Growing economies of Hoosier micropolitan areas will be focus of policy forum open to the public

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Public Policy Institute and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host a policy forum and workshop April 25 that will focus on how to expand economies and innovation-led job growth in smaller communities in Indiana.

The public is invited to attend the forum, "Advancing Economic Development and Workforce Readiness in Micropolitan Areas," in person at Hine Hall, 875 North St. on the IUPUI campus, or via webcast. Participants are asked to register in advance.

Micropolitan areas -- like Speedway or Zionsville -- are labor-market areas centered on an urban area that has a population of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people.

Gov. Eric Holcomb will kick off the event, which will include academic experts including IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel, business leaders and public officials.

"To succeed economically, Indiana's smaller communities need to draw talent and technical capabilities from a wide area, as well as readily access research and educational organizations," said Tom Guevara, director of the IU Public Policy Institute. "But they require different strategies than traditional urban clusters, where post-recession employment is rapidly concentrating."

The workshop's panels and discussions will consider policies to more effectively network local resources across varied geographies and connect them to broader ecosystems and national and global innovation networks, Guevara said.

Forum sessions will examine a range of topics, including "Expanding Indiana's Innovation Economy," "Growing Micropolitan Innovation Networks," "Innovation Partnerships for Broad-based Growth," Growing the Micropolitan Ecosystem" and "Accelerating Innovation and Manufacturing Growth.

"The workshop is going to talk about connections between Indiana's universities, community colleges, federal labs and employers to create jobs and build a robust innovation economy," said Gail Cohen, director of the Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy at the National Academies.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is a private, nonprofit institution that provides expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world.

Created by a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences is a federally chartered nonprofit institution dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. Although the National Academies, of which the National Academy of Sciences is a part, is a private nonprofit corporation, it is called upon by the terms of its congressional charter to act as an official, yet independent, advisor to the federal government in matters of science and technology.

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