Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Fall in Love With Your Job All Over Again

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)


Do you remember that first day of your current job? Your head probably bounced off the pillow as you got ready to start a new chapter of your professional career. Everything about that first month of work was exciting and new. You may have even been excited to go to those dreaded Monday morning staff meetings (Maybe not, but you get the idea).

Then, without warning, something happened. You can’t quite put your finger on when it started, but, as the years passed, you started to lose some of that energy and passion for your job. You might start to ask yourself, “Is it the weekend yet?,” on Monday mornings.

That is okay though—this happens to almost everyone. It doesn’t mean you have to quit and find a new job to fill that void. It just means you must find that love for your job again! We’ve compiled five tips to help regain passion and enthusiasm in your work.


Rather than focusing on your department, try to think about the broad impact your position has from the customer and company to the community and society.

For example, a janitor at a hospital, who considers his/her roles vital to the patient’s experience at the hospital will gain greater satisfaction from their job than a janitor who sees their job just as a means to a paycheck.


In any position, you will come across the tedious tasks that you just have to get done. Tasks, such as expense reports and facilitating the monthly department meetings, can get repetitive and boring. When you come across a task like this, ask yourself what you can do to make it more exciting and fun. Can you challenge yourself to get your expense reports done in record time or can you add humor to the facilitation? The whole point of this is to take you off that autopilot mode and stimulate your brain.


You can’t change everything, but you can change your own attitude. Make an effort to smile, thank people, and don’t give difficult people power over your emotions. Try to think of one awesome thing that happened during your work day. Often, we let the frustrations of the day-to-day operations cloud the bigger reason why we took the job in the first place. A simple change of attitude will do wonders for how you perceive your job.


Many of us are willing to spend hours on our favorite hobbies. We have no problem hitting the links to play a round of golf or go canoeing on a warm summer day. If you were to put the same energy into your job that you put into the time spent on your hobby, your enthusiasm in the office will see a nice increase. Try to see if you can bring some of what you love about your hobby into your job and place of work.


Your professional career is a journey. Each day you go in to work is another step on that journey. Try to leverage your job as an opportunity to grow your professional or personal skills. There is no need to feel limited to your official job description, that is just a starting point. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to make going to work a more meaningful endeavor.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Let's Keep the Positive Momentum Going

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

Indiana had a record year for new job announcements in 2017 with commitments for more than 30,000 new jobs were secured, according to Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Unemployment hovered below 4 percent in the state and counties in our region.

There are more than 3.1 million people working in our state. That’s about 370,000 more than were working at the low point of the recession in July 2009. For 100 straight months, the number of people working has increased as our region numbers mirror the state.

Per capita personal income in our region grew at more than double the national average in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, while per capita personal income in 2016 was $42,946, up from $33,160 in 2010.

We continue to lag behind the national average in per capita personal income. Our region’s is only 87 percent of the national average, but we’ve made significant progress. In 2010, we were only 82 percent of the national average. Increasing wages, low unemployment and high employment should have us all optimistic about 2018.

Construction in 2017 also has us optimistic about 2018. The number of projects either announced, started or recently completed is significant. This is arguably the busiest we’ve seen the construction industry in some time. But will we see some slow down in the economy? We don’t think so, at least not in the short term.

Industry experts are predicting a rise in deal volume in 2018. Despite rising costs and labor concerns, those experts indicated there is no slowdown in sight and that a prosperous 2018 should be expected. Let’s hope they are right.

So, how do we keep the momentum?

Next month, a new regional economic development plan will be released. The plan is centered around industry growth, entrepreneurship, attracting talent, education and workforce, and diversity and inclusion. The plan is a follow-up to those developed as part of the Regional Cities process.

Our economic development teams will be on the road telling the story of our region, visiting 12 states for 28 different events or meetings. At the same time, others will hear about the great progress here and reach out to us as they consider whether this is the right spot for the next phase of their business. Many will visit our community to understand more.

This is where we all have an important role to play. Our businesses, cities, towns, neighborhoods, families, schools, churches, civic groups and social groups all play a key role. Each is an important voice in our effort to attract new people and businesses. When people ask, make sure they know you are excited. Maybe reach out to others in your address book and tell them they should come see what’s happening here. We’re in the middle of a big comeback, and it’s taken many people to change our direction. It will take many more to make sure we stay on the right path.

Also published in the South Bend Tribune

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Chamber Continues Push for South Shore Improvements at Airport

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

The South Shore Railroad Airport Relocation Project remains a top priority of the business community and we believe it should move forward. The project is critical to our community’s efforts to attract and retain top talent. Ideally, we would like to see it completed in a time frame that aligns with the completion of the South Shore Double-Track project.

Both the station relocation and double-track projects will help our region accomplish the goal of a 90-minute South Shore trip by 2020. A 90-minute trip puts our region in a strong, competitive position with other Chicago suburbs. Indiana is well positioned to take advantage of a poor Illinois business climate, and the South Shore will become even a more important connection for people living west of our area coming to South Bend to work and those living here traveling west for work.

The Chamber is committed to seeing the South Shore’s South Bend station being at the South Bend International Airport.

That connection provides the most logical, safe, economical and convenient options for travelers coming to and from our region. The airport location of the South Shore station provides convenient options like parking, restrooms, concessions, as well as the ease of connections to buses, air travel and taxis. In addition, the safety and security of the airport has been a real asset, as people generally feel comfortable coming to a facility that is occupied by many people, is clean, well lit, and has adequate security.

For these reasons, we don’t believe it makes good economic sense to construct a new station near Bendix Drive as has been suggested. Plus, it’s hard to justify the added expense of acquiring land and designing and constructing a building when resources are tight. There are ongoing operational costs to consider as well, such as staffing, security, snow plowing, grass mowing and other maintenance and upkeep.

It is also suggested that even if a Bendix station was built, South Shore intends to continue to the airport. The Chamber has a difficult time wrapping our arms around how the community would benefit from having two stations so close together. It only creates confusion for consumers as they are deciding where to board the train.

The airport connection could open potential economic development opportunities around the airport, especially on the west side. The rail connection, added with the airport air-freight opportunities and the ease of truck access positions that area for future logistics operations seeking the benefits of a multi-modal facility.

The Chamber is sensitive to the concerns of the residents of the Ardmore neighborhood, who’ve spoken out about the airport station relocation. Though we’ve not seen a final route, we’re confident the consultants have taken great care in identifying a route that will minimize disruptions in the neighborhood. For those that will be disrupted, a very fair relocation process is in place to ensure those displaced residents are adequately compensated.

We are anxious for the city of South Bend to finalize the route selection from the consultant and move forward the process of relocating the necessary homeowners. We’re concerned that further delays will make it more difficult to align with the 2020 construction goal. We also are concerned that further delays could impact the city’s ability to tap into federal funds to assist with the project as we anticipate some significant federal dollars to be available for shovel-ready projects as the result of a new infrastructure bill from Congress in 2018.

If you have additional feedback for me, please send me an email at

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Much to Do in a Short Amount of Time

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

Today (January 3), the Indiana General Assembly will kick off its 2018 legislative session. This year is a short session, scheduled to wrap up in early March. That means legislators will get right to work in anticipation of the early ending. Short sessions also mean no fiscal issues will be considered; those will have to wait for 2019.

But what exactly will they work on? That’s anybody’s guess and will likely come into better focus in the coming weeks. In recent years, the legislative sessions have been marked by big, defining issues like last year’s road funding discussion, or previous sessions’ action on items such as property tax caps, or even years ago on Daylight Saving Time.

Generally, the work of the General Assembly has netted some positive results. Action in recent years has helped vault Indiana to the top of those business climate lists, ranking tops in the Midwest and one of the tops in the nation. What’s next to make Indiana an attractive place for businesses and people?

Workforce issues may garner the most attention this year. You can’t go anywhere without hearing employers lament about their challenges with finding and retaining top talent to meet their workforce needs. This is more of a national phenomenon, rather than a regional or state-specific problem. But is there a legislative fix? Likely not, but the General Assembly will certainly look closely at potential solutions that attempt to ease employer concerns.

Alcohol sales have grabbed many early headlines as the legislature once again takes up the debate about whether consumers should be allowed to buy alcohol on Sundays. The consumers seem to be demanding it, but are the members of the General Assembly hearing them? Probably not. Every year about this time it comes up, and every year about this time it goes away, to be considered again at an unnamed time and date well into the future.

For the business community, the issue with alcohol sales is more about the message it sends to people about Indiana than it is about alcohol. Forty-nine other states have allowed this, while Indiana seems stuck with Prohibition-era laws. At a time when businesses are trying to sell people on the merits of Indiana — the positive business climate, the great quality of life — something as simple as this sends a loud message that Indiana is not progressive and is behind the times.

The opioid epidemic is also likely to grab legislators’ attention. It has far-reaching impacts on communities. Like the workforce issue, there is not an easy or magic fix. But the General Assembly is certain to take a closer look at where Indiana law might be able to help combat the epidemic.

The major metro areas of Indiana have a Regional Development Tax Credit on their legislative agenda. This is the follow-up to the Regional Cities Program and could help provide a needed incentive to fill a gap on development projects that enhance the quality of place within communities. We believe this tool can be critical to efforts to develop and redevelop our urban areas.

The business community has a strong interest in local government modernization and will keep a close eye on that issue this session. Locally, the full implementation of property tax caps in 2019 will put additional pressure on the budgets of our school corporations and local government units. We support initiatives to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs in preparation for the budget crunch that will soon follow.

The session will move fast. Follow it closely at and be sure to let your representatives know what you think about the issues being considered.