Thursday, May 21, 2009

Indiana Figures Out Workforce/Economic Development Link

At the Mid America Economic Development Council Best Practices Conference in Indianapolis this week, I attended a number of very interesting presentations on workforce development. One project in Southeast Indiana would be good to replicate in Iowa - Economic Opportunities through Education 2015 (EcO15).

EcO15 will invest $38 million in grant funds awarded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. with a goal of allowing each citizen in the 10-county region to move up at least one level in their training, education , and/or job placement within the region's three strongest economic clusters: Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare and Tourism.

Sure, $38 million is a chunk of change. But some of the things they are doing are pretty easy to replicate. Measureable goals include:
  • Increase enrollment in Advanced Manufacturing, Healtcare, and Tourism Programs
  • Increase enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Increase Graduation Rates
  • Increase Job Placement
  • Increase Resident's income levels.

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