Friday, September 24th, 2021

Indiana touts READI participation

Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2021

Indiana Economic Development Corporation says 91 of Indiana’s 92 counties are participating in the $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. A total of 18 regional groups have been formed to pursue up to $50 million in READI funding designed to spur investment in quality of place efforts.

The Northeast Indiana group led by the Northeast Indiana RDA will participate. Participating counties include: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.

The READI program was launched in May, with the goal of creating projects and programs to attract and retain top talent. The IEDC said at the time READI is expected to attract at least $2 billion of local, public, private and philanthropic match funding.

Fayette County was the only county not included in any of the regional groups, according to the IEDC.

Now that each region has declared its intention to pursue funding, the next step in the READI program is for the regions to develop and submit their regional development plans. The plans, which are due August 31, will outline the regions’ strategies to invest the funding, which could include physical projects and multi-year programs “to advance quality of place, quality of life and quality of opportunity.”

“READI will help harness a natural synergy of regional economic development leaders and private industry professionals to implement strategic investments in quality of place and innovation,” Governor Holcomb said in a news release. “We encourage stakeholders to collaborate and think big. Focus not only on shovel-ready, but on multi-year programs to develop talent, drive innovation and improve the quality of life which will transform our great Hoosier state for future generations to come.”

The regional development plans will be evaluated in the fall with final funding decisions expected by the end of the year.