees to continue working in our eight-county region.
Earlier this month, Radius had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with Tony Denhart, executive vice president of talent and workforce for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), to introduce him to the initiatives and programs taking place throughout the region. Denhart joined IEDC in January of this year and this trip served as his formal introduction to our part of the state.
Denhart had the opportunity to meet with several organizations on his visit, including Regional Opportunity Initiatives, representatives from WestGate@Crane Technology Park, and Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division as well as several defense contractors. Conversations included learning about the Uplands Science and Technology Foundation (USTF), a nonprofit research foundation dedicated to enhancing the vitality of WestGate@Crane Technology Park and its recently-completed Master Plan.
Each organization had the opportunity to share its talent and workforce efforts or its needs for talent. Radius discussed its four major ongoing talent and workforce attraction projects with Denhart: Choose Southern Indiana; Veteran Recruitment- Digital Campaigns; Veteran Recruitment- Hiring Program; and Catapult.
Choose Southern Indiana offers a $5,000 relocation incentive to qualified out-of-state individuals or families who relocate to the region. Such incentive programs are being increasingly used by states and communities throughout the country to attract talent.
Radius utilizes a series of social media and digital marketing campaigns to recruit military veterans and retirees to move from outside Indiana to join the local population and workforce. To complement the success of the digital campaign veteran recruitment strategies, Radius was given funding from the State of Indiana for the purpose of attracting and retaining veterans from outside of the eight-county region to grow the available workforce with unique skills and talents. Radius became engaged in distributing veteran resumes across the private defense sector industries.
The Catapult program provides training to help individuals become skilled and educated in modern manufacturing production based on employee training programs developed in Japanese auto assembly plants in Indiana.
Radius is one of the region’s leaders in workforce and talent attraction, and we thank Tony Denhart for visiting our region and learning about our programs and initiatives.