Putting Veterans to Work for Your Company

Hiring Our Heroes job fairs, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, continue to make a difference in local communities. The mission is to help veterans and spouses earn meaningful private sector employment.

There are two upcoming events in Indiana:

In addition, the Chamber’s May 2 Policy Issue Conference Call will focus on the same topic with national and state guests discussing this important topic and providing practical guidance for employers. All Indiana Chamber members are eligible to participate.

Hasler Hitting an Economic Development Home Run

An Indiana Chamber member who listened in on Friday’s Policy Conference Call termed the message from IEDC chief Dan Hasler as one filled with "infectious enthusiasm." As the one fortunate to moderate that call, I wholeheartedly agree.

Hasler did an outstanding job describing the work of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and his own approach to business attraction and retention. Among his comments:

  • While the facts are all on Indiana’s side, "selling" is still a personal, emotional event
  • "You can’t make a bad move good with incentives"
  • The IEDC goal for 2012 is 250 deals, up from 219 a year ago. The early results are ahead of pace
  • "Our best leads still come from peer-to-peer referrals. You (Indiana business leaders) are the most important lead source we have"
  • Areas of improvement needed: more shovel ready sites (currently average one per county; need three or four per county) and better advertising or selling of shovel ready sites and existing facilities

Hasler reminds that the three roles of IEDC are to attract new businesses, support existing small and medium businesses, and help fund young enterprises.

Although noting he never expected to have a .gov e-mail address during his business career, Hasler admits he’s "having a ball" in his current role. Based on the hour we were able to spend with him via the phone, I say that’s a very, very good thing for Indiana.

The next call, for Chamber members, is Friday, June 1 with Todd Young, Indiana’s ninth district congressman. Register today.

Wellness Proves to be Hot Topic

Chuck Gillespie, Wellness Council of Indiana program director, was "on fire" during a recent Policy Call discussion with Chamber members. I say on fire because Chuck offered excellent, easy-to-remember wellness advice for all.

It started with the fact that wellness, according to Chuck, has "gone from a nice thing to do to a stratgic business strategy." Well said, and important to remember. A few additional highlights:

  • Three key questions everyone asks: Where do I begin ?; what are others doing ?; how do I measure what we’re doing? The Wellness Council and other resources have the answers to help
  • "Keep it simple." Good advice to remember no matter the situation
  • Replace the word "health" with "healthier" (as in trying to become healthier than you were yesterday); in addition, sub "active" or "movement" for the word "exercise" and its negative connotation
  • Not enough emphasis is placed on the fact that wellness and safety should be tied together
  • Four key words for success: consistency, leadership, planning and promotion

Learn more about the Wellness Council. And if you’re looking to enhance your wellness efforts, purchase the Indiana Employer’s Guide to Workplace Wellness.

The next Policy Call for Chamber members on Nov. 11 will feature Indiana congressman Marlin Stutzman. Details coming soon online or call (317) 264-3793 to register.

Have a Question for Mitch Roob? Here’s Your Chance

Mitch Roob’s job is to sell Indiana. He does it in all corners of the state, from coast to coast and on a global basis. Roob will slow down for an hour on Friday to participate in the Indiana Chamber’s Policy Conference Call.

It’s a members-only event, and it’s your opportunity to ask a question or make a comment to Indiana’s Secretary of Commerce. I’m looking forward to leading the discussion and have plenty of topics planned. Among them: foreign trade missions, the balance between attracting new companies and assisting existing businesses, legislative priorities and much more.

It should be a good one. Join us on Friday. Register here.