Region Eyes 'Transformational' Plan

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Business and community leaders say a new strategic plan for the Wabash Heartland Region has the potential to reshape the 10-county area. The first phase of the economic vision, released last week, is the result of twenty months of planning, fueled by a $575,000 Lilly Endowment Inc. grant. "I think we are on the cusp of a potentially transformational period," said Purdue University Chief Legal Counsel Steve Schultz, who expects the university's planned $1.2 billion innovation district to play an important role. "It's effectively building a new city designed to invite businesses to come to our region and live work and play with our world class researchers and students at Purdue," said Schultz, during an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television.

The analysis focuses on eight industry clusters in an area that includes Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties.

Insurance executive Gary Henriott served as Steering Committee Chairman for the effort and says he’s pleased with regional buy-in for the plan. "That's certainly a challenge for any region that's being developed," said Henriott, who suggests there is evidence of support throughout the region. "There are a lot of things going on regionally that are already being done and this is going to accelerate that."

The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network will now get to work on selecting priority initiatives and actions, then developing an action plan and timeline.

You can connect to the full Strategic Plan for Economic and Community Prosperity in the Wabash Heartland Region by clicking here.

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