Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo has joined Indiana officials in Carmel, Ind., to announce Hamilton County as the state’s fourth 21st Century Talent Region, a statewide designation awarded to Indiana communities focused on working collaboratively to attract, develop and connect talent.
“Home to more than 330,000 Hoosiers, Hamilton County has been recognized as one of the fastest growing counties in the country, as a ‘Best Place to Live and Raise a Family,’ and now, as a 21st Century Talent Region,” said Milo. “As a 21st Century Talent Region, Hamilton County continues to collaborate with leaders in and around Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield, and to develop the partnerships necessary to further grow the region.”
In partnership with the Office of Career Connections and Talent, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and with technical assistance from CivicLab, the 21st Century Talent Region initiative encourages local governments, businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits, and economic and workforce development partners to create and implement a plan to increase educational attainment, raise household income and grow the population in a region. By taking a comprehensive, systems approach, participating regions will identify strategic priorities and projects aimed at helping their communities create a better quality of place, develop and skill up its workforce, and connect talented Hoosiers with businesses seeking to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs.
“The Hamilton County board of commissioners understands the importance of workforce development. Attracting and retaining qualified talent in our county continues to be a challenge with a competitive market,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt. “This prompted the commissioners to perform a strategic study to understand Hamilton County’s specific workforce opportunities. This year-long effort of collaboration with all four Hamilton County cities – Carmel, Westfield, Noblesville and Fishers – as well as the county will help us in developing a creative workforce initiative to assist our employers but also spur continued economic development.”
Spearheaded by Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation, the region identified key priorities through the 21st Century Talent Region initiative, including:
- Increase employer engagement with the education and workforce system to be measured by the number of internship or apprenticeship opportunities available to youth and adults.
- Increase on-time graduation rates for individuals pursuing post-secondary credentials.
- Create a review method for supporting students after high school graduation to remove barriers keeping them from achieving a post-secondary credential.
- Identify and pursue opportunities to collaborate with neighboring counties on shared goals to attract, develop and connect talent.