Lt. Governor Ellspermann Announces Hometown Collaboration Initiative Finalist Communities

December 4th, 2015

News Coverage:

For Immediate Release
OCRA News from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs
December 4, 2015


Lt. Governor Ellspermann Announces Hometown Collaboration

Initiative Finalist Communities

Indianapolis – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who also serves as Indiana's Secretary of Rural Development, today sent an  electronic video to congratulate four newly designated finalists for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI). The program is administered by the  Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) in partnership with Ball State University’s Center for Community Economic Development, Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development and the Purdue Extension.

This initiative is open to self-identified communities of 25,000 or fewer people who want to develop

a new generation of local leaders; promote the launch, survival and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs; or enhance the natural and physical assets 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 - Build a supportive community environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  •       Leadership – Prepare the next generation of leaders by equipping them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make good things happen in their community.
  •       Placemaking – Enhance community design and public spaces by building on the community’s physical and natural assets.

“We know that our rural communities play a vital role in Indiana’s economy, and I commend the finalists for working together to develop a strong local vision for the future,” Lt. Governor Ellspermann said in the video. “It is through programs, such as HCI, that we are able to foster a culture that supports capacity building, collaborative partnerships, business growth and provides a quality of place where people want to invest, live, work, and raise a family.”

 2015 HCI finalist communities include: 

  •       City of Auburn
  •       Orange County
  •       Spencer County
  •       Vermillion County 

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-finalists were announced in early November 2015, the HCI team conducted site visits and each of the local communities were able to further elaborate on their need for the program.

The congratulatory video from Lt. Governor Ellspermann is available on You Tube.

For more information about the Hometown Collaboration Initiative,  contact your regional Community

Liaison with questions and visit OCRA’s Hometown Collaboration Initiative webpage.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state, and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to assist communities in shaping and achieving their vision for community and economic development.

 For updates from Lt. Governor Ellspermann and the agencies she oversees, go to