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Northeast Indiana Mobilizes for READI Program Funding

By: Ryan Twiss on June 28th, 2021

Indiana has experienced four consecutive record-breaking years for job and investment commitments. To maintain this momentum and accelerate the state’s economic growth, Indiana launched the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), a bold, transformational initiative that will dedicate $500 million in state appropriations to promote strategic investments that will make Indiana a magnet for talent and economic growth.  

Through this initiative, Northeast Indiana's 11 counties are working together to create a shared vision for their future, mapping out the programs, initiatives and projects that are critical to retain talent today and attract the workforce of tomorrow.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) formally notified IEDC of the region's intent to apply for Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) Program funding on behalf of the Northeast Indiana region.

Currently, local economic development officials in Northeast Indiana’s 11 counties are accepting project and program proposals for the region’s application for Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) Program funding until July 16.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is contracted by the Regional Development Authority to provide staff support through its application for the READI program. On June 23, the RDA officially submitted its intent to apply to the IEDC, ahead of the July 1 deadline. The Regional Partnership team is contracted with TIP Strategies on behalf of the RDA to support the creation of the Regional Development Plan that will serve as the READI application and will build on existing work that TIP has done with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. as a part of the Allen County Economic Development Action Plan.

The Local Economic Development Organization (LEDO) Council is serving as the Steering Committee for the application process and has identified three major themes for the Regional Development Plan:

  1. Grow the Workforce
  2. Downtown Vibrancy
  3. Entrepreneurship & Innovation

All projects/programs to be included in the Regional Development Plan should fall under one or more of these strategic themes. The portal for submitting proposals opened on June 24 at www.neindiana.com/rda, which includes background on the initiative as well as online forms for submitting proposals to be included in the Regional Development Plan.

The LEDOs are serving as primary points of contact for submissions from their respective counties. The Regional Partnership team is serving as the contact for projects that are truly regional in scope. The submission deadline for proposals that want to be included in the Regional Development Plan is July 16. Because this project will be very competitive, we’ve made it clear that:

  • Proposals submitted by July 16 are not guaranteed to be included in the Regional Development Plan
  • Proposals included in the Regional Development Plan are not guaranteed to be funded
  • Projects and programs that are not included in the Regional Development Fund are not precluded from funding.

The Regional Partnership team is working with TIP Strategies and the LEDOs to schedule virtual focus groups in each of the non-Allen counties the week of July 12 to help inform the narrative of the Regional Development Plan. 

For more information on the READI program, please contact Vice President of Talent Initiatives Ryan Twiss >>