A USDA program designed to strengthen regional economic development has added an Indiana organization. The Southern Indiana Development Commission is among seven groups in five states selected for the latest round of technical assistance awards.

The Stronger Economies Together program offers services including assistance in developing a regional economic development plan and data such as comparative economic advantages as well as demographic and socio-economic information. Staff with the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Purdue University Extension will take part in providing guidance and expertise to the Southern Indiana Development Commission.

The Southern Indiana Development Commission serves Daviess, Greene, Knox, Lawrence and Martin counties, with the goal of strengthening and improving quality of life in the area.

The USDA launched the SET program in 2009, in hopes of helping rural communities throughout the United States work together to develop and implement economic development blueprints. It's part of USDA Rural Development, which focuses on areas including schools, public safety, health care and high-speed Internet access in rural areas.