This organization was established in response to the “Indiana Regional Cities initiative,” the State’s first big push toward regionalism. The initiative was a legislative priority of the administration of then-Governor Mike Pence, supported by the Indiana General Assembly, and implemented by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The specific goal was to focus on enhancing the quality of place in communities that could help the state increase its population by attracting people and businesses to relocate to Indiana. In 2021, the Wabash River RDA had the opportunity to submit a proposal for a similar initiative – the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) – and was awarded $20 million. Members of the Wabash River RDA include Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo Counties.
Some projects that have been completed through this organization are the renovation of the ICON building into Riverfront Lofts in Terre Haute, a splash pad in Sullivan, and a business incubation hub in Vincennes.
Through collaborative partnerships with West Central Partnership, Thrive West Central, institutions of higher education, and other key partners, we have worked steadily over the past several years to increase awareness surrounding the importance of regionalism and have worked in coordination with the State to prepare for opportunities, such as the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).
Perhaps what’s most notable is the three regional groups working together under the umbrella West Central Partnership, dedicated to creating the best region to live, work, and play. The Wabash River RDA, Thrive West Central, and West Central Partnership each have unique missions to transform West Central Indiana – Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo Counties.
Together, the powerhouse groups of leaders, partners, and public-private partnerships make West Central Indiana a destination of thriving opportunity unlike any other in the state.
The Wabash River RDA exists to pursue economic opportunities in partnership with the State of Indiana.
Thrive West Central serves as the direct connection to the Economic Development Association and serves as the key organization in creating a better life for the aging population.
West Central Partnership focuses on overall quality of life metrics and serves as the foundational organization for the 21st Century Talent Designation.