window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-137271436-1'); Skip to Content

KEDCO Talent & Entrepreneurship Stories – ‘Purpose’ is key for attracting & retaining talent

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Talent attraction continues to be a competitive arena. And the most sought-after communities seem to share a common trait––they’re deliberate with efforts to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce. Rightfully so. Skilled employees drive productivity and contribute to building a brighter and more resilient community, making it critical to think creatively and proactively when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

That’s why the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) is working alongside local employers and community partners such as OrthoWorx and the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, to provide purposeful talent attraction and retention support.

“We know a talented workforce is a major contributor to sustaining economic growth long term,” said KEDCO Talent Partner Jessica Hauck. “When employers find talent who not only possess the necessary skills for the job, but also find fulfillment in their roles and within the community, that’s the ‘win’ we’re seeking. “Job satisfaction is higher, and productivity and retention rates increase.”

Through the organization’s talent initiative, KEDCO offers talent relocation support in several ways. The “Red Carpet Concierge” program offers customized tours of the community for new and prospective hires. “The program provides intentional opportunities to showcase, connect, and welcome people to Kosciusko County,” said Hauck.

Here’s how it works. Following the completion of a brief questionnaire that offers KEDCO valuable insight into personal interests, participants are guided on a tour by KEDCO. Tours can include but are not limited to exploring neighborhoods of interest, visiting local schools, faith communities and churches, learning about volunteer organizations, and discovering local dining options and recreational amenities.

Additionally, KEDCO assists with housing needs and career connection support for other family members in the relocating household. “Our housing and talent initiatives work in tandem,” said Hauck. “We’re actively working to bring more market-rate workforce housing to the community, providing new talent with viable options.”

Hauck shared an example of how she helped an employer quickly find housing for a newly hired employee. Mena Callen, Maple Leaf Farms Human Resource and Recruiting & Retention Manager, reached out to Hauck, and with swift action, they secured right-fit housing for the new team member who was then able to relocate and start in the new role at Maple Leaf in just one week.

“Maple Leaf Farms is grateful for KEDCO’s partnership and support. KEDCO is willing to help without hesitation with recruitment efforts including identifying housing for new hires who are relocating to the area, or with sharing insight about what Kosciusko County has to offer,” said Callen.

KEDCO also hosts regular talent “Think Tank” meetings that bring together local human resource professionals for connection and key discussions on talent challenges and opportunities. Brian Evans, INvets Director of Outreach and Partnerships, joined as a guest at the Talent Think Tank meeting last month at KEDCO.

“INvets knows that communities in Indiana, like Kosciusko County, have a lot to offer young professionals and their families. We love meeting active-duty service members on bases across the country and showing them the opportunities Indiana and our employer partners have to offer,” said Evans.

INvets is a nonprofit organization founded by veterans for veterans, aiding with transitioning to civilian life, offering job placement support, and finding the right community for veterans and their families to ensure success and happiness.

Local employers, does your company utilize talent recruiters? This spring, KEDCO will host its third “community showcase” event for corporate recruiters representing area businesses, and KEDCO invites you to participate!

“Some recruiters don’t live in the community, or they work remotely, so these showcase events provide an up-close glimpse of Kosciusko County and offers them an immersive experience so they can help tell our community’s story to potential hires,” said Hauck.

Want to learn more about or get involved with the KEDCO Talent Initiative? Contact Jessica Hauck at or 574-306-4119. Stay connected with KEDCO via Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @kosciuskoedc.Learn more at

Pictured is a group of corporate recruiters at a
KEDCO Community Showcase event last fall.