Forbes: Hamilton County Most Family-friendly Place in U.S.

What do you like best about Hamilton County? The Fishers Freedom Festival? The table phones at the Noblesville Pizza King? Josh McRoberts?

Well, that debate could continue for a while. The verdict is in, however, regarding Forbes’ best place in the U.S. to raise a family and it is, in fact, our very own Hamilton County. The rankings were skewed toward areas with above par school districts, but the assessment factored in much more than that.

According to the Forbes article:

Raising a happy family requires more than just a good school system. With that in mind, we ranked the remaining counties using 10 data points: cost of living, graduation rate, standardized scores, home price, property tax rate as a percentage of median home price, percentage of homes occupied by owner, per-capita income, air quality, crime rate and commute time.

A hat tip to Hoosier Access for the initial post on this.

Internship Experience ‘Interactive’ for Local Company

Last week I visited Interactive Intelligence, Inc. on Indy’s northwest side. I3, as staff members refer to their company, is participating in the inaugural Future Workforce Connections program. In partnership with Department of Workforce Development,  Indiana INTERNnet has placed 26 educator interns in summer internships around the state. 

Tina Bedel, an IT teacher at Ben Davis High School, has been with the I3 tech team for a month and while the team helped her develop lesson plans to take back to the classroom, they brushed up on skills they don’t use on a daily basis. The team atmosphere is one aspect of her experience Tina will share with her students. As students sometimes balk at the idea of teamwork projects, Tina knows the importance of working alongside of others and now has firsthand knowledge of what can be accomplished through this work approach. 

I3 is one company committed to growing its own as their internship program has more than doubled from last year hosting 23 interns in 2008. From high school students to educators, I3 understands that in order to cultivate employees for tomorrow, they must invest in the emerging workforce today. There is no way a kid with even a bit of interest in IT couldn’t be motivated by spending some time at the very cool I3 headquarters. If our remaining internship site visits are even half as good, I will consider this program a success. Employers, if you’d like to be part of the 2009 summer internship program, join us on Aug. 5 to learn more.

Luntz: A Little Rest, a Lot of Energy

Frank Luntz was getting ready to speak to the Indiana Chamber board of directors as part of that group’s spring meeting. I had just finished a 40-minute interview (see the BizVoice magazine story) when the political and communications guru said he needed to take it easy for a little bit.

Before closing his eyes, he assured me his constantly buzzing PDA wouldn’t let him rest for long and that he’d be ready for his nearly two hours with the board. OK, he had just told me about some of his many recent travels. He was in Indianapolis that morning (he has an ongoing relationship with the Pacers, precipitated by work he did for the Simons and their shopping mall empire) before coming down to French Lick. And, to be honest, he looked like long hours were the norm rather than the exception.

Ten uncomfortable (at least on my part) minutes later, I said it’s time to go — and, as promised, he was ready. Board members were treated to a powerful and interactive session in which Luntz shared strong messages on politics, communicating effectively and more. It’s based on his book,  "Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear."

You will see and hear plenty of Luntz as the November elections approach. Read more today in BizVoice.