Local groups submit READI grant applications for share of $500 million

State officials say that area communities have submitted proposals through the second round of READI grant applications. The Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative will distribute up to $500 million along with $250 million being awarded by the Lilly Endowment.

The goal is to pair the state fund with matches from local public and private funding to generate $3 billion in investment in community initiatives. The governor’s office announced Tuesday that 15 regions across the state, representing all 92 counties had submitted proposals for this round of funding. According to the Governor’s office, the exact projects included in each proposal will be released next week.

In our area, the Southern Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation represents Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings counites and the town of Edinburgh in the South Central region with its application. According to the group, the proposals are meant to “inspire and cultivate collaboration among companies and communities to build powerful technologies, prosperous communities and a resilient future.” The goal is to do that by focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, education, workforce development, housing and quality of place improvements.

The region was led in the first round of READI grants in 2021 by the South Central Indiana Talent Region group and received $30 million in funding that year.

Brown County is part of the Indiana Uplands region being led by Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc. Shelby and Decatur counties are part of the Accelerate Rural Indiana region being led by the Accelerate Rural Indiana Regional Development Authority.