For a tech and innovation-focused audience, one might be tempted to concentrate on just the Dynamic and Creative Culture driver of the Indiana Vision 2025 economic development plan. But can dynamism and entrepreneurship flourish without the other plan pillars – Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate and Superior Infrastructure?

Thus, we’ll give you both with the broad overview this week followed by some additional perspective in an upcoming edition on our Dynamic and Creative Culture successes and challenges.

For those not as familiar with Indiana Vision 2025, it is the guiding star for the Indiana Chamber’s advocacy and policy efforts. The biennial Report Card evaluates the state’s economic progress through 65 metrics related to the 37 goals in the plan. It compares Indiana to the other 49 states, with selected regional metrics also available.

The newly released 2019 Report Card contains mixed results with several clear warning signs.

“Indiana’s tax, regulatory and legal environments – vastly improved over the past 15-plus years – have led to justly deserved high rankings in a number of national evaluations,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “But the health of our citizens, and the impact on communities and businesses, is negatively impacting the Attractive Business Climate driver and the state’s ability to

Indiana’s adult smoking rate of 21.8% (an increase from 20.6% in the most recent biennial comparison) is 44th worst among the 50 states. Adult obesity levels escalated from 31.3% to 33.6% – 39th worst. In the one new goal (to reduce drug-related deaths in the state) added to the plan since 2017, Indiana is 37th worst.

Postsecondary results continue to lag with Indiana rankings of 37th or 38th in the areas of associate degrees, bachelor degrees or training beyond high school that includes industry credentials. The good news, however, is there was significant improvement in each of those categories since the prior Report Card.

Overall, Indiana ranks in the top 10 in 14 of the 65 metrics. It has six rankings of 40th or worse. Compared to 2017, the state improved in 23 rankings and declined in 24. When looking at raw scores, 30 from the new Report Card are better than the previous version with only 20 declining.

“Those numbers reiterate that our state is not operating in a vacuum,” Brinegar offers. “While we improve in performance, other states are moving ahead at a faster rate and passing Indiana in the rankings.”

You can evaluate the results through the full 32-page Report Card or in segments:
Two-page narrative
Rankings summary
Progress on goals

The 2019 Report Card is the focus of regional forums (to discuss the results, obtain local analysis and share best practices). The events are sponsored by Duke Energy, NIPSCO, Vectren, Indiana Michigan Power, OneAmerica, Toyota, Indiana American Water and Indiana Michigan Power.

The upcoming forum schedule: June 25 (Evansville) and July 24 (Fort Wayne). Events have taken place earlier this month in South Bend, Corydon, Greensburg, Indianapolis and Hammond.

Adam H. Berry is vice president of economic development and technology at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He joined the organization in 2019.