Dubois Strong held their 2019 Annual Meeting today with a huge line up of speakers to address the large crowd at the Ferdinand Community Center.
Allison Menke of OFS and a Dubois Strong Chair emceed the event, starting out the event with a welcome and remarks.
After a lunch session, U.S. Senator for Indiana Mike Braun, originally from Jasper, addressed the crowd as a keynote speaker. Here he talked about his humble beginnings, starting his business in a single-wide trailer to growing it what it is today, which has over 72 locations nationwide.
The self-proclaimed optimist and hard worker Braun also spoke on the rising cost of healthcare, infrastructure, prison space, as well as term limits and congressional pensions in Washington, which Braun said he wants to rid of.
A Q & A session with Braun closed out his time on the stand, ranging from topics such as North Korea to Wage Raises, and fellow Hoosier Pete Buttigieg, who is currently in the Democratic Race for the 2020 Presidential Election. Braun said that the United States’ relationship with North Korea is much better than it was in 2016. He also compared President Donald Trump to Buttigieg, stating that the reason Donald Trump made it to the White House and how Buttigieg is gaining so much traction with voters is that, like Trump, Buttigieg is not someone that is part of the political establishment. He followed by stating that “people are craving that kind of leadership,”. Braun stated that he would like to see wages raised to the level where both businesses and employees can strive and that infrastructure is one of his top priorities as Senator.
President of the Regional Development Authority and Chairman and CEO of German American Bank, Mark Schroeder, followed Braun with updates on the Mid-State Corridor and the Regional Development Authority. He gave a history on the project along with the long process of getting the Mid-State Corridor off the ground. He also gave explained the Tier 1 Studies regarding the Mid-State Corridor. Schroeder answered a public question stating that more meetings will be brought up to discuss the Corridor further in Dubois along with Spencer Counties.
Dubois Strong President Ed Cole addressed the crowd last, where he made it known that in 2018 there was an increase in population and work in Dubois County. Cole discussed the 2018 Workforce Attraction Campaign results, where he stated that they recruited workers from areas in higher unemployment areas, in areas beyond the counties surrounding Dubois, so far as to reach out to Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and Tennesee. The campaigned produced 10 million ad views, with 44,000 clicks and a click-through rate of 43%. They also sent 1,025 people from their website to their job website.
Cole also expressed the Quality of Place in Dubois County, speaking out about fiber optics in Huntingburg, the Market Street Park completion, the renovations at Old Town Lake in Ferdinand, the Parklands in Jasper, the upcoming Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot Jasper, and more.
Dubois Strong is a county-wide, collaborative, public-private partnership that maximizes community resources and assets to foster economic growth.