WHAT IF? ELKHART TALent flourishes
A healthy economy is diverse and growing. We talk about diversity in so many ways. Yet, we need all ways of thriving — economical, social and cultural diversity — to have a growing community that provides quality of life for all who are working hard — as Elkhart has always been known to do.
As the case below states, we have work to do when it comes to economic and workforce diversification. We have a lot of jobs, yet are they the jobs people desire across multiple spectrums of possibility and prosperity? Having been fairly industrially myopic, we must ask, what if not? How do we provide more? By asking such questions, we open doors to explore, invent and create new types of jobs and careers that appeal to our people and their talents. Any ideas for what those careers could be?
What industries have complimentary skill sets to the people already living and working here?
What if we correlated those skills sets to attracting new industries?
What if those industries moved here because they see the potential to expand the career paths of those who already live here, and attract others to grow our population?
What if five years from now we had five thriving industries flocking to Elkhart because of our people, location, quality of life, and openness to entrepreneurship?
The City of Elkhart plans to determine the workforce talents that currently exist in our economy to attract new industries that will grow the career opportunities and economic tax base to provide a real quality of life for everyone. Share your thoughts about which talents are our best strengths.
Case for ElkharT
The City of Elkhart, as it has been throughout history, is a manufacturing hub, contributing significantly to the regional and state economies. Elkhart County is know as the “RV Capital of the World,” and employment in Elkhart is highly concentrated within RV Manufacturing and its supplier industries. While these Base Industries are currently providing a strong backbone to Elkhart’s economy, over-reliance on manufacturing - especially when concentrated in a handful of industry groups that produce discretionary goods - has led to severe economic and job distress from recessions, factory closings, technological disruptions, and workforce shortages. Current levels of economic prosperity provide opportunities to prepare for the future. Economic diversification, programs to address workforce and quality of life issues, and investment in real estate and infrastructure are needed to ensure Elkhart’s resiliency.