Regional Economic Acceleration
& Development Initiative (READI)
Since 2016, Indiana has experienced four consecutive years of an increase in job and investment commitments. To continue this momentum and accelerate the state’s economic and population growth, the state launched the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). The initiative will dedicate $500 million in state appropriations to promote strategic investments in regions across the state that demonstrate the potential to attract people and stimulate the state’s economic growth.
“Indiana is uniquely positioned to make transformational investments in our communities that will catalyze economic and population growth for years to come. READI will lead the nation in encouraging regional collaboration, and it will equip Indiana regions with the tools and resources needed to implement strategic investments in quality of place and innovation, creating a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our state for residents and for future generations of Hoosiers.”
Gov. Holcomb Awards $500 Million to Indiana READI Regions in Uniquely Innovative, Nationally Recognized Program
INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 14, 2021) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors approved plans today to award $500 million to support regional development plans across 17 regions representing all 92 counties. This competitive process considered applications for the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). The total requests tripled the allocated $500 million READI budget, as submissions from the 17 regions amounted to more than $1.5 billion in demand and detailed nearly 800 projects and programs with a potential investment of $15.2 billion. “The seventeen regions submitted innovative, creative and visionary projects that will result in a positive economic impact on Indiana’s future,” said Gov. Holcomb. “It took immense collaboration between communities as they put aside their own visions and worked together to present the best plan for the region. These plans will shape Indiana for generations to come and bring value to our state like nothing we’ve witnessed before. I want to thank the general assembly for having the courage and leadership to prioritize this initiative.”
The READI review committee, an external seven-member citizen committee, reviewed and scored the plans based on the established guidelines and against other relevant data, including historical population trends. All 17 regions presented to the external review committee, allowing each region to present an overview of its plan to distill its vision, goals and strategies to positively impact the area’s quality of place, innovation, entrepreneurship, talent attraction and workforce development. Following the evaluation, the READI review committee members proposed funding recommendations to the IEDC Board of Directors.
“Congratulations to the seventeen regional recipients who worked so hard for their communities. We’ve been impressed by their hard work and commitment to positively impacting the state” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “Thank you also to the citizen-members of the external review committee for their diligent work in meticulously reviewing thousands of pages of proposals. This bold initiative sets the national standard for regional development and advancement and will build even more momentum as Indiana continues to lead.”
The regional revelopment plans included housing, trails, broadband, childcare and wellness initiatives, workforce development programs, and telling Indiana’s story to the world. The plans enumerated a nearly 10:1 capitalization leverage ratio from private and public sources as compared to state investment.
The regions, with the counties the region represents, and its specific award are:
- 180 Alliance – awarded $20 million
Boone, Hendricks, Johnson, Putnam, Montgomery, Morgan
- 70-40 Mt. Comfort Corridor – awarded $5 million
- Accelerate Rural Indiana – awarded $20 million
Shelby, Rush, Decatur
- East Central Indiana Regional Partnership – awarded $15 million
Blackford, Fayette, Muncie-Delaware, Jay, Henry, Randolph, Wayne, Grant
- Greater Lafayette – awarded $30 million
Tippecanoe, Fountain, Warren, Benton, White, Carroll
- Indiana First – awarded $15 million
Harrison, Knox, Perry, Pike, Spencer
- Indiana Uplands – awarded $30 million
Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, Washington
- North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council – awarded $30 million
Fulton, Cass, Miami, Howard, Tipton, Clinton
- Northeast Indiana, led by the Northeast Indiana RDA – awarded $50 million
Lagrange, Steuben, Noble, Kosciusko, Whitley, Allen, Wabash, Huntington, Wells, Adams
- Northwest Indiana, led by the Northwest Indiana Forum – awarded $50 million
Lake, Porter, Laporte, Starke, Pulaksi, Jasper, Newton
- Our Southern Indiana RDA – awarded $50 million
Washington, Floyd, Scott, Jefferson, Clark
- South Bend-Elkhart RDA– awarded $50 million
Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall
- South Central Indiana Talent Region – awarded $30 million
Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings
- Southeast Indiana READI – awarded $15 million
Dearborn, Union, Franklin, Ripley, Ohio, Switzerland
- Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority – awarded $50 million
Vanderburgh, Warrick, Gibson, Posey
- Wabash River Regional Development Authority – awarded $20 million
Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo
- White River Regional Opportunity Initiative – awarded $20 million
Hamilton, Marion, Madison, City of Zionsville, City of McCordsville
Source: Press Release, Dec 14, 2021
- Indy Star: Holcomb announces regional redevelopment grants. Here’s how much central Indiana won. (Dec. 14, 2021)
- 14 News: Gov. Holcomb awards $500 million to Ind. READI regions (Dec. 14, 2021)
- Inside Indiana Business: State Awards $500M in READI Grants to All Regions (Dec. 14, 2021)
- 16 News Now: South Bend – Elkhart receives $50 million in READI grant funds (Dec. 14, 2021)
- Pharos Tribune: County, region get $20 million in state grant funds (Dec. 14, 2021)
- Kokomo Tribune: Howard, Miami, Tipton counties awarded $30M for major projects (Dec. 14, 2021)
Indiana Communities Define Regions (May – July 2021)
Local governments should coordinate and self-identify their proposed regions. During this time, the IEDC will host READI informational meetings across the state to detail the initiative and guidelines for regional development plans. Communities will have until July 1, 2021, to define their region and notify the IEDC of their intent to seek funding through READI. Regions will submit this notification via an online form.
Regions Develop Strategic Plans (July – August 2021)
Regions will convene a broad, diverse group of stakeholders, including major employers and other anchor institutions, education partners, economic development professionals, philanthropy partners, and its elected officials, to create a regional development plan that outlines the current state of the region, its vision for the future, and a game plan to invest in its growth and prosperity. Planning grants up to $50,000 will be provided to support this effort, and regions will have until August 31, 2021, to submit regional development plans, which will be made available to the public. Detailed guidelines for regional development plans are available.
Committee Reviews Regional Applications (September – October 2021)
The IEDC Board of Directors will form a READI review committee to evaluate regional development plans. Each region will have the opportunity to present its vision, goals, and strategies that will positively impact the area’s quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development. The committee will establish criteria to evaluate the plans and will host a series of review meetings that will be open to the public.
State Finalizes Funding Decisions (November – December 2021)
The review committee will make funding recommendations to the IEDC Board of Directors. Once approved, the IEDC will award READI funding to selected regions to advance implementation of the projects and programs designed to catalyze economic growth and talent development in Indiana.