BEDFORD, Ind. (May 3, 2023) — The sixth annual Radius Indiana economic development course at French Lick Resort concluded last Thursday, providing community leaders from six Indiana counties with insights into the evolving field of economic development.
Participants in the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program attended educational sessions on topics related to local economic development, networked with other community leaders, and built skills in strategic planning and community problem-solving.
“Radius acknowledges that the field of economic development is undergoing considerable change to reflect the evolving needs of our communities,” said Jeff Quyle, CEO and president of Radius Indiana. “This year’s course provided information on topics that are timely and relevant to the vision that today’s community leaders have, topics like housing development, downtown business vitality, and population attraction. We appreciate the participation of our speakers who shared so much information that educates southern Indiana’s local leaders on issues of importance to economic vitality.”
The program is the only course of its kind to be offered in the southern Indiana area. Since the first course in 2017, nearly 165 people representing 25 Indiana counties have gathered to learn from national and regional speakers about topics and skills including site development, business attraction, workforce, marketing, quality of place, business finance and incentives, and entrepreneurship.
The speaker lineup for the two-and-a-half-day course included:
- Lisa Abbott, Regional Opportunity Initiatives – Housing Development
- Jim Plump, Jackson County Development Corporation – Economic Development Theory and Practice
- Chelsey Manns, Manns Consulting – Site Development
- Matt Eckerle, Baker Tilly – Incentives
- Tim Conrad, Stimulus Engineering – Site Selector Prospective
- Michael Wilcox, Purdue Center for Regional Development – Quality of Place
- Jenna Dix, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Divison – NSWC Crane Update
- Jason Hester, Greater Columbus Indiana Economic Development Corporation – Business Retention and Expansion
- Michael Eggleston, Federal Reserve – Rural Prosperity
- Carol Rogers, Indiana Research Center – Community Data
- Wendy Dant Chesser, One Southern Indiana – Strategic Planning and Community Engagement
“The Radius Economic Development Leadership course is truly second to none. There are very few offerings for economic development training and this course fills a much-needed gap for professionals and elected officials,” said Manns. “Radius and the team are forward thinking and extend the invitation beyond the Radius region, which benefits everyone.”
The group also heard from five panels focused on Radius-based programs including Choose Southern Indiana and population attraction, Discover Southern Indiana and tourism, Spark Downtown and downtown revitalization, support for entrepreneurship and small business support, and economic development marketing.
This year’s graduates included city, town, and county representatives, consultants, realtors, defense industry specialists, economic development professionals, utility representatives, and marketing specialists.
“I would encourage anyone who’s interested or works in economic development to consider attending this program. The course motivated me to take a deeper look into the challenges we face and how to get better involved,” said Matt Burkett, Deputy for Small Business for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. “The course was very comprehensive and covered a wide range of topics around economic development. I’m not an economic development professional, but I now better understand the challenges, available resources, and points of contact for businesses I engage with.”
Corporate sponsors and scholarships helped fund the program, including generous support from Hoosier Energy, Frost, Brown & Todd, Banning Engineering, Smithville Fiber, Duke Energy, Clark Dietz, and Indiana Municipal Power Agency.
Those interested in attending a Radius Indiana course in the future should contact the Radius office at 812-277-9778.
2023 Graduates from Radius Indiana’s Economic Development for Community Leadership Program
ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention, and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.