Regional Coalition
The new coalition’s priorities include developing talent pipelines in manufacturing, trades, education, healthcare, and technology.

Ball State’s recent involvement in a new collaboration of East Central Indiana (ECI) counties reflects the University’s mission to serve our neighbors and communities near and far.

The collaboration earned the designation as a 21st Century Talent Region by the State of Indiana. It recognizes the work of more than 70 leaders from 50 private and public institutions in Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Rush, and Wayne counties who joined forces to create a framework for future success. More counties are expected to join.

A total of 58 of Indiana’s 92 counties have been recognized as 21st Century Talent Regions.

“With this new designation and continued collaboration across the region, we are building a better and brighter future for everyone in East Central Indiana,” President Geoffrey S. Mearns said.

“The common goal of the 21st Century Talent Region designation has catalyzed new relationships and collaborative planning across counties that are essential for East Central Indiana’s future,” said Tom Kinghorn, ’65 MA ’66, president and CEO of the George and Frances Ball Foundation, which spearheaded the effort with support from Ball State.

“We look forward to helping drive the success of our region’s efforts to enhance the impact of higher education and to bridge the critical gap between education and employment in East Central Indiana,” Mearns said.

Key Goals

Regional Coalition Participating Counties
Regional Coalition Participating Counties

The University’s Office of Community Engagement serves as a backbone organization for the new ECI Talent Collaborative, which connects partners across the region to develop strategies and tools necessary to achieve three primary goals:

  • Increase educational achievement
  • Better connect talent to the workforce
  • Grow our population

To attract and retain talent in the region, the ECI Talent Collaborative promotes the regional marketing initiative called Forge Your Path, which includes a website highlighting the area’s distinctive amenities, high quality of life, and employment opportunities.“

There is great momentum across our region,” said Erin Moore, associate director, Office of Community Engagement. “In East Central Indiana, there is time and opportunity to design the life you want to live and make a big difference. So much is possible here. We encourage our alumni to come back, explore the region, and see how much has changed.” — Tim Obermiller