BEDFORD, Ind. (Dec. 8, 2021) — Four candidates and their family members have relocated to southern Indiana in the last months of 2021 through Radius Indiana’s population attraction program, Choose Southern Indiana. Since the program’s launch in July, it has received contacts from over 1,000 applicants.
The program offers a $5,000 incentive to qualified out-of-state individuals or families who relocate to Daviess, Dubois, Greene, or Orange County. The local leaders of each county’s program opted to seek candidates from fields ranging from teachers to remote workers to retired military veterans to relocate to their communities.
Orange County’s first successful application came from Adam Bennett, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps; the Orange County program promotes the idea of military veterans moving to any of the County’s communities. Bennett, a graduate of Springs Valley High School who most recently lived in Costa Rica, decided to apply for the program and move with his family back to the region to be closer to his family after living away for 20 years.
“Orange County is a great place to raise a family and I am very excited to bring mine here,” Bennett said. “We are very outdoorsy people and love all the recreational activities for us to enjoy: camping, hunting, fishing. We are ready to experience the four seasons Indiana has to offer after living in Costa Rica.”
Just a few miles west of Orange County, two teachers relocated to Daviess County, which is focused on recruiting individuals with a bachelor’s degree. Both candidates are now teaching at Washington High School. Jeanette Socks, who relocated from a larger city, was excited about the opportunity to live somewhere with a slower-paced lifestyle.
“I moved to southern Indiana for the opportunity to start my career in teaching,” Socks said. “I love the small-town life and I would not want to be anywhere else.”
And to the south of Washington, Huntingburg-native Justin Neal relocated back to Dubois County as he transitioned into retirement after a 20-year career in the United States Air Force. Neal is working in human resources at Jasper’s Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center through the military skill bridge program.
“My family has spent the last 15 years at least 8 hours away from the rest of our family,” Neal said. “Being able to move back to southern Indiana and getting to be close to people we really care about is awesome.”
Those who relocate to southern Indiana must maintain residency in their home county for a minimum of two years. Similar incentive programs are being used by numerous states and communities throughout the country to attract talent. The Radius program is unique in having a regional approach and in empowering different counties in the region to adopt different target populations to attract.
Radius partnered with Indianapolis-based MakeMyMove, the first and only marketplace for move-ready talent. MakeMyMove’s platform and marketing services help communities pitch their wares and attract new residents.
“Talent attraction is an emerging aspect of economic development, and we are excited to see the traction our program is getting,” said Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana. “We are taking a rural regional approach to this program and our region is working together to allow each county to focus on the particular demographic groups they want to encourage. We know that the rural lifestyle, the ability to easily interact with school and community leaders and neighbors, and the safety of our communities are very attractive and can draw people to a very positive lifestyle change.”
Radius Indiana plans to continue the program in 2022. To learn more and apply to the relocation incentive program, visit www.choosesouthernindiana.com.
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 the region to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.