Northeast Indiana kicks off Regional Cities Initiative

March 3rd, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 3, 2015

Northeast Indiana kicks off Regional Cities Initiative

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Nearly 100 business and community leaders from around Northeast Indiana attended a kick-off presentation last night to learn about the regions proposal development process for the Governor's Regional Cities Initiative. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc., who are spearheading the process, held the event to outline what the region needs to accomplish to be named a Regional City and how the community can be part of the process.

The Regional Cities Initiative is a public-private partnership proposed and led by Governor Pence with support from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The goal is to transform Indiana's approach to economic development by creating dynamic communities that attract and retain talent. 

"Northeast Indiana has been relentless in our pursuits to strengthen the region's economy and make it a top choice for businesses and residents," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "The timing of the Regional Cities Initiative aligns perfectly with these efforts and can help us maximize our impact across Northeast Indiana."

The initiative will look for quality of place projects that have the most economic impact in a region. Leaders in Northeast Indiana will review existing plans from all 10 counties in the region, including those proposed through Vision 2020, Thrive, Stellar and Riverfront Planning. 

The plans will be leveraged to create a final slate of approximately 50-60 projects. The final slate of projects will balance quality of place assets for a vibrant urban core with the surrounding region to achieve national recognition and reflect a connected, collaborative regional community.

"The Regional Cities Initiative can significantly enhance the quality of place and talent attraction efforts already underway in the region, but we must prepare now to take advantage of that potential," said John Urbahns, executive VP of economic development at Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

The Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. are establishing a steering committee to help guide the region's planning phase. Members of the steering committee will ensure regional collaboration with all 10 counties, recognize the IEDC's focus on creating a dynamic urban core and garner participation from Northeast Indiana's young professionals. 

Additional stakeholders already at work building Northeast Indiana's quality of place will be engaged through interviews, focus groups and an online survey. The region's application to the state will be posted for public comment in June.

Proposals must be submitted to the IEDC by July 1, 2015. Pending funding approval by the State Legislature, the IEDC will select one or two winning regions to support their transformation plans. 

For more information, visit the Regional Cities Initiative page on the Partnership's Vision 2020 website.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership 

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership w as formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc. 

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Fort Wayne, serving as a single point of contact for economic growth in Greater Fort Wayne. Together, we're growing a more prosperous, vibrant community in Greater Fort Wayne. To learn more about Greater Fort Wayne Inc., visit www.GreaterFortWayneInc.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Courtney Tritch
Vice President of Marketing
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
260.469.3460
courtney@NEIndiana.com

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