Six communities have been named finalists for the statewide Hometown Collaboration Initiative. Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says the new program, launched by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, involves “developing opportunities for growth and prosperity.” January 13, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann electronically sent congratulatory announcement videos to the six newly designated finalist communities for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI). The program, in its inaugural year is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) in partnership with Ball State and Purdue Universities and was unveiled by Ellspermann at regional conferences held around the state last fall.

“Congratulations to each of the HCI finalist communities. As Indiana's Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, I am a strong proponent of growing rural Indiana. That means ensuring our communities provide quality of place where residents and talented people choose to live, work and raise a family. I am confident the HCI program will assist the communities in further developing opportunities for growth and prosperity,” stated Lt. Governor Ellspermann in the recorded messages.

2015 HCI Finalist Communities include:

-The Town of Corydon

-The City of Lebanon

-Perry County

-Pulaski County

-Rush County/Rushville

-The City of Seymour

This initiative is open to communities of fewer than 25,000 people that want to expand their pipeline of local leaders, strengthen and expand jobs by building on existing economic assets and improve the attractiveness and quality of life of their hometowns. A core principle of HCI is that broad-based input and buy-in is vital to the long-term success and sustainability of all community development initiatives.

Eligible applicants were asked to choose between three building blocks:

-Economy – Strengthening our Hometown Economy

-Leadership – Developing our Hometown Leadership Pipeline

-Placemaking – Focusing on our Hometown's Natural & Built Resources

The application consisted of six open-ended questions that demonstrated the community's ability and need to participate in the program as well as identified the current strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they were asked to explain why their community was prepared for this program.

After semi-finalist communities were announced in early December 2014, the HCI team conducted site visits at each of the local communities who were able to further elaborate on their need for the program and allow the team to experience each community.

The congratulatory videos from Lt. Governor Ellspermann are available on You Tube.

For further information on the Hometown Collaboration Initiative or to contact a regional Community Liaison with questions, please visit http://www.in.gov/ocra/2732.htm or http://www.in.gov/ocra/2330.htm.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs' (OCRA) mission is to promote rural community prosperity to strengthen Indiana's economy by providing capacity-building solutions to assure ready, marketable and competitive opportunities for economic growth. For additional information on OCRA and its programs visit www.ocra.in.gov.

For updates from Lt. Governor Ellspermann and the agencies she oversees, go to www.lg.in.gov.

Source: Office of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann

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