ROI opens application for first round of Ready Communities implementation grants

Ready Communities grants to enhance quality of place and workforce attraction strategies in the Indiana Uplands

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) has opened up applications for its first round of Ready Communities Implementation Grants for projects in counties that have completed a Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plan. Three rounds of funding will be available at $1 million per round for a total of $3 million in implementation grant funding. The second round will open in summer 2019, and the third round opens in early 2020. Grants will be available in amounts from $100,000 to $250,000 per grant in each round.

“For our communities and our region to thrive, we must create high-value quality of life assets and amenities,” said CEO Tina Peterson. “We want to ensure that our children, families, and employers have every reason to stay in the Indiana Uplands. By investing in quality of place, we will enhance the live, work, play environment for the benefit of all and improve our ability to attract and retain talent.”

About Ready Communities

The Ready Communities Initiative is providing counties and communities the resources necessary to strategically plan for, develop, and implement projects and programs that build quality of place, grow regional capacity for workforce development and attraction, and improve the attributes and amenities that make the Indiana Uplands a desirable place to live, work, and play.

Grant Process & County Plans

Counties began the Ready Communities planning process in the fall of 2018. Each Indiana Uplands county was eligible for a $50,000 planning grant to develop a Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plan. To date, four of the 11 Uplands counties have completed plans, with the remaining seven plans still in progress. Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plans for Brown, Crawford, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties can be viewed on the ROI website (https://regionalopportunityinc.org/ready-communities/plans/).

Implementation Grant Eligibility

Implementation grants are available for projects in counties that have completed Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plans. Examples of eligible organizations include incorporated cities and towns, nonprofit organizations, schools and education institutions, county commissioners and councils, chambers and economic development organizations, and other tax-exempt entities. Exempt entities without a 501(c)(3) designation may be apply if they meet eligibility requirements.

Projects and initiatives eligible for implementation funding must align with priorities identified within the completed Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plans.

Funding Categories

Funding categories for Ready Communities Implementation Grants include Aesthetics and Beautification Enhancements, Connectivity Infrastructure Development, and/or Community Cohesion & Support initiatives. Some examples of the types of projects or programs that may be eligible for grant funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Aesthetics and Beautification Enhancements: place branding, public art, streetscape beautification, park enhancements, and main street type investments

  • Connectivity Infrastructure Development: bike & pedestrian paths, trail enhancements, walkability improvements, public broadband or wi-fi, and public transit or other transportation needs
  • Community Cohesion & Support: childcare facilities, workforce training centers, public spaces, innovation spaces, and farmers markets

How to Apply

Grant applications for the first round of implementation funding are due on April 15, 2019. For more information on eligibility and application requirements, go to https://roigrants.communityforce.com

More information about the Ready Communities Initiative is available at www.regionalopportunityinc.org/ready-communities.

About Regional Opportunity Initiatives

The mission of Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) is to advance economic and community prosperity in the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties). ROI is implementing education and workforce initiatives and regional engagement initiatives for quality of place development. More information can be found at https://regionalopportunityinc.org/.

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