Nov 28, 2023

Indiana For the BOLD

Historically, Hoosiers are humble at times. We are busy working, innovating and succeeding and have been humble about our success, innovation and accomplishments. The time has come for all of us to elevate our Indiana story in an intentional, bold way, and to take pride in who we are and what we’ve accomplished. It’s time to drop the unassuming, Hoosier humility label while maintaining our Indiana hospitality and industrious nature. Executive Vice President of External Engagement Salena Scardina shares her input on the meaning behind the Indiana For the Bold brand, and the invitation for it holds for the future of Indiana.

Most states are known for something unique – Kentucky for its bourbon, North Carolina for the Research Triangle, Michigan for the Great Lakes and so on.

 “But because we are so focused, so busy working and innovating, we aren’t necessarily always talking about our achievements,” said Scardina. “And that’s typical of the Hoosier state. We need to be more intentional about storytelling globally about everything we do, the projects, our community approach, the work itself, and our employment opportunities. There’s a value proposition here, and the state has a long list of state strengths and assets. We have an incredible level of community throughout the state and we are interested in others success, just as we focused on our own. Since it is just something that we do in Indiana, it might seem commonplace to us; it’s special outside of Indiana.”

Originally from Chicago, Scardina lends an out-of-state perspective, viewing Indiana as an incredible, best-kept secret. 

“Indiana has been a quiet, high performer,” she said. “We have always been here, continuing to do work that is exceptional, but now we are going to take a beat and talk about it and share our story globally Indiana For the Bold is not a re-brand, it’s more of a brand-building exercise. All the perception research has told us that we have a neutral brand image – Indiana is an exceptional product and has so much potential to attract business and workforce when we apply proven marketing practices.”

After partnering with a global branding agency, the IEDC is working diligently with all its internal partners, companies, vendors and agencies to intentionally market this new look and feel. This collaboration highlights Indiana’s sense of connectedness, Scardina emphasized. 

 “The fact that we are focused on our solid economic development offensive plan of going after industries that will benefit Hoosiers for generations is bold. We are hitting homeruns because we are getting up to bat, and Indiana is up to bat more often now.”

The state is currently taking calculated risks where there are rewards and benefits for all parts of the economy. For instance, partnering agencies have focused on multiple applications to pursue a Regional Tech Hub designation through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program. This dedication throughout the federal application process came to fruition this fall, when Indiana was awarded not one, but three hub designations in microelectronics, semiconductors, and technology. It’s a rare yet extremely rewarding example of the Hoosier state securing bold wins.

“Fortune favors the bold, yes,” said Scardina. “But fortune also favors the prepared, those who are thoughtful and intentional with their approach – and that’s what we are doing here. And we are telling our strong Indiana story."

Indiana is also making big strides in renewable energy advancements, specifically with harvesting and utilizing solar power, but then taking it another step deeper by examining the ground beneath the land allocated for solar farming. In Pulaski County, scientists have discovered these solar farmlands to be a prime location for a sheep-based agri-voltaic system, which offers an economically responsible and environmentally superior energy solution. 

Other things are putting Indiana on the national and global maps – our state is ranked by Forbes as the number-one state to start a business, and our cost of living is one of the lowest in the country. Yet beyond those attractive qualities, Scardina says it’s important to look at the big wins Indiana has achieved and continue its momentum.

“There have been $33 billion in capital investments for new projects in just the last six quarters,” she said. “That’s equivalent to what we’ve earned in the six years prior. We we did this by boldly targeting those industries and companies that will be future-focused and intentionally marketing our unique value proposition.” 

This intentional approach to strengthening the economic landscape with major investments, forward-thinking innovations and daring new developments throughout the state have created thousands of new jobs and business opportunities. A stable economy means employment rates increase, families have more money in their pockets, and generational wealth can be created.

Indiana is for the bold.