News Release: Indiana Regions Deliver Bold Visions as Statewide READI Funding Requests Total More Than $1B

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 7, 2021) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced 17 regions representing all 92 counties submitted proposals for funding from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Together, these proposals, which aim to accelerate small- and large-scale growth within their communities, total more than $1 billion in requested funding; the READI budget is $500 million.

Regions submit READI funding proposals, begin review process

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 7, 2021) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced 17 regions representing all 92 counties submitted proposals for funding from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Together, these proposals, which aim to accelerate small- and large-scale growth within their communities, total more than $1 billion in requested funding; the READI budget is $500 million.

“Secretary Chambers and I are impressed with and appreciative of all the hard work and collaborative energy invested in the READI regional development plans submitted across the entire state,” said Gov. Holcomb. “I have no doubt these plans will be the beginning of transformational progress that will impact Hoosiers for generations to come.” 

In July, regions indicated their intent to pursue READI funding. Each region convened a broad, diverse group of stakeholders, including major employers and anchor institutions, education partners, economic development professionals, philanthropy partners, and elected officials, to develop a game plan for population and economic growth. In these plans, regions outlined their proposal to invest in their growth and prosperity, outlining a series of strategies focused on physical projects and sustainable, multi-year programs to advance quality of place, quality of life, and quality of opportunity. 

The regions that submitted READI regional development plans are:

  • 70-40 Greater Mt. Comfort Corridor, led by the Hancock County Economic Development Council
    Counties: Hancock, Marion
    Proposal Themes: Improve quality of life to increase region’s vibrancy, attractiveness, sustainability and affordability; attract, train and retain highly skilled workforce; increase diversity, equity and inclusion
     
  • 180 Alliance, led by the West Central Indiana Alliance
    Counties: Boone, Hendricks, Montgomery, Putnam, Johnson and Morgan
    Proposal Themes: Bolster region’s quality of life, outdoor recreation, arts and culture, housing for talent attraction, infrastructure improvements and talent development
     
  • Accelerate Rural Indiana, led by the Decatur County Community Foundation
    Counties: Decatur, Rush, Shelby
    City: Batesville
    Proposal Themes: Increase connectivity, make place-based investments including housing projects and public infrastructure, market the region and create career pathways for new students and adults needing to upskill
     
  • East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, led by the East Central IN Regional Partnership
    Counties: Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Wayne
    Proposal Themes: Boost population trends to end population decline, mobilize learning systems to increase educational attainment and build equitable economic opportunities to increase median household income and earnings
     
  • Greater Lafayette Region, led by the Greater Lafayette Commerce Community and Economic Development Foundation
    Counties: Benton, Carroll, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Warren, White
    Proposal Themes: Retain existing talent and welcome new talent to increase the region’s population, along with increasing housing opportunities, accelerate digital adoption among industries
     
  • Indiana First Region, led by the Southwest Indiana Development Council
    Counties: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Harrison, Knox, Martin, Pike, Orange, Spencer, Perry
    Proposal Themes: End population and job losses through investments in training programs, public infrastructure, fiber optics, transportation and improved connectivity throughout the region
     
  • Indiana Uplands, led by the Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc.
    Counties: Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen
    Proposal Themes: Scale and differentiate targeted industry clusters, ensure talent strategies meet industry demands, invest in key quality of life initiatives
     
  • North Central, led by the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council
    Counties: Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton
    Proposal Themes: Attract and retain people, develop the talent and skills of its current and future workforce, and connect talent with the jobs the region needs to be successful
     
  • Northeast, led by the Northeast Indiana RDA
    Counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, Whitley
    Proposal Themes: Grow population, increase educational attainment and raise per capita personal income
     
  • Northwest, led by the Northwest Indiana Forum
    Counties: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, Starke
    Proposal Themes: Build on success of IGNITE the Region plan, which focuses on business development and marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, infrastructure, talent and placemaking
     
  • Southern Indiana, led by the Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority
    Counties: Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott, Washington
    Proposal Themes: Nurture a diverse economy by improving destinations, workforce and entrepreneurship, real estate development, natural assets, connections and gateways, and infrastructure
      
  • South Bend/Elkhart, led by the Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority
    Counties: Elkhart, Marshall, St. Joseph
    Proposal Themes: Raise post-secondary talent attainment, improve minority income disparity, provide higher wage job opportunities and stimulate positive in-migration
     
  • South Central Indiana Talent Region, led by the Southern Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation
    Counties: Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings
    Town: Edinburgh
    Proposal Themes: With its largest anchor institution Cummins, Inc., this region is focused on advancing new and emerging technologies, ensuring careers are well-paying and equitably distributed and people are well-educated and trained; and to cultivate a culture of resiliency
     
  • Southeast, led by SEI READI Inc.
    Counties: Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, Union, Franklin, Ripley (excludes city of Batesville)
    Proposal Themes: Prioritize talent attraction and development as the region’s foremost opportunity for growth
     
  • Evansville Region, led by Southwest Indiana RDA (SWIRDA)
    Counties: Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick
    Proposal Theme: Bring new high-paying job opportunities, increase population, reduce the number of households living in poverty and improve the health and well-being of residents
     
  • West Central, led by the Wabash River RDA
    Counties: Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo
    Proposal Themes: Leverage the region’s higher-educational access, its destination assets and its proximity to Illinois to attract and retain students and visitors in the region
     
  • White River Regional Opportunity Initiative, led by the Central Indiana Regional Development Authority and Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization
    Counties: Hamilton, Madison, Marion
    Proposal Themes: Foster entrepreneurial ecosystem, generate high-quality and high-wage job opportunities and create vibrant places that attract and retain high caliber talent

READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that, when implemented, will attract and retain talent in Indiana. The IEDC will work closely with the newly established READI review committee to follow the evaluation timelines and assess the submitted plans before making formal recommendations for funding to the IEDC board of directors in December. Members of the READI review committee include:

  • Bill Hanna, Executive Director, Dean and Barbra White Family Foundation
  • Isaac Bamgbose, President and CEO of New City Development
  • Jason Dudich, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Treasurer, University of Indianapolis
  • Jason Blume, Executive Director, Innovation One
  • Kelli Jones, Co-Founder and General Partner, Sixty8 Capital
  • Leah Curry, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana
  • Lori Luther, Chief Operating Officer, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital

More information on the READI review committee, as well as links to download the regions’ proposals, is available at IndianaREADI.com. A map of the identified regions can be found here.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the State economy, driving economic development, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Led by Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers and governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit iedc.in.gov.