Inside INdiana Business

Indy Chamber selected for Brookings lab

Ian Nicolini is Vice President of Indianapolis Economic Development for the Indy Chamber. (IIB Photo/Mary-Rachel Redman)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The Indy Chamber has been chosen for a one-year project from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. The chamber says the Inclusive Economic Indicators Lab focuses on developing tools for tracking and driving inclusive economic outcomes for cities. Indianapolis was chosen for the cohort along with representatives from Memphis and Orlando.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Indy Chamber Vice President of Indianapolis Economic Development Ian Nicolini (pictured) said the cohort will study best practices from throughout the country and how best to implement them.

“What are other cities measuring? How are other cities reporting that information and ultimately, how are organizations collaborating in a way that puts the focus on driving outcomes?” said Nicolini. “How do you improve access to jobs and access to a more inclusive economy by providing more opportunities for more people, especially considering race, ethnicity, gender, income, etc.”

Nicolini says communities have kept “dashboards” that focus on economic indicators such as jobs created, average wage and capital expenditure.

“But it’s also really important to look at how those outcomes impact people when you consider disparities related to income, race and place. And so what are those best practices that other cities are doing or implementing is really timely information that’s going to be useful for us.”

During the one-year lab, the chamber says it will build a new dashboard of inclusive economic indicators and advance a model of shared accountability among local organizations, and develop and plan to ensure an ongoing commitment by key stakeholders. Nicolini says the chamber will convene a wide variety of partners, including the city of Indianapolis, the United Way of Central Indiana, Local Initiative Support Corp. Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Urban League, among others.

“With the creation of a dashboard unique to our region, we can use data to respond to the challenges we face and showcase the successes we’ve achieved as a city,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a news release. “Numbers tell a story, and we want Indy’s story to be about economic transformation for all.”