Kosciusko County has joined northeast Indiana's push to be selected for the statewide Regional Cities Initiative. The steering committee is seeking tens of millions in matching dollars through the program, which was fully-funded by the General Assembly as part of the two-year budget. May 19, 2015
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Today the Regional Cities Initiative Steering Committee voted to include Kosciusko County in Northeast Indiana's bid to become one of Indiana's first Regional Cities. This is the largest collaboration ever between Kosciusko and the 10-county partnership of Northeast Indiana. Kosciusko will join Northeast Indiana in creating a slate of quality of life projects to be submitted to the state in hopes of winning $42 million in state matching funds through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative.
“We are seizing the opportunity to pursue what may be the most significant collaboration yet between Kosciusko County, Fort Wayne and the 10-county partnership of Northeast Indiana,” said Karl Bandemer, deputy mayor of Fort Wayne and Regional Cities Initiative steering committee co-chair. “Kosciusko County aligns well with our tenacious drive to build and generate new opportunities in our region.”
The Regional Cities Initiative is a public-private partnership led by Governor Pence with support from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The goal of the initiative is to make Indiana a magnet for talent attraction by creating a national identity for Indiana cities. Regions have been invited to submit proposals by July 1 with a slate of compelling quality of life projects.
This announcement follows actions taken by the Kosciusko County Commissioners, Kosciusko County Council and the Warsaw City Council to align with Northeast Indiana on this proposal.
“We are impressed by the spirit of collaboration in Northeast Indiana,” said Kosciusko County Commissioner Ron Truex. “Kosciusko's global companies and skilled workforce are heavily connected to the quality of life assets in Fort Wayne, so it makes perfect sense that we would combine forces with Northeast Indiana on an important initiative like this.”
“This alignment emphasizes a strong focus on quality of life initiatives that are necessary to attract a talented workforce to the entire region,” said Mayor Joe Thallemer, City of Warsaw. “A partnership with ten other Northeast counties yields collaborative strength we could not achieve alone. Sharing common goals and having established a productive interactivity within the region, we are excited to align with Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana as our Regional City partners.”
The Regional Cities Initiative Steering Committee is composed of representation from the 10 counties of Northeast Indiana, one-third of which are young professionals, and the effort is being spearheaded by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
“We are very excited for Kosciusko County to join Northeast Indiana's common goal to become one of Indiana's first regional cities,” said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “Kosciusko County and the city of Warsaw add strength to our Regional Cities proposal. As we work to raise the identity of Fort Wayne, we seek to build on the strengths of our entire region to develop creative ways to reposition for the future.”
For more information about the Regional Cities Initiative, visit www.neindiana.com/regionalcities or click here to download the FAQ sheet.
About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.
About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc.'s main focus is on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention and community engagement. To learn more, visit www.GreaterFortWayneInc.com.
Source: Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership