Interested applicants encouraged to attend information workshops; June 27 for Ready Communities and June 29 for Ready Housing
Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) and Radius Indiana, in collaboration with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Indiana Uplands READI Steering Committee, is launching two competitive funding programs made possible through the region’s Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) award.
The Ready Communities 2.0 program will fund projects or programs strategically designed to improve regional capacity to attract and retain workforce by creating community amenities or enhancing the attributes that make the region an attractive place to live, work and play. Up to $3 million of READI funding has been earmarked to support this funding program. Informational workshop: June 27: 2:30-4:30 pm, College Hill Apartments – Auditorium, Paoli, IN.
The Ready Housing program will fund projects to increase the supply of owner-occupied and rental housing to support needed workforce and meet the goals outlined in the READI Region on the Rise plan. Up to $9 million of READI funding has been earmarked to support this funding program. Informational webinar: June 29: 10 am-12 pm, Zoom Meeting.
In December 2021, the IEDC awarded $30 million in READI funds to the Indiana Uplands region. This transformational state initiative dedicated $500 million in state-allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to promote strategic investments that will make Indiana a magnet for talent and economic growth. In total, IEDC awarded 17 READI grants to regions across Indiana. Regions are expected to provide a 4:1 match across all their projects and programs receiving READI funding. This includes a required 1:1 match from local public funding. Regional Opportunity Initiatives is serving as the convening entity on behalf of the Indiana Uplands region and will administer the READI grant moving forward in collaboration with Radius Indiana, IEDC, and a steering committee comprised of representatives from anchor institutions and key industry sectors in the Uplands.
Since the December announcement, ROI, Radius Indiana, and our partners have attended IEDC-sponsored trainings and refined programs to align with regional and READI guidelines and objectives. In May, regions across the state received the go-ahead to move forward with their READI strategies. With guidance from the Uplands READI Steering Committee and IEDC, ROI’s two competitive READI Funding opportunities, Ready Communities 2.0 and Ready Housing, will advance regional goals outlined by READI and the Indiana Uplands READI Development Plan, “A Region on the Rise.”
Ready Communities 2.0 expands upon ROI’s existing Ready Communities grant program. In 2018, ROI provided planning grants for each of the 11 Uplands counties to create a plan celebrating each county’s unique quality of place and build strategies and goals that advance prosperity in their county and the region. Upon completion of the plans, ROI opened a competitive grant opportunity and awarded $3 million in Ready Communities implementation grants for 18 projects in 10 counties. Ready Communities 2.0 will build upon these initial efforts and utilize READI funding for another round of implementation grants. The goal is to financially support projects that align with Ready Communities Quality of Life and Workforce Attraction Plans and the “Region on the Rise” READI Development Plan.
The Ready Housing program is a new program that aligns with ROI’s 2019 Indiana Uplands Housing Study and the Uplands READI plan. Both documents help identify workforce housing needs and strategies for advancing current housing opportunities and future aspirations in the Indiana Uplands region.
In addition to quality of place and housing, the Indiana Uplands “Region on the Rise” plan showcases many of the regional development efforts implemented across the region’s 11 counties since 2012 and identifies a series of projects and programs that have the potential to catalyze transformational economic growth.
The Indiana Uplands READI Development Plan, entitled “A Region on the Rise,” can be accessed on the ROI website at: https://regionalopportunityinc.org/readi
For updates on Indiana Uplands’ READI funding programs and to see frequently asked questions, visit: https://regionalopportunityinc.org/readi
About the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative
READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging neighboring communities across the state to work collaboratively to develop a bold vision for their future that, when implemented, will attract, develop and retain talent in Indiana.
To achieve this vision, regions developed data-driven, actionable, and sustainable plans that outline strategies focused on improving the quality of place, quality of life, and quality of opportunity within their communities. To help regions achieve their goals, IEDC awarded READI grants to 17 regions to accelerate the implementation of regional development plans and the programs and projects identified that will catalyze economic and population growth.
More information on READI is available at: https://www.iedc.in.gov/program/indiana-readi/overview
About the Indiana Uplands
In a region replete with talent and resources, Uplanders—from students to visionaries, artisans to entrepreneurs—are competitive and thriving here and worldwide. Uplands families, a dedicated workforce, and a tide of trailblazers call our 11 counties home. Home of industry and determination, innovation and creativity, good friends, and reliable neighbors. Our home is Uplands Made. Our counties are Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, and Washington. Learn more at https://inuplands.org/
About Regional Opportunity Initiatives
In 2015, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded three grants to three organizations totaling $42 million to fund regional development initiatives identified in the 2014 Strategic Plan for Economic and Community Prosperity in Southwest Central Indiana. Regional Opportunity Initiatives was formed in 2016 alongside the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement and the Indiana Innovation Institute. ROI’s mission is to grow potential and possibility in the Uplands through a focus on advanced industry sectors, regionalism, transformative school and workforce redesign, and placemaking strategies.
About Radius Indiana
Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in the Indiana Uplands region: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging diverse assets to drive attraction, retention, and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.