The East Central Indiana Regional Partnership is preparing its plan for the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative program. The organization is calling for project ideas that strengthen the region’s communities to be included in the plan.

The ECIRP covers Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph and Wayne counties. When complete, the organization says it will use the plan to apply for up to $50 million in READI funding.

The READI program will dedicate $500 million in state appropriations to promote strategic investments to make Indiana attractive for talent and economic growth. Through the initiative, which is facilitated by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state intends to encourage neighboring counties, cities and towns to collaborate in creating a shared vision for their future.

As a part of the READI process, the ECIRP says it is encouraging local communities to propose projects and programs that will “remove barriers to growth and advance economic activity across the region.” Ideal projects will concern quality of place, quality of life, quality of opportunity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development.

The ECIRP has created an online submission form to collect submittals. The organization says submissions can include the improvement of infrastructure, addition of workforce housing developments, revitalization of blighted or vacant properties, and enhancement of cultural amenities.

The organization says it will accept submissions through noon on July 30. The ECIRP planning team will review all submissions to determine which projects will be included in the final grant submission to the state.

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