The Northwest Indiana Forum announced Tuesday that three projects have been approved for a total of $2.1 million in funding from the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. The organization says the projects are among 34 earmarked for the region’s $50 million share of the $500 million grant program.
The projects received funding approval from both the NWI Forum and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The READI funding is contributing to the overall cost of the projects, which total nearly $4.4 million.
“These three projects are the tip of the iceburg,” NWI Forum CEO Heather Ennis said in written remarks. “The NWI Forum looks forward to working with these committed READI grant recipients to continue infrastructure, business development and marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, quality of place and talent growth in Northwest Indiana.”
United Way of Northwest Indiana will receive more than $1.8 million in READI funds for its Level Up NWI program. The project, totaling nearly $4 million, aims to provide assistance to struggling residents in Lake, Porter, Starke, Newton, and Jasper counties by helping to break barriers to higher-paying jobs.
The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center is set to receive $141,000 for its Minority Business Skills Enhancement Program, which has a total cost of $197,400. The program seeks to provide greater access to resources for minority and rural business owners, as well as those looking to start a business.
Finally, the Legacy Foundation will receive more than $101,000 for its NWI Biz Hub Entrepreneur Resource Center. The foundation says the initiative, which has a nearly $210,000 total investment, will expand no-cost programming to small business owners in the region.
The Northwest Indiana Forum covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski counties. The region was one of five to be awarded the full $50 million allocation through the READI program.
The organization says the 34 projects it has selected for READI funding have an additional $550 million in matched spending associated with them.