Friday, October 24, 2014

The International Center will help northern Indiana businesses

Posted on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — A new partnership should make it easier to attract international workers to northern Indiana, the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG) announced Thursday.

The announcement that CPEG teamed up with Indianapolis-based The International Center comes just days after the release of a CPEG-commissioned report, The Talent Roadmap for Northern Indiana, that highlighted a need to include international workers in efforts to expand the workforce in the region.

“We are a welcoming community and the recruitment of international professionals is a natural element of the region long-term talent attraction and retention strategy,” said Shawn Peterson, CPEG president and chief executive officer, in a written announcement of the new collaboration.

“To improve our competitiveness, the Talent Roadmap recommended offering additional assistance to international recruits and their families as they assimilate into the community and to the businesses that need to train co-workers regarding cultural differences,” he said.

Diane Thomas, head of The International Center, said the partnership with CPEG is part of the central Indiana group’s effort to branch out.

“We embarked on a path two years ago, at the urging of then-Gov. Mitch Daniels, to extend our reach statewide and to make our programs and services available to businesses, governments, educational institutions and other organizations beyond central Indiana with international needs or an international growth strategy,” she said in the same announcement.

“We have strategically pursued such a growth plan, and this new collaboration with CPEG is one that can be a win-win proposition virtually from Day One — for CPEG, for The International Center, and most importantly, for businesses in the northern Indiana region and their ability to attract and retain top international talent,” she said.

The International Center added a South Bend-based member of its team, Janine Felder-Kahn, to help businesses in this area.

Peterson said, “We are thrilled to partner with The International Center, as it is seen as a model across the United States for providing these very services.

“Over the years they have provided services to global giants like Eli Lilly and Dow AgroSciences, both headquartered in Indiana, and we are pleased to introduce The Center and its program staff to our members and other businesses in the Northern Indiana region to assist them in much the same way with their international talent needs.”

The partnership will provide destination services to help international employees and their spouses prepare and settle in, global competency training, and protocol services.

Thomas said, “We are optimistic that we can add considerable value to the efforts of CPEG and their regional business partners and are eager to make as meaningful a contribution to advancing the global agenda of businesses in northern Indiana as we have been able to do for our long-standing business partners in central Indiana.”