WARSAW — A community-wide survey supporting the welcomeness study is being launched to assess community strengths and challenges related to talent attraction, talent retention and the degree to which residents feel welcome and included.
A number of employers, schools and non-profits have come together to plan and implement the study, with OrthoWorx coordinating the effort along with Indianapolis consulting group Black Onyx.
“With the incredibly tight labor market, many communities are taking steps to assure that they are seen as welcoming, recognizing that inclusive population growth is required to meet the talent needs of local employers,” said Nichole Rouached, manager of communications and projects for OrthoWorx. “Ultimately, local organizations want to know why people come to Kosciusko and what might prevent them from living in the area. Given the record low unemployment the region is facing, the welcomeness study is one of many ways local organizations are trying to get an edge on talent attraction, understanding how they can better serve those who live, work or play in Kosciusko County.”
The community survey is actually the third phase of the overall initiative and is designed to provide data to support existing efforts in three areas that have been identified for focus. The survey is collecting information around childcare, young professionals and the local Latino community. For example, information collected from parents and families impacted by childcare will support LaunchPad, a recently formed childcare and early learning coalition under the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce. The survey will collect information outside of these groups from the community to assess any additional needs that aren’t currently being met by local organizations.
“Many other communities have surveys focused on ethnic, religious and other forms of diversity, and those are all important to a welcoming environment,” said Rouached. “But other factors such as the availability of quality, affordable child care and greater access to housing options can severely limit a community’s ability to attract and retain the talent needed to grown and remain vital.”
The online survey will be distributed through a variety of channels, including employers ad community organizations. All data will be confidential and analyzed by Black Onyx, who will provide a report to the welcomeness study advisory committee. The committee will share relevant information with local groups, organizations, civic leaders and companies. A summary of the findings will be shared to the general public through a press release in the summer.
Funding for the study was provided by Cardinal Services, the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and OrthoWorx.
The online survey is currently open and will be available through May 13. It can be accessed online here.