Regional Cities Investments Progress in 'Great Southwest'

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Audrie Burkett serves as COO for the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. Audrie Burkett serves as COO for the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana.
EVANSVILLE -

The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana says the state's Regional Cities Initiative has generated a combined $551 million investment throughout four counties so far. Since receiving the designation in late 2015, 11 quality-of-life-boosting proposals from Indiana's Great Southwest have received approval. The projects, the organizations say, will help make the region "a magnet for talent."

Regional Cities involves up to $42 million in state funding pledged to southwest Indiana, north central Indiana and northeast Indiana to stimulate additional investment from additional public and private sources.

Indiana's Great Southwest, the name given to the strategic alliance of Vanderburgh, Warrick, Gibson and Posey counties, says projects moving forward include:

  • Walnut Street Connector Trail in Vanderburgh County
  • Regional Medical Center in Poseyville
  • YMCA-to-housing redevelopment in Evansville
  • Evansville Regional Airport terminal renovation
  • Warrick Wellness Trail

Officials say the public funding portion of the regional investment exceeded $145 million, with private sources planning to kick in some $404 million.

EDC Chief Operating Officer Audrie Burkett provided an update on the progress of several projects:

  • Perspectives

    • Indiana's Workforce is Mission: Critical

      Indiana is ranked the #10 Best Place to Do Business, #4 for Quality of Life, #1 for Regulatory Environment and #2 for Software Job Growth. Indianapolis is ranked #3 for Tech Jobs for Women. We have four of the top 25 Best Places to live in America, with my hometown of Fishers topping the list. Yet, in spite of these amazing rankings, we have some serious challenges to overcome within our economic development ecosystem, not the least of which is skilling up a workforce to meet demand.

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