Residents' Feedback Sought for Talent Attraction Planning

ROME CITY, IN – A consortium of community leaders will host a public gathering Aug. 10 to seek feedback on how Noble County can effectively develop, attract and retain talent to supply existing and future workforce needs.

The gathering will begin at 6 p.m. in the Red Room at the Sylvan Cellars Event Center, 2725 E. Northport Road, Rome City. All ages are welcome and food-for-purchase will be available from 6th and Main. There is also a tasting room for people 21 and older.

The Noble County talent initiative is the foundation of what will become a larger effort to ensure Northeast Indiana’s rural-county populations and amenities are sufficient to support local economies. The initiative is being led by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Noble County Economic Development Corp., Noble County Young Professionals Network, and Northeast Indiana Works.

“We know that, generally speaking, populations in most rural northeast Indiana counties are expected to decline in next few decades, barring any significant demographic shifts,” said Michael Galbraith, director of the Road to One Million campaign at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “It is imperative we explore strategies that enhance our ability to keep the talent we have here and entice others to move to our rural communities.”

Late last year, the consortium surveyed 417 people living in Northeast Indiana’s rural communities to assess their perceptions about a host of topics, including what they liked about living in rural areas and what improvements might be made. Then in late May, the consortium gathered information from residents during an invitation-only event at the Albion Ale House.

Some of the key needs identified by residents thus far are an adequate supply of affordable housing; more cultural and social activities, especially for young people, and internet accessibility.

“The responses from residents have been passionate and thoughtful,” said Rick Farrant, director of communications for Northeast Indiana Works. “The momentum in Noble County to ensure a bright future is clearly evident.”