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21st Century Talent Regions – Q and A

What is it?

21st Century Talent Regions are places that commit to using a systems approach to attract, develop, and connect Hoosier talent. Regions are self-defined with regard to their geography and are working toward building and implementing a plan to increase educational attainment, raise household income, and grow population.

What does a community need to do to become a 21st Century Talent Region?

  1. Commit.  Commit to working across geographic lines and across organizations to attract, develop, connect and retain talent.  
  2. Organize. The 21st Century Talent Region must organize itself with a designated leader and regional participation including, but not limited to: local governments, business, K-12 education, economic development, higher education, non-profit(s), and workforce development.
  3. Connect.  Once organized, the lead organization for the region can connect with the Office of Career Connections and Talent to receive assistance in organizing efforts to attract, develop, connect and retain talent.
  4. Build.  In collaboration with the Office of Career Connections and Talent and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and with technical assistance provided by CivicLab, the region must build a plan to grow population (attract and retain talent), increase educational attainment (develop talent), and raise household income (connect talent).
  5. Implement.  After building a collaborative talent plan, a region must implement the priorities identified. Following this implementation, a region will receive a 21st Century Talent Region designation.

I’m interested in my region becoming a 21st Century Talent Region. What steps should I take?

Apply now or contact the Office of Career Connections and Talent to communicate your interest and discuss next steps.

What is the program/timeline to get there?

Regions can begin organizing and collaborating with the Office of Career Connections and Talent immediately. Timeline for gaining the designation will be dependent on the progress of the region, but can be achieved within a few months.  Expectation is to have at least 12 regions designated over the next biennium.

What does a Talent Region look like to the community once it has been designated?

  • Students – able to identify a career and education path best fitting them earlier in order to achieve a post-secondary credential and employment
  • Educators – opportunity to further align learning and needs of the community
  • Adult workers – able to more easily transition to new career opportunities if impacted by technology, displacement or other individual circumstances
  • Businesses – able to access the talent needed to grow
  • Community leaders – better able to access and invest resources to develop, attract, connect and retain talent 

Who participates in a region, and how are the regions defined?

Regions are self-defined by participants, but should include members from local governments, business, K-12
education, higher education, non-profit(s), economic development and workforce development. 

Has this been effective anywhere else?

Multiple regions in Indiana are seeing exciting returns on investment due to regional collaboration. The gains seen by the Economic Opportunities through Education network (EcO), based in Columbus, Indiana, led to the Lumina Foundation naming Columbus and the Southeast Indiana region as a Talent Hub. CivicLab, an institute dedicated to advancing the practice of civic collaboration, creates the tools and frameworks that form the underlying foundation for the practice of community collaboration. Horizon Education Alliance (HEA) in Goshen, Indiana has recently received the Talent Hub designation by Lumina as well. HEA uses the CivicLab tools and frameworks in its work. CivicLab also provides partnership health support to all Lumina Talent Hub communities across the country (24 in total).

From 2010-2017 the southeast regional EcO network, has seen the following results from regional collaboration with leadership from CivicLab:

  • The iGrad program, a collaboration between Ivy Tech and Bartholomew Consolidated Schools, in partnership with the Columbus Education Coalition, Cummins and the community, has lowered the number of high school dropouts by more than 50 percent.
  • The region saw an 18 percent increase in wages.
  • Columbus had net in-migration compared to Indiana’s net out-migration.

Why is it needed?

Regional collaboration has consistently shown the ability to make transformative progress that individual communities struggle to achieve independently. Additionally, many communities have numerous efforts to grow quality of place, increase education attainment, raise household income and grow population, but they are often disconnected and are not bringing together the necessary stakeholders to achieve the desired collective community outcomes. Disjointed efforts minimize effectiveness and informed investments.

A regional dashboard will engage and inform decision-makers on what gaps and surpluses exist in a collective effort to attract, develop, connect and retain talent.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for regions to receive a designation. A partnership between the IEDC and CivicLab will provide funding for up to 12 regions to receive technical assistance in developing and utilizing a regional talent dashboard.