International Center Expanding to Promote Northern Indiana

Elkhart and Indianapolis, Ind. -- Officials of the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG) announced that they have added The International Center to the organization’s arsenal of resources to promote international economic development within Northern Indiana and to help the region and its businesses attract and retain international talent.

Through the formation of a new collaborative, The International Center will make available to Northern Indiana businesses, including CPEG and their corporate partners, several programs and services to help those businesses achieve objectives related to international talent.

Specifically, The International Center will provide:

  • Destination Services – Working directly with a relocation group or an expatriate employee’s HR department, The Center will tailor programs to address critical issues and concerns at each juncture of their relations – before departure, through the search for a new place to live and “settling in” services. In addition, a course may be offered for the accompanying spouse or domestic partner and their family to learn how to navigate daily life in their new community.
  • Global Competency Training – Providing customized training programs for corporate clients, service providers, educational institutions and community organizations. Clients may be arriving to live and work in the U.S., leaving to take a work assignment overseas, working in the virtual global environment or addressing diversity issues in their own Indiana workplace.
  • Protocol Services – Providing advice and counsel to assist clients in using internationally recognized procedures to transform an unfamiliar environment into a comfortable climate in which to conduct business. Services range from creating itineraries and production schedules, to coordinating diplomatic visits to and from Indiana at various levels, to arranging official meetings for visiting delegations to managing international events and providing flag displays.

This partnership stems from a talent and workforce review conducted by a coalition of Northern Indiana workforce and economic development organizations. The review’s findings and recommendations were recently released in a report titled Talent Roadmap for Northern Indiana.

“We are a welcoming community, and the recruitment of international professionals is a natural element of the region’s long-term talent attraction and retention strategy,” stated Shawn E. Peterson, CPEG president and chief executive officer. “To improve our competitiveness, the Talent Roadmap recommended offering additional assistance to international recruits and their families as they assimilate into the community and to the businesses that need to train co-workers regarding cultural differences.

“We are thrilled to partner with The International Center, as it is seen as a model across the United States for providing these very services,” said Peterson. “Over the years they have provided services to global giants like Eli Lilly and Dow AgroSciences, both headquartered in Indiana, and we are pleased to introduce The Center and its program staff to our members and other businesses in the Northern Indiana region to assist them in much the same way with their international talent needs.”

Diane Thomas, President and CEO of The International Center, sees this move as an embodiment of the organization’s growth strategy.

“We embarked on a path two years ago, at the urging of then-Governor Mitch Daniels, to extend our reach statewide and to make our programs and services available to businesses, governments, educational institutions and other organizations beyond central Indiana with international needs or an international growth strategy. We have strategically pursued such a growth plan, and this new collaboration with CPEG is one that can be a win-win proposition virtually from Day One – for CPEG, for The International Center, and most importantly, for businesses in the Northern Indiana region and their ability to attract and retain top international talent.”

The International Center has added Janine Felder-Kahn, based in South Bend, as a member of its Destination Services team where she will be available, beginning immediately, to assist businesses in Elkhart, Kosciusko, St. Joseph and Marshall Counties, as well as neighboring areas, as they recruit and relocate international employees. The Center’s existing staff will support Janine in her efforts and be available for customized training and protocol services as well.

“We are optimistic that we can add considerable value to the efforts of CPEG and their regional business partners and are eager to make as meaningful a contribution to advancing the global agenda of businesses in northern Indiana as we have been able to do for our long-standing business partners in Central Indiana,” said Thomas.

About CPEG

The Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG) is a coalition of regional business leaders who seek to develop and leverage regional assets that spur long-term economic growth and prosperity of Northern Indiana. CPEG partners with industry, government and philanthropic organizations to identify and efficiently implement regional and supra-regional strategies that enable our region to effectively compete in a global economy. For more information visit
About The International Center

For the past 40 years, The International Center has served as a guide to the world’s cultural landscape, and a catalyst for the state’s international growth. Working in collaboration with businesses, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and individual citizens, The Center expands Indiana’s global interest through a variety of programs and services and through convening diverse interests who share common international goals. The International Center is a member of the National Council for International Visitors. For more information visit

Source: The International Center, Corporate Partnership For Economic Growth