Northeast Indiana is definitely on its way to having a better quality of place to attract and retain talent.
This means, ideally, that as a region, we will be able to continue to grow economically because we will have more people.
While this sounds good, it may not hurt to reflect on a quality-of-place aspect that we should try not to lose as we add attractions and workers.
One great quality of northeast Indiana is that it is rural. This may not sound cool and trendy, but the fact of the matter is that rural means few lines, plenty of parking and lots of room to breathe.
These are qualities that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
It only takes a quick trip to Disney World to feel like a crowd might suffocate you.
Sure, as a business community we may drool over the dollars such an empire can rake in day after day. But there is something to be said about working and living in a location where many commutes are less than 30 minutes and there is no need to arrive at the airport two hours early.
Small towns and communities have their charms. While not everyone may appreciate the fact that “everybody knows everybody” to some extent, you’d be hard-pressed to not find help and assistance when you need it because the locals take care of each other.
It’s also refreshing that the Hoosiers who live in this neck of the woods smile and wave to you at crosswalks and intersections simply to acknowledge you and offer a friendly exchange.
We can get caught up with chasing the big skyscrapers and scenic beaches we love to visit when we travel but many of these locations can’t offer us the same community heart that exists here.
We support many of the economic development efforts sprouting throughout northeast Indiana and recognize the need to grow, but we hope our growth is within reason - and that the reasons we live here don’t get lost in the process.