Radius Indiana has announced results of a collaboration with Indiana University graduate students designed to develop potential growth solutions for the eight-county region. Suggestions include the creation of a South Central Indiana regional tourism brand and increasing collaboration with the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. The students' vision also extended into capitalizing on WorkOne resources, strengthening STEM initiatives and developing extracurricular programs to develop skills that match employer needs. April 28, 2015

News Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Radius Indiana will receive the final results of a capstone project, focused on strategies for regional economic and community development for southwest central Indiana, from School of Public and Environmental Affairs graduate students at a presentation April 28.

Working in collaboration with Radius Indiana, as well as the IU Office for Engagement, the presentation is the culmination of the SPEA graduate students' semester-long, research and planning project to create possible initiatives that could boost the region's vitality.

The outcome of that research is a three-part presentation featuring a potential tourism development plan, workforce development plan and the concept for the proposed creation of a Rural Center of Excellence at Indiana University.

“We are impressed with the vision and incredible effort from this group of graduate students during our collaboration this semester,” said Becky Skillman, president and CEO of Radius Indiana. “Radius Indiana is invested in finding the best possible solutions to bring growth to southern Indiana and our work with SPEA has given us a viable framework for future initiatives and planning.”

The capstone includes possible ideas such as creating a regional tourism brand to attract visitors from neighboring states as well as IU alumni; increasing collaboration with Indiana Office of Tourism Development; mapping tourism assets; capitalizing on available WorkOne state resources for jobseekers and employers; strengthening STEM education initiatives for K-12 students; and developing extracurricular education programs to develop student skills that will meet the needs of regional employers.

The proposed Rural Center of Excellence at Indiana University would address challenges specific to rural communities in areas such as business, education, health and technology. SPEA students envision that this type of center could also become a model for rural community advancement in other areas of the state.

Capstone projects are large-scale, student-led collaborations between SPEA and organizations such as local governments, nonprofits and economic development corporations. The Radius Indiana Capstone project was performed under the direction of SPEA professor, Frank Nierzwicki and fulfills a requirement for graduate students to complete their degrees.

“Working with Radius Indiana has been an invaluable experience for our group,” said Jonah Otto, SPEA graduate student and Capstone project lead. “We were able to apply classroom skills to a real-world situation and give something back to the community.”

About Radius Indiana

Radius Indiana is a regional partnership representing eight counties in South Central Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington Counties. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southern Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Source: Radius Indiana

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