Decatur County earns 21st Century Talent recognition

Photo provided | Blair Milo, Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent, and Ethel Bedel, President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, as they presented a plaque to Greensburg community leaders signifying Greensburg and Decatur County as a 21st Century Talent Region. The region consists of Greensburg, Batesville, Columbus, North Vernon, Rising Sun, and Seymour.

COLUMBUS – Representatives from Greensburg and Decatur County recently were honored as part of the state's 21st Century Talent Region designation in Southeast Indiana.

21st Century Talent Regions are places that commit to using a systems approach to attract, develop, and connect Hoosier talent.

Decatur County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Bryan Robbins attended.

"Receiving this notoriety is not really for an innate proficiency for something, but more of a population... a skilled workforce with a mindset for the future," Robbins said. "These people can come in the form of recruits to our area, or are homegrown contributors that stay in your community. They seek to add something to where they live, and thus help that community, businesses, and residents move forward."

Robbins explained the importance of receiving such an acknowledgment.

"It helps us to organize and focus on common goals. It's foolish to think that each county is a proverbial island. We're moving more and more toward erasing the imaginary county lines as we all become more inter-connected. Opportunities in Decatur County are opportunities for the surrounding area, and vice versa. The more we embrace that philosophy, the more effective we'll be," he said.

Robbins said this designation helps advertise that Southeastern Indiana is doing just that.

"This is a designation that recognizes that the region and all its partners have made a commitment to focus on talent attraction through analyzing their resources and determining their needs. It means that we will capitalize on this data to create a strategy to implement a smart growth plan," he said. "We are lucky to have the EcO15 Network in place, which already provided much of the data and had helped to establish many of the partnerships. The next step is to further coordinate the implementation among the region players."

The 21st Century Talent designation is a benchmark from the state level. An initiative created by Governor Eric Holcomb, it marks Decatur County and its partners Batesville, Columbus, North Vernon, Rising Sun, and Seymour, as areas that are doing their best to grow, and are attempting to market themselves to better their economy.

"It kind of just gives Decatur County the stamp of, 'Hey, there are great things happening here. Check us out!'" Decatur County Community Foundation Director Tami Wenning said. "The Ec015 initiative was kind of the same thing, but at a more regional, local level."

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Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.