“The last time I was before you I talked about what a great couple of years it’s been,” George Robertson, Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation president, told the Kosciusko County Council on Oct. 10.
Robertson went on to report that unemployment had dropped once again. However, this poses a problem for some local employers.
“Our employers are finding very tight job markets,” Robertson stated. “We want to keep growing.”
“Priority number one is still training our existing workforce,” continued Robertson, who helped develop the Kosciusko Kickstart curriculum with Ivy Tech and local business. Robertson reported a few new programs and campaigns to get young people into the manufacturing industry.
This is all well and good, but there’s only so many eligible workers in the county. “There’s only one solution: recruit more workers,” Robertson said. To do this, KEDCo has developed a campaign called “Come Back to Kosciusko.”
“A lot of young people have left his community,” reported Robertson. “Tell them it’s a great time to move back to the state.”
Robertson said there were four components to the Come Back to Kosciusko campaign.
1. Stress safeness of the area for young families
2. Promote the quality of the K-12 education in the county
3. Advertise the available jobs in the county
4. Promote opportunities to advance education
“We’re in the process of contacting all our employers who need skilled workers,” Robertson said. They’re reaching out to manufacturing companies, but also medical, information technology, construction and skilled trades. “We’re going to get all those, and we’re going to list them in totality.”
“We’re going to continually run ads,” Robertson went on. “We have dedicated $10,000 of our marketing budget to do that.” He also reported that Grace College and Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation will promote the program through their alumni.
“We think it’s great for the county, it’s going to be great for economic development,” said Robertson. He went on to say that every 50 jobs filled equates to a $2,100,000 injection to the local economy.
“This is a great example of what they could do for us, and I’m excited to see some of these kids come back,” said Robert Sanders, council president. But Robertson said it wouldn’t just be young people returning to the area.
“When I did this in Louisiana, it was mostly people in their 40s and 50s,” Robertson said. “I think we’ll see all levels of people come back.”
“Hats off to KEDCo and your committees,” lauded councilman Larry Teghtmeyer.