State’s regions outline visions for READI grant funds

Our area’s hopes for state grant funds for economic development focus on projects improving innovation, education, housing and attracting population.

State officials have released the vision statements from the 15 regions around the state competing for up to $500 million in grant funding through the second round of the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI grants.

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. In the first round of READI grants in 2021 the region received $30 million in funding for projects.

In the executive summary prepared by the group, the region outlined its goals to advance innovation and entrepreneurship, to build and retain a workforce through expanded degree and certificate programs and to stimulate and sustain housing in the region.

The group says that Bartholomew and Jackson counties are already growing, and it would like to see Jennings County stabilize its population and then grow from 2027 to 2032. They hope to achieve that by investment in quality of place initiatives.

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.