The Northwest Indiana Forum says nine additional economic development projects have been approved to receive funding from the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. The organization says the projects are among 34 earmarked for the region’s share of the $500 million READI grant program.
The projects, which account for $24.7 million, received funding approval from both the NWI Forum and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The region was one of five to be awarded the full $50 million allocation through the READI program.
The Northwest Indiana Forum covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski counties.
The NWI Forum says the projects have met all the necessary requirements to receive READI grant funding. When factoring in local matching dollars, a requirement of the READI program, the NWI Forum says the projects will account for another $550 million in investment.
The projects include:
Valparaiso Community Sports & Recreation Complex-City of Valparaiso – $4,700,000 READI
The project includes a master plan to create a 248-acre park with multiple ball fields, plus an adjacent 180 acres for private investment to support the park.
Northwest Indiana Housing Study-Indiana University Northwest – $94,000 READI
An extensive analysis of the current housing market and inventory and construction mix as well as the changing dynamics of local markets.
Quantum Corridor–Digital Crossroads – $3,995,000 READI
The Quantum Corridor will create the first Coherent communication network in the State of Indiana. Developers say the network will be among the fastest and most secure networks in the world.
Downtown Hammond Train Station & Station Square -City of Hammond – $2,820,000 READI
A South Shore Line stop was not included in the West Lake Corridor blueprint. The funding will help pay for the addition of a new commuter stop as part of the massive rail infrastructure project.
Ivy Tech Energy Technology Mobile Unit – $705,000 READI
Ivy Tech has initiated partnerships with developing companies and plans to develop a mobile training unit designed to deliver remote instruction for students to meet workforce needs in renewable energy.
Region Roots Local Farm & Food Hub-NWI Food Council – $1,598,000 READI
The Region Roots Local Farm and Food Hub serves the needs of small-mid scale farmers trying to access wholesale markets.
Work-Based Learning Expansion (Internships)-Center of Workforce Innovations – $940,000 READI
The expansion of work-based learning opportunities across the region through increased internship and apprenticeship programs has been identified as a priority.
Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem-Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest – $470,000 READI
The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest is leading the development of a Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to break down barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Tolleston Opportunity Hub – $9,400,000 READI
The hub brings together five partners: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, Crossroads YMCA, Methodist Hospitals, City of Gary, and the Dean & Barbara White Foundation. The goal is to provide spaces and programs that focus on education, social services, childcare, health/wellness, physical activity, talent development, entrepreneurship and economic advancement.