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A High-Octane Agenda to ‘Fuel the Regional Economy’

Posted by chamberadmin on September 16, 2016

By this time, Indy Chamber members and partners are familiar with the metro Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS): Over the last two years, the Chamber listened to thousands of employers, engaged elected officials and economic development professionals, studied the most successful peer regions, and worked with national consultants and other experts to arrive at the final CEDS.

CEDS provided valuable insight, exhaustive analysis, and dozens of potential programs and initiatives.  But to implement a transformative plan for Indy’s economy, we had to move faster on our most critical, high-impact priorities.

This afternoon, we’ll preview this action plan, Accelerate Indy, at a special event that also includes a briefing from the Brookings Institution on how other regions are rethinking economic development in the 21st century.

This event, “Fueling the Regional Economy,” will take place from 4:30-6:30 at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, just north of IUPUI in the 16 Tech district.  (You can still register here.) 

Accelerate Indy focuses on talent attraction and retention, with a vibrant quality of life and visible regional image that appeals to skilled people and successful employers; it emphasizes innovative industries, entrepreneurship, attracting high-value business investment and helping local companies expand (including taking advantage of global opportunities).

Presentations on Accelerate Indy strategies include an update on transit as a talent investment, plans for expanded services for entrepreneurs and smaller companies, and a newly-completed metro blueprint for boosting exports and attracting foreign direct investment. 

Recently, the Brookings Institution ranked Indy among the regional leaders in advanced economy job creation in manufacturing, the life sciences and energy along with technology.  The same experts say the U.S. economy is increasingly dominated by its largest urban areas – Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, will present on this “metropolitan revolution” and the sense of urgency for regions like Indianapolis to rethink traditional ideas of economic development.

The top 100 metros – 12% of the nation’s land – are home to 65% of its total population, 74% of all college graduates, 70% of all ‘advanced industry’ employment, 75% of U.S. GDP and are responsible for 90% of all new jobs and business start-ups since the recession.  Indy is one of these regions, but in the middle of the pack in population growth, below average in educational attainment and wage growth, and starting to slip in high-value exports and output.

But we’re gaining momentum and attracting national attention in many ways – in advanced industries, as a “tech hub on the move” according to Forbes, and even a shout-out from Vogue as a place to fly into rather than over.  Accelerate Indy aims to build on our strengths, and kick our economy into a higher gear – learn more Monday afternoon, or watch your inbox for updates.