An economic development plan funded by a federal grant could serve as a catalyst for an additional $20 million to revive three once-booming auto cities. The East Central Indiana Regional Planning District recently landed $150,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to examine new uses for abandoned automotive sites in Anderson, Muncie and New Castle. Planning District Project Manager Brad Bookout says the grant puts the communities in position to compete for millions of dollars to implement a vision. During a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, he says the need to improve the sector is “huge,” as the region has lost 40,000 auto manufacturing jobs. The organization beat out competitors in communities including Detroit and Dayton, Ohio.

Anderson, Muncie and New Castle city leaders have all pledged to match the USDA funding.

Bookout says the project will identify weaknesses in the cities and develop a vision for moving forward.

Source: Inside INdiana Business, The East Central Indiana Regional Planning District

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