- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Ball State University is launching an economic development group aimed at improving the quality of life in Indiana’s cities and towns.

The Indiana Communities Institute will help the state’s cities and towns improve the life experiences of their residents, businesses and visitors.

The institute’s goal is helping communities attract and retain the kind of talented workers that businesses want to hire.

Ball State Vice President for Government Relations Julie Halbig says research shows communities that have seen increases in population, personal income, wages and jobs “create, attract and retain talent.”

She says those communities have in common good schools, recreational activities, clean neighborhoods and public and private amenities.

Halbig says communities that lack those characteristics have struggled to grow for decades and “face an even more dismal future.”

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