Does Terre Haute have an image problem?

Some of you have told us our local political climate...along with things like recent federal raids aren't helping our image in the state.

Posted: Nov 8, 2017 6:43 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Our local leaders are working hard every day to bring jobs to the community.

Lately, that's been a difficult and trying task.

Some of you have told us our local political climate...along with things like recent federal raids aren't helping our image in the state.

This makes it even more difficult for Terre Haute to compete.

So, does Terre Haute have an image problem?

You hear it all the time from people who visit.

Terre Haute has potential.

Yet, we are the slowest growing metro area in the state.

Our population has essentially been at a standstill for seven years.

So, why can't the city tap into all of this potential?

We went looking for answers...starting with a woman that recently moved here.

Meet Leah Singer.

She calls Terre Haute home now, but for most of her life, she lived in sunny San Diego.

18 months ago, she made the unlikely move from California to Terre Haute.

"It's been a transition. It's different. But it's been a good one so far." Leah said.

Since moving to Terre Haute, the Singer family has been getting to know their new home.

Leah blogs. In fact one of her articles, "I moved from a blue state to a red state, and it changed my life," was recently published in newspapers across the country.

"One of the things people don't realize is what a gem Terre Haute is," Leah said.

She echoes a lot of what Terre Hautians hear about this community, there are lots of things for families to do...whether that be at local parks, an art museum, or the library.

She sees potential every single day and says she is asked all of the time whether Terre Haute affords her enough things to blog about, and she surprises most with her response that there are.

"It's just getting that out, and I think giving people in Terre Haute the confidence to let everyone know all of the great things this community is doing," Leah said.

In other words, it's time to reframe the city's mindset.

She understands the job loss Terre Haute's suffered, particularly Pfizer...and then the Nantworks controversy that followed.

But rather than dwell on these negatives, she hopes the city can see the success that's been built here.

"Those are stories that need to be told and told outside of Terre Haute," she said.

When we talk to sources outside of the city, Terre Haute's reputation isn't good, and its biggest critic is the city itself.

In part two of this story, we will talk to Gerry Dick, the host of Inside Indiana Business.

We asked him how Terre Haute stacks up against the rest of the state when it comes to competing for jobs.

Does he agree with Leah about Terre Haute's potential?

We will also ask that same question to a former Indiana governor.

Part two is coming up on News 10 Nightwatch.

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