VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — By 2025, Terre Haute’s population of over 60,000 is expected to fall by 1.8%
The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and its partners, including city Mayor Duke Bennett and CEO of Union Health Systems Steve Holman are hoping to reverse that possibility with the help of a new strategic plan.
“See You in Terre Haute 2025” is a new community brand and plan that will replace the city’s current slogan of “A Level Above”.
“We want to keep people here. We don’t want to just train them through our colleges and universities or have them work at one of our local employers, get a lot of skills up and then leave Terre Haute for a better paying job,” Mayor Bennett said.
The strategic plan has been in the works for months. The slogan was chosen with the goal of increasing overall interest in the area through current residents, visitors, and those who may be looking to relocate to Terre Haute.
“We want people who are visiting Terre Haute to think, ‘Hey, they’re open, they’re welcoming, they’re inviting,'” said Chamber of Commerce President Kristin Craig.
The plan is made up of six pillars that will come together to reach the goal of retaining and growing the current population.
The six pillars are economic development, health and wellness, infrastructure, quality of life, talent attraction and retention, and tourism.
“We just believe See You in Terre Haute really reflects not only education, healthcare, retail, but all the other things that we’re doing here. It just makes people want to come to Terre Haute, and we’ll see you there,” Mayor Bennett said.
In addition to stopping the city’s population decline, the plan is expected to use the six pillars to bring Terre Haute and Vigo county’s median household income from 81% of the state’s average of $43,097 to 85% of that average.
Right now, Terre Haute residents have a median household income of $34,746, which is $7,000 lower than Vigo County at $42,030.
“We want to increase wages and salaries here in our community so we can draw people in but also keep people,” said Mayor Bennett.
According to the Chamber and its partners, the biggest part of the plan is community involvement.
“Find out what speaks to you. offer your feedback. get involved. It’s pretty simple, but we need everybody to be a part of this process to make it truly successful,” Craig said.
The full plan is available here. The community can leave feedback and join task forces that are connected to each of the six pillars.
According to Craig and Mayor Bennett, the plan is not permanent and is open to any changes people would like to see made.