"Your Story Made Here": How A Good Job Makes Bright Futures (VIDEO)

By Melissa Long - 21Alive

January 14, 2014 Updated Jan 14, 2014 at 5:18 PM EST

INDIANA (21Alive) -- A recent poll by the Gallup Corporation found that the one thing people want most in their lives is a good job. A good job affects your relationship with everything around you. The great recession put that dream in jeopardy for so many of you, but we want to help you get it back.

Today, we are kicking off a new initiative. "Your Story Made Here". We're going to show you the great businesses in northeast Indiana, tell you what kind of skills you need to work there and how to go about getting those skills. It's a big undertaking but we have some great partners in this effort.

The future of our community is up to us and there is every reason to believe it's a bright one.

Sweetwater, Steel Dynamics, Vera Bradley and Fort Wayne Metals are all local success stories with one thing in common, they were conceived, nurtured and driven to success by entrepreneurs. People who had a vision and more importantly took that vision to the next level. It's what we need more of according to Jim Clifton, the chairman of Gallup and author of the book "The Coming Jobs War". Clifton's book has become somewhat of a sensation in northeast Indiana with local community leaders passing it out and extolling its blueprint for economic success. Clifton says cities need to take charge of their own futures. He says the solutions don't lie with Washington. All they can do is make things better or worse.

Clifton says there is a reason that two cities in the same state can have totally different job growth. It comes down to free enterprise and an environment that encourages risk-taking. He says right now, companies feel there are too many regulations so they aren't spending money or hiring people.

The other secret ingredient in a thriving community is an educational system that identifies potential entrepreneurs and develops them. Parkview CEO and community leader Mike Packnett says northeast Indiana is starting to "get it" when it comes to education. He says there is nothing more important than education and a prepared talented workforce.

A solid workforce to fill the jobs created by small businesses. Businesses created by people who are willing to go for it.

Packnett feels it is important for cities to create an environment where people feel it's ok to take a risk. Jim Clifton says northeast Indiana has a "really good feel, like the momentum is changing". Packnett agrees that the sprit of Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana will take us to the next level.

Our goal going forward with "Your Story Made Here" is threefold.

- highlight local successful businesses who are churning out products sold statewide, nationally even globally
- pose the question: what should you as a job-seeker be doing to prepare to work at one of these companies
- and where do you go to get these skills?

Your Story Made Here will air every other Tuesday on 21Alive news at 5 p.m. and 11p.m.




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