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Northeast Indiana Organizes For READI Program Application

June 9th, 2021

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) announced today intent to apply for Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) Program funding on behalf of the Northeast Indiana region. The Northeast Indiana RDA has been endorsed as the region’s applicant by several key regional groups, including the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus of Northeast Indiana, the Local Economic Development Organization (LEDO) Council and the Regional Opportunities Council. The RDA will formally submit intent to apply to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation before the July 1 deadline.

Northeast Indiana RDA Board President Gene Donaghy shared enthusiasm for the initiative and confidence in the RDA, noting, "The Northeast Indiana RDA is already hard at work on a compelling application for READI Program funds and has the leadership, staff and structure in place to execute this critical work for our state and region.”

The Mayors and Commissioners Caucus of Northeast Indiana affirmed the RDA as an applicant for READI Program funds, noting the positive effects of the Regional Cities Initiative. Northeast Indiana was one of three regions in Indiana that received a $42 million grant in 2015, and the region secured match dollars to ultimately create $264 million of investment throughout the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana.

“As a member of the Caucus, I have observed how the Regional Cities Initiative has transformed our communities.  With 28 quality of place projects improving life in Northeast Indiana, we know the RDA is well-suited to lead the application process for the READI grant and continue leading the way on development in Indiana,” said Mayor Steve McMichael, Mayor of the City of New Haven and Caucus president.

CEO of Ortho NorthEast and Regional Opportunities Council chair Raymond Kusisto highlighted the support from the business community, a group called on to provide necessary private-sector match dollars for these important projects.

"Business leaders understand and support this investment in our regional quality of place. This initiative, like the Regional Cities Initiative, enhances the quality of life for all residents and bolsters our employers’ efforts to attract new talent to the region,” said Kusisto.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which serves the same 11 county geography as the Northeast Indiana RDA, has been contracted to provide administrative support to the RDA for the READI Program.

Sherilyn Emberton, president of Huntington University and Regional Partnership Governing Board chair said, “Northeast Indiana is energized by the READI Program and committed to executing a world-class plan that will continue to support the region and the state’s growth in population. Investments in quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development are key to this critical growth, and we are thrilled that the IEDC and State of Indiana have created this program, partnering with regions to positively impact the entire state.”

Any Northeast Indiana organization interested in learning more about this grant or watching a recording of the recent IEDC regional listening session can visit the Northeast Indiana RDA’s website at www.neindiana.com/rda. More information about the region’s application process will be available in the coming weeks.

The Northeast Indiana RDA also announced the plan to schedule a board vacancy election, as State Representative Craig Snow has resigned his RDA board seat. Representative Snow, a resident of Kosciusko County, was elected in 2019 and has served as RDA board vice president representing Silveus Insurance Group. The RDA membership, which elects the RDA board, is comprised of the mayors and county commissioners of the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana. An election will be held in the coming months to fill this board vacancy. Current board member Andrew Briggs of Farmers & Merchants State Bank was elected as board vice president.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), currently the largest RDA in the state, consists of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. The RDA is overseen by a five-member board, each appointed by consent of the executives of the member counties and municipalities, and receives staffing support from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com/rda

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Kate Virag
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
260.414.2431
kate@NEIndiana.com

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