Remote Workers

Inside Indiana Business reported that three Indiana Cities took positions in the Wall Street Journal’s list of Top Ten Places for Remote Workers: Evansville was #3, Lafayette was #5 and Fort Wayne was #10. The topic of remote workers comes up often at the Culver Crossroads meetings. While Culver has done a lot to become attractive to remote workers, I’m not sure we’ve done much to actually attract remote workers.

Culver saw a lot of remote workers during the pandemic. Not surprising that a community of second homes became a desirable location to shelter-in-place. One advantage that Culver had over the cities listed above (for sheltering in place) was our small size. We have many of the necessary amenities without the large population. We undoubtedly missed an opportunity to capture more of those remote workers.

Image from MCEDC website

While we have boosted our amenities, we can’t compete with small city amenities such as colleges. (Though to some extend, Culver Academies fills a lot of that gap. That’s not necessarily obvious to someone looking in from the outside.) What we should do is promote our proximity to these. Two of the above cities, Lafayette and Fort Wayne, are within 75 miles of Culver. Lafayette gives us proximity to Purdue. South Bend and Notre Dame are 45 miles away. Chicago is only 76 miles away! Michigan Wine Country is only 76 miles away. We’re only 100 miles of Indianapolis. Yet we only continue to promote Culver as a destination. The Culver Visitors Center promotes itself as Find Culver.

CabinetWorks Billboard on 31 South

What if we were to also promote Culver as a hub? Marshall County Economic Development Corporation has been doing this with manufacturers for years, pointing out the manufacturing centers and vast population within a 200 mile radius of Marshall County. (One of those interesting statistics is that there are more people within 200 miles of Marshall County, IN than within 200 miles of Atlanta, GA.)

Image from CabinetWorks Group Website

I know we’re still working on things and there are some issues, such as broadband, yet to be solved, but I don’t think it’s too soon to talk about why Culver is a great place to live, not just a great place to visit. This is an across the board thing. Look at the sign CabinetWorks has promoting working in Culver (above) and the image from their website promoting Culver itself (right). How do we extend their suggestion of working in Culver to living in Culver. Culver assisted Sand Hill Farm Apartments and The Paddocks bringing in workforce housing. They are in the process of helping two other developers bring in upper income housing. Is it possible to broaden the Culver Visitors Center’s mission to include finding new residents, not just visitors?

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