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FRANKFORT, Ind. — Indiana’s economy is flourishing thanks to thousands of new jobs being brought to the Hoosier state. 

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes (R) says now that those jobs are here, the state should be putting more focus on attracting more talent to Indiana in order to fill those jobs. He says a way to do that is for smaller Indiana towns to make an effort to make their downtown areas more appealing and invest in quality housing for new workers in Indiana.

“Small town renaissance is possible,” McBarnes tells Inside Indiana Business. “But you must have sound leadership. You must have city and county leaders working together focusing on quality of place. That quality of place will help attract that top tier talent.”

McBarnes helped christen the Nickle Plate Flats this passed weekend in Frankfort. It’s a $7.2 million downtown apartment complex complete with electric vehicle charging stations and other amenities. 

“People thought we were crazy when he first brought this idea to the table,” McBarnes adds. “Out of the 18 or 19 leases that have been signed, 16 of them have never lived in Frankfort or Clinton County before.”

McBarnes says quality of place improvements in Frankfort are being fueled, in part, by the need to attract talent for local agribusiness and advanced manufacturing companies, including Frito-Lay, Federal-Mogul Corp. and NHK Seating of America.

He says other smaller cities and towns can capitalize on housing new workers in Indiana by following suit.

(PHOTO: ThinkstockPhotos)