Breaking News
More () »

Columbus named Indiana Community of the Year

“Receiving this honor is validation that our many efforts are having the impact we intended," said Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop.
Credit: Visit Indiana
With sculptures abound and creative design implemented throughout the city, visitors from everywhere come to view Columbus’s incredible architecture, as well as its equally impressive art.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has named Columbus as its 2022 Cummins Community of the Year. 

Columbus was selected this summer by a five-person panel after a review of all cities that had been nominated, the chamber said. 

In its announcement, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce cited Columbus' "robust business climate, philanthropic spirit, exceptional workforce and quality of life opportunities."

Columbus has a population of about 50,000 people. Its manufacturing industry — with opportunities in automotive, electronics, aerospace and more — employs about 39% of the city's workforce. 

The chamber described the city as diverse, with one in 10 residents born elsewhere. Throughout the schools, 54 different languages are spoken.

In addition to this, the chamber said the city's architecture makes it a destination for both visitors and residents. 

“Columbus possesses the rural feel of a small, Midwestern community along with the talent, innovation and culture typically found in large cities. The mix is dynamite,” said Indiana Chamber president and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

ICYMI: We've named Columbus as our 2022 Cummins Community of the Year! Congrats to this great city, which also received the award in 1992. Read: https://www.indianachamber.com/columbus-named-indiana-community-of-the-year/ #columbusIN #columbusindiana Cummins Inc Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Visit Columbus, Indiana Columbus Indiana, City

Posted by Indiana Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, September 1, 2022

Columbus has also undertaken a handful of large-scale efforts to make it a better place to work, live and visit. 

“Receiving this honor is validation that our many efforts are having the impact we intended. I’m so pleased to accept this recognition on behalf of every business and every citizen in Columbus," said Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop.

Those efforts include the renovation of the former Fair Oaks Mall into NexusPark — a community center for health, wellness and recreation that will feature an indoor sports fieldhouse, retail shopping, restaurants and an outdoor community park.

Also, Columbus Propeller launched last fall. The chamber called it an innovation center and “maker space" with a metal shop, 3-D printing shop and woodworking shop as well as an electronics and robotics lab.

Another notable addition to Columbus is Velocities, a $2.5 million partnership involving the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, The Mill (Bloomington’s center for coworking and entrepreneurship) and Elevate Ventures that features an entrepreneur in residence and ecosystem manager. Velocities has invested more than $4 million in newly formed companies since 2019.

Additional endeavors include new apartments, the extension of the People Trail for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as plans for a downtown conference center hotel.

“We want to be the best community of our size in the country. You may be familiar with the notion of a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal – that’s what we more or less adopted here in Columbus. It’s the kind of thing that, while different people may define it differently, everybody understands that what we’re after here is excellence," Lienhoop said. 

Columbus was one of the Indiana Chamber’s first community of the year recipients – back in 1992. The city will be presented the latest honor at the Indiana Chamber’s 33rd Annual Awards program on Nov. 16 at the Indiana Convention Center.

Some other recent recipients of the Indiana Chamber Community of the Year are: 

  • 2021: Greater Lafayette
  • 2020: Fort Wayne
  • 2019: Plymouth
  • 2018: Jasper
  • 2017: Goshen
  • 2016: Fishers
  • 2015: Carmel
  • 2014: Bloomington
  • 2013: Bedford
  • 2012: Indianapolis
  • 2011: Kokomo
  • 2010: Terre Haute

Before You Leave, Check This Out