Collaborating for competitiveness

Collaborating for competitiveness Main Photo

5 Dec 2023


As Community Development Manager for the Hancock Economic Development Council, Erica Boswell knows how much of a competitive advantage quality of life is.


She learned strategies on that front and more at the 2023 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference in Indianapolis November 29th through December 1st. The conference was organized by the Mid-America Economic Development Council, a professional association representing 12 other states. Sessions provided information on helping mid-American communities compete against not just other markets in the U.S., but other countries as well.

The conference addressed several quality-of-life initiatives significant to Boswell’s role and that economic development organizations are becoming more involved in, including workforce development, housing and childcare. Panels discussed all of those topics respectively, and each included a representative from Indiana, something Boswell appreciated.

“I was able to learn how different communities in Indiana are approaching these issues, and how they are–as an economic development organization–working with other organizations in their community that are already in that space to be successful and productive in approaching these relatively new arenas for economic development folks,” Boswell said.

Other conference sessions focused on site location trends, electric power, and Indianapolis’ sports strategy.

The conference’s size of about 130 attendees offered excellent networking opportunities, Boswell said.

“Being able to exchange those lessons learned, to be able to help everyone grow and succeed was really great and something that I haven’t seen at a conference before–just the ability to network and talk to a majority of the conference attendees,” she said.