The Wabash River Regional Development Authority has submitted its proposal for the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. The RDA says the proposal includes nearly $300 million in projects across six counties in west central Indiana.
If funding is approved, the projects would be located in Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo counties with more than $73 million in matching READI funding requests. RDA President Greg Goode says each of the 42 projects is categorized into workforce development, tourism and quality of life, and entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Understanding every state agency will play a role in the funding efforts over time, we didn’t want to sell our region short,” Goode said in a news release “Our proposal demonstrates our region’s ability to uniquely compete and offer the state a profitable return on investment. Our region prepared for this opportunity for some time. This proposal was truly a collaborative effort with compiled planning over the last three years. So many leaders in our region came together creating the data, foundation, and projects to create such a transformational vision.”
The RDA says the workforce development projects address talent attraction and retention through educational opportunities, library expansions, and career pathways, among others. The tourism and quality of life projects include aquatic features and community pools, a sports complex, and museum expansions. The entrepreneurship and innovation projects, according to the RDA, focus on solutions to encourage startups and attract regional investment.
The west central Indiana region is one of 18 to submit proposals to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. seeking a portion of the $500 million allocated for the READI program. The IEDC is expected to announce which regions will receive funding by the end of the year.