State chamber unveils its vision for economic growth
By Maria Amante firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3072 June 5, 2012 8:28PM
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:51AM
MERRILLVILLE — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce debuted its Indiana Vision 2025 plan Tuesday to community leaders, describing its vision for prosperity in the state.
The plan focuses on four core areas of improvement for Indiana, and the state chamber plans on vetting the plan at five other localities to gather feedback from communities across the state.
The chamber is trying to figure out “what are the priorities for us in this region and what’s missing,” said Don Babcock, director of economic development for NIPSCO, who was at the meeting. “In this region, many people in the business community recognize we have tremendous assets, but I’m not sure everybody in the general public does. They’re not benefiting from everything we have on an equal basis. We want to increase the wealth here in Northwest Indiana and across the state.”
An entrepreneurial vision is lacking across the state, he said.
The chamber has four key focus areas for state improvement, said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber — outstanding talent, which encompasses K-12, higher education and the workforce; an attractive business climate; a superior infrastructure; and a dynamic and innovative culture.
Brinegar said some of these initiatives will be accomplished through the state assembly and others through changes in community attitude.
“The overall objectives are worthy and important,” Brinegar said, “and we need to lock arms and walk together.”
None of the objectives is partisan, he said.
“It’s exciting to see state groups want to engage Northwest Indiana,” said Mark T. Maassel, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, an economic development group for the region. “We’re willing to engage.”
The plan is a redux of the chamber’s previous 2010 initiative, and serves as the chamber’s roadmap for the next 13 years, Brinegar said.
However, the ideas are new: the chamber’s vision for 2025 is different than the 2010 vision, he said.
To review the plan and send feedback, go to indianachamber.com/index.php/2025.