Two of our staff members had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Indiana Economic Development Course in Muncie earlier this month.

Offered annually for more than 30 years, the week-long Indiana Economic Development Course—the official “basic course” for the State of Indiana—offers intensive training in the basic concepts, methods, and strategies of economic, industrial, business, entrepreneurial, workforce, and community development.

Below are our top 5 takeaways:

  1. Tell your story with numbers. Things like demographic trends, business costs and geography are important figures. Data can be used to respond to requests from site selectors, report to the Board, or share with public officials. There are many resources available to find the data you need.
  2. Your brand is not your slogan. Your brand is your promise. When developing your brand, it’s important to consider what your strengths and weaknesses are and identify your target industries. Everyone says their community is a great place to raise a family. Talk about what sets you apart.
  3. Master your community pitch. Be succinct and show rather than tell. Explain your target industries and mention other companies who have located there.
  4. Focus on the people. Healthy communities share certain characteristics and these characteristics provide CVIs (Community Vitality Indicators) that Indiana communities can benchmark to gauge their vibrancy. These characteristics should guide community discussions and plans should be developed to encourage them.
  5. Arts in the community. Utilize artists, arts organizations and arts providers as catalysts for and participants in positive community planning, building and change efforts within their local communities.

Special thanks to Wabash Valley Power Association and the Indiana Municipal Power Agency for sponsoring us. We appreciate your investment in Boone County’s future!