News release from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership:
Regional Leadership Acts to Advance the Big Goal
(February 13, 2012) – The Regional Opportunities Council (ROC) has announced that it will commit to $29,435 in seed money to advance The Big Goal in Northeast Indiana. The Big Goal, adopted from the Lumina Foundation for Education, is one of the top seven priorities put forward at the end of last year for Vision 2020; meeting the goal will mean increasing the educational attainment level in the region so that 60% of residents have a high-quality degree or credential.
The ROC is the investor board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership that oversees Vision 2020, a regional initiative focused on transforming the economy of Northeast Indiana by employing game-changing tactics in five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.
The Big Goal, currently the focus for the 21st Century Talent Pillar, was adopted by the ROC in October 2011. Since then, the directors of Vision 2020 and the Talent Initiative, along with additional regional leaders, have been researching best practice models for building the infrastructure to reach The Big Goal. Through this research, they identified the collective impact model exemplified by the Strive Partnership of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as the appropriate infrastructure model to achieve The Big Goal.
The objective of the collective impact model is to create a “cradle to career” roadmap to success that engages all sectors in the process of life-long learning. It is based on the idea that the kind of large-scale social change necessary to achieve outcomes like The Big Goal can only come from effective cross-sector coordination. It cannot be achieved by the isolated intervention of individual organizations.
“This action by the ROC is transformative for our region. Over 90 leaders from all sectors and communities came together to chart a new course for Northeast Indiana. The Big Goal is the top priority to strengthen our 21st Century Talent,” said Mike Packnett, President and CEO of Parkview Health and incoming Chairman of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership board. “The ROC is leading by action to accelerate this critical priority.”
For Northeast Indiana to implement this model, the first step is to execute the Strive Design Institute, which the ROC is funding through its $29,435 investment. The Strive Design Institute is a process that will enable regional leaders to make decisions based on data; identify strategies that will have the greatest impact; consider where there may be gaps; and outline a set of concrete action items that will enable the region to meet bold goals related to educational outcomes by leveraging existing assets and targeting new investments.
The end deliverable of the Strive Design Institute will be a work plan for Vision 2020 and the Talent Initiative to implement for the next 18-24 months that could include  expanding and formalizing the partnership table,  selecting the community-level indicators and how they are used in focus area and strategy identification,  identifying and deploying a continuous improvement process and  developing a long-term operations and sustainability plan for the work. Initial strategic partners who have been involved in identifying the Institute as the critical next step include the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board and the United Way Consortium of Northeast Indiana.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties.