BEDFORD, Ind. (March 30, 2017) – Radius Indiana concluded its inaugural economic development course at French Lick Resort on Thursday afternoon, wrapping up three days of education, networking and skills building for community leaders from across Southern Indiana.
The Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program is the first course of its kind to be offered in the area. More than 40 people representing 14 Indiana counties gathered to hear from national and regional speakers teaching educational sessions on topics such as real estate development, business attraction, workforce, marketing, business finance and incentives, and entrepreneurship.
“Radius Indiana’s vision is to help communities grow strong, working groups of local leaders versed in economic development who can affect policies and strategies for intentional business growth and skills-driven workforce development,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “This first program has exceeded my expectations not only in number of participants, but in how engaged and enthusiastic our leaders are to put their new knowledge to work in their counties.”
The course’s registrants included mayors, council members, county commissioners, chamber of commerce leaders, tourism directors, economic development professionals and congressional staffers.
“Our county is in the process of reorganizing our economic development and redevelopment organizations and this program came at a perfect time for us. The classes have given me some new approaches to take back to share with my colleagues,” said Crawford County Commissioner Morton Dale. “I am especially excited to see this type of conference with this caliber of speakers offered right here in our region in Southern Indiana.”
Chad Sweeney of Fishers-based site selection firm Ginovus was one of the 15 speakers at the conference. Sweeney spoke to the group about business attraction and marketing to site selectors.
“It was great to be a part of this first economic development program from Radius,” said Sweeney. “These events are key to helping communities understand what companies are looking for during an expansion or relocation project. Those attending the program now have new tools and tactics to strengthen the way their respective cities and towns respond to economic opportunities, and those first impressions can make a big impact during the site selection process,” said Sweeney.
Other sessions and speakers included Introduction to Economic Development with Jim Plump, Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation; Real Estate/Site Development with Chelsey Manns, Manns Consulting; Business Retention and Expansion with Jason Hester, Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation; Abatement/TIF/Incentives with Matt Eckerle, Umbaugh and Associates; and Entrepreneurship with Steve Bryant, Ivy Tech.
Corporate sponsors and tuition payments helped fund the program, including generous support from Duke Energy, Hoosier Energy, Vectren, Smithville Fiber, Springs Valley Bank & Trust, Krieg DeVault and the Indiana Municipal Power Agency.
Based on the high level of interest and the immediate positive feedback already coming in from participants, Radius Indiana expects to offer the program again in 2018. Those interested in being added to next year’s roster should contact the Radius Indiana office at 812-277-9778.
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.