ECO network: Economic Opportunities through education


EcO Network represents a partnership of education, business, and community leaders focused on aligning the region’s community learning system with economic growth and a high quality of life.

The EcO Network is the largest initiative of CEC encompassing the Southeast Indiana Economic Growth Region 9. Its mission is to create a regional system of life-long learning which connects residents in Southeastern Indiana to better economic opportunities through education. Stakeholders from the region who are active in this cross-sector collaboration include education, community foundation, industry, workforce, government, and community leaders.


EcO Network Serves Indiana’s Economic Growth Region 9 and Southeastern Indiana


Creating a regional system of life-long learning through collaborative networks, aligning workforce needs, and educational attainment.

The EcO Network undertakes system-change work focused on increasing educational attainment, especially linked to high demand economic sectors that are the most well-paying in Southeast Indiana. Current industry sector networks include Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Information Technology. These networks and the Attainment Network, are coordinated by guiding teams representing diverse stakeholders from public, private, and social sectors in the region.

EcO has three strategic goals:

  • Move residents up at least one level in their education, training, and/or job placement
  • Coordinate and align a regional learning system
  • Be a catalyst for regional leadership and collaboration.

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EcO Network Achievements

Lumina Foundation designates EcO Network as one of 26 Talent Hubs in the U.S.

This designation signals to the nation that EcO Network has the skills, know-how, and capacity to create systemic change for post secondary learners, ensuring residents of all backgrounds receive an education beyond high school. Acknowledging the exemplary status among peer communities, this elevates our region’s effective work and practices to a national level.

Strada Education Network awards one of seven Innovative Solutions in Education-to-Employment Grants.

This grant recognizes the Community Education Coalition and its EcO Network initiative as a back-bone support organization within the ecosystem helping bridge the divide between education and economic opportunity. Regional partners are invested in preparing learners of all ages for in-demand careers, designing solutions that are relevant to the real-world challenges and opportunities today’s students face.

EcO Network and Southeast Indiana designated as a 21st Century Talent Region.

The Governor’s Office of Career Connection and Talent in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation have designated 21st Century Talent Regions. Communities throughout southeast Indiana commit to a comprehensive systems-approach to attract, develop and connect Hoosier talent. Together we are striving to increase educational attainment, raise household income, and grow population.