The One Region, One Vision movement is picking up speed, with a number of high-profile projects in 2011 and some behind the scenes as well.
A national spotlight has been put on the region as a result of the One Region, One Vision Education Summit held Feb. 23 at Hobart High School. U.S. Education Secretary Martha Kanter, the keynote speaker, was so impressed with the Northwest Indiana education innovations she learned about here that she has mentioned them in subsequent speeches across the nation.
A One Region, One Vision luncheon in Merrillville on Sept. 8 brought U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Kanter and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett to speak on education reform. Jay Williams, executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, spoke about the economic turnaround strategy in Youngstown, Ohio, where he had been mayor, and in other communities similar to Northwest Indiana's urban core.
The Gary and Region Investment Project's Urban Exchange series continued as well, with Williams and Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, speaking at separate events on revitalization efforts elsewhere and what Northwest Indiana might consider.
Since 2009, The Times Media Co. and the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council have been working together on the Gary and Region Investment Project. GRIP is a multiyear effort aimed forming partnerships with various community, state and federal groups and residents to develop an investment strategy to revitalize Northwest Indiana's urban core.
Other One Region, One Vision efforts have brought people across the region together to unite the region on other topics as well.