Compare northeast Indiana to 14 metro areas of roughly similar population and per capita income, and the results are often unflattering.
On Tuesday, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the Community Research Institute at IPFW released a new compilation of information on this region's strengths and weaknesses, relative to other regions, mainly in the Midwest. This region outpaces most of the others in the favorability of its “business climate,” and it has a good showing in “infrastructure,” too.
But when it comes to 21st-century talent, entrepreneurship and quality of life, this 10-county corner of the state doesn't lead the pack.
John Sampson, president and CEO of the Regional Partnership, said it was a dose of “tough love” for northeast Indiana. Although some of the findings deliver tough appraisals, he emphasized that these measurements of prosperity and some of the demographic conditions that appear to contribute to prosperity could help leaders improve their communities.
“This is about knowing where we stand. This is about getting the truth on the table in a very insightful way,” Sampson said.
The Dashboard, developed by Community Research Institute also measures more direct indicators of regional prosperity, including change in employment, change in per capita income, change in gross metro product, change in productivity and change in population ages 25-44.
From now through mid-July, Katy Silliman of the partnership and John Stafford, director of the Community Research Institute, will present the Regional Dashboard to community leaders and residents in meetings to be held in each of the 10 counties that are members of the partnership.