Jill Campbell

Jill Campbell

The Daviess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is putting plans in motion to both help strengthen local workforce development and secure state funding of up to $1 million and support from the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program. Two new positions at DCEDC will help achieve this.

“It is no secret that workforce is one of the top challenges for businesses not only in Daviess County, but across the state and nation,” said Bryant Niehoff, DCEDC executive director. “Addressing these workforce challenges has required greater organization and tapping into Daviess County business, regional, educational and civic leadership, and it became apparent that we needed a single point of contact to fully maximize our efforts.”

Niehoff continued: “Accordingly, Jill Campbell in our office has been promoted from project manager to our new program and workforce manager position, where she will continue to support and expand the efforts of our Develop Daviess Workforce Coalition.”

In this position, Campbell will be responsible for coordinating with Daviess County businesses, education partners, and regional workforce development organizations to identify creative solutions for tackling the workforce and talent challenges facing Daviess County employers. “Jill has strong relationships and community experience in both the healthcare and manufacturing industries here, so this new role will be a natural progression,” Niehoff said.

To help engage and secure support from the state’s Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP), a new Community Coordinator position has been created to support Daviess County’s involvement with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) program. Amber Warden will take up the new Community Coordinator position, which will work out of the DCEDC office.

The state’s current HELP program grew of out Indiana’s previously successful Stellar Communities program. For this new post-COVID-19 initiative, OCRA is collaborating with the Purdue Center for Regional Development, the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, the Ball State University Indiana Communities Institute, Ivy Tech Community College, and other state partners to offer this new program to nine Hoosier communities across the state, one of which is Daviess County.

“The Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program qualifies Daviess County for up to $1 million in state funding towards legacy projects identified through this process,” Niehoff said. “We have the organizational assets now in place to strengthen our community’s capacity and advance Daviess County now and in the future through these efforts.”

Through the OCRA HELP expanded program, OCRA and Daviess County will ramp up local community engagement, renew prior planning efforts, and create asset building strategies to reengage Daviess County communities in preparing for the future while building local leadership capacity. The year-long HELP program in Daviess County will develop a formal Strategic Investment Plan, which will follow four formal pathways: advancing e-connectivity, promoting community wellness, enhancing quality of place, and strengthening local economies in the county.

The process of developing the new Plan is expected to help build long-term capacity, develop attainable projects, and leave a positive legacy in Daviess County communities. Part of the program provides matching funds for the new Community Coordinator position.

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