A comprehensive approach to community engagement and information gathering characterized the Uplands READI planning process. Hundreds of people across the Uplands participated through community convenings, working groups, focused conversations, and steering committee participation. Hundreds more submitted projects and programs through our online portal. The timeline highlights the many ways regional stakeholders engaged throughout the process of developing the Regional Development Plan for READI.

May 3, 2021: LAUNCHGovernor Eric Holcomb formally announces the launch of READI and $500 million in state appropriations to promote regional investments to strategically advance quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, talent attraction, and population growth in Indiana.
Early May 2021: PLANNINGROI and Radius Indiana convene a broad coalition of stakeholders to form our regional steering committee to guide the process in the Indiana Uplands and ensure our development strategies are regionally relevant. The steering committee is comprised of representatives from anchor institutions and key industry clusters in the Uplands.
June 9, 2021: INFORMATIONAL SESSIONSROI, Radius Indiana, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation hold two READI informational meetings in Bloomington & French Lick with community leaders, major employers, and regional stakeholders to highlight the state’s goals, address specific questions, and begin planning our region’s response to this opportunity for regional collaboration and development.
June 14 – 24, 2021: LISTENING SESSIONSROI, the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, and Radius Indiana visit with leaders in each of the 11 counties over two weeks in June. These sessions captured what has been accomplished locally in the last five years and continues to be a need and a priority. Two hundred community stakeholders participated in listening sessions. These sessions captured wins and wishes, opportunities, and barriers to inform the regional SWOT analysis.
Late June – July 1, 2021: COMMUNITY COMMITMENTSROI collects resolutions from county commissions, city and town councils, school districts, and other entities affirming participation in READI as a member of the Indiana Uplands region. This was accomplished by the July 1 IEDC deadline, and ROI submitted documentation indicating the region’s intent to participate.
July 6 – 30, 2021: PROJECT & PROGRAM SUBMISSIONSROI prepares an online tool to allow Uplands organizations and individuals to provide information on potential projects and programs that have the capacity to grow the region’s economic outcomes through investments in place-based talent, business, and quality of place opportunities. ROI, Radius, anchor institutions, and community organizations publicized the tool widely among regional media outlets, organizational newsletters, social media,and word of mouth. A total of 270 submissions were made through the portal.
July 1 – August 2021: WORKING GROUP EVALUATIONSROI, Radius Indiana, and Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement form working groups of regionally relevant subject matter experts in the areas of digital inclusion, housing, innovation & entrepreneurship, quality of place, talent attraction, talent development, transportation & tourism, and health. These groups met multiple times to identify, assess, and explore regional projects and programs to enhance each of these areas.
August-September 2021: DUE DILIGENCE & REFINEMENTThe working groups, steering committee, and planning team define a process for collecting additional information, evaluating submitted projects and proposals, and developing a cohesive list of representative projects and programs that would bring value to the region and benefit from READI funding. Due diligence was also conducted to identify the financial resources necessary to advance projects and programs and meet IEDC match requirements. The Steering Committee also meets for a half-day work session to refine strategies.
September 2021: PLAN DEVELOPMENTROI, TEConomy, and the regional steering committee collaborate to synthesize data, evaluate regional trends and metrics, and define a vision of continued growth for the Indiana Uplands. Guided by this vision and the refinement of projects and programs, ROI and its project team develop a formal READI plan and update the region’s Strategic Plan for Economic Prosperity in the Indiana Uplands.
November 29, 2021:
PLAN PRESENTATION
The Indiana Uplands READI steering committee proudly presented the “Region on the Rise” Plan to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation review committee at Dallara IndyCar Factory.
December 14, 2021:
READI FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT
The Indiana Uplands region (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties) was selected to receive $30 million in funding from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).
January-May 2022:
READI IMPLEMENTATION TRAINING & PROGRAM REFINEMENT
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.
June 2022: READY COMMUNITIES 2.0 & READY HOUSINGStay tuned for updates on both of these funding initiatives.
2022 & BEYONDMoving forward, ROI will continue to coordinate regional development efforts along with key partner organizations, anchor institutions, and local governments.