West Central Indiana: The Wabash River Regional Development Authority (RDA) announces the process for READI 2.0 as they release application guidelines and begin accepting questions from stakeholders within the communities it represents: Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo Counties.
“The RDA plans to utilize every dollar the state gives us to better West Central Indiana utilizing as many private dollars as possible to leave a lasting impression,” states Jon Ford, Wabash River RDA Board Chair. “We want to feel the dollars in how we move the population needle five to ten years from now.”
While regional awards will not be announced until 2024, the Indiana General Assembly approved an additional $500 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) funds in the 2023 budget Session. And the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) recently launched round two of the state’s well-known regional planning and implementation initiative aimed at projects meant to attract and retain talent across the state of Indiana.
The Wabash River RDA plans to focus its attention on four key areas, which align with the state’s goals for funding. The key areas include housing, early childhood development and care, recreational tourism, and workforce readiness and development.
“We have chosen these focus areas through qualitative and quantitative data utilizing regional planning and studies, which indicate a need for West Central Indiana to become more competitive in order to retain and grow our population,” states Ford. “The competition shifted from traditional jobs-only economic development to quality of life. We know we can’t attract and retain talent if we’re not offering the lifestyle people are looking for, which puts an emphasis on how we’re building our regional hub outside of jobs growth. We know high-level job opportunities will come if we create a place where people want to live. Companies are looking for a quality workforce, and potential employees are looking for a great place to live.”
The IEDC released eligibility requirements earlier this year. Public, private, and non-profit entities are eligible to receive funding for capital infrastructure projects, providing they can meet the required match. For more information on the READI program and state requirements, visit https://indianareadi.com/resources.
In preparation for the process to apply for READI 2.0 funds, the Wabash River RDA invites all potential project stakeholders within the five-county region to review the application guidelines and submit questions at https://www.wabashriverrda.com/readi-2-0-application.
Wabash River RDA READI 2.0 Timeline
• November 24 – Deadline for submitting questions to the RDA.
• December 1 – Application goes live on Wabash River RDA website; FAQ posted.
• February 1 – Deadline for application submissions.