KOKOMO, Ind. – As a leader in regional transformation, Indiana University Kokomo hosted an event Tuesday afternoon which brought more than 500 community and business leaders together to discuss continued economic growth.
The very first “Great Connect” event took place in Havens Auditorium on campus. During his welcome of the large crowd, Chancellor Michael Harris noted the university continues to focus on three main themes – one of which is transforming the region. In October 2010, IU Kokomo launched its effort for regional transformation for the 14 counties it serves.
“Havens Auditorium was built years ago as a bridge between the university and community,” said Harris. “We are delighted to have you all here and to be a major part of this effort to transform our region. As we compete globally in an economy of knowledge, innovation, and entrepreneurship, IU Kokomo continues to follow IU President Michael McRobbie’s vision for the regional campuses.”
Harris stated IU Kokomo is one of the major educational and economic resources in north central Indiana.
Recognizing the need for business, community, and education leaders to connect, more than 40 businesses – including IU Kokomo – co-sponsored the 90-minute event with the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance.
“We live in a world of global competition,” said Harris. “If we don’t move in an expeditious manner while building coalitions, we will struggle to sustain the American dream for a better tomorrow.”
Featured during the event were comments from area business and community leaders, including: Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor Steve Daily; Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight; General Motors Plant Manager Steve Hartwig; Delphi Electronics & Safety General Director of Human Resources Kevin Clancey; and Vice President and head of Powertrain Manufacturing, Chrysler Group, LLC, Brian Harlow.
“One of the greatest traits of Kokomo is its loyalty – that contributed to the fact that all our plants are up and running,” said Harlow. “We’ve taken the opportunity to get our employees re-involved with the community. We’ve not only invested financially into our community, but we’ve invested people back into the community.”
Harlow especially recognized the leadership of Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC, Fiat Group Automobiles, and Fiat S.p.A.
On Monday, May 23, IU Kokomo continues its commitment to transforming the region, hosting a Regional Organizations Collaborative (ROC). More than 15 educational, economic and cultural organizations will be participating in the ROC.Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.