East Central Indiana receives over 150 project ideas for state grant application

August 26, 2021

The East Central Indiana Regional Partnership (ECIRP), in partnership with local governments, economic development organizations and anchor institutions, is in the process of preparing a Regional Development Plan. This regional planning process, which includes Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph and Wayne counties, will identify strategic projects and programs that will ultimately strengthen our communities and make East Central Indiana a competitive choice for talent and economic growth. When complete, ECIRP will use the Plan to apply for up to $50 million in funding to accelerate the implementation of regional projects and programs through Indiana’s READI program.

The Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) is a bold, transformational initiative that will dedicate $500 million in state appropriations to promote strategic investments to make Indiana a magnet for talent and economic growth. Through this initiative, which is facilitated by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the state will encourage neighboring counties, cities and towns to partner in creating a shared vision for their future by mapping out potential programs, initiatives and projects that are critical to retain talent today and attract the workforce of tomorrow.

As a part of the READI process, ECIRP issued a Call for Projects with the primary goal of identifying potential projects and programs that, when implemented, will remove barriers to growth and advance economic activity across the region. In total, over 150 ideas were submitted from across the region’s eight county area. Submitted ideas included capital improvements and strategic programs that focused on enhancing local communities, expanding educational programs, improving regional destinations and facilities, and creating opportunities for innovation and advancement in businesses, industry and agriculture. In total, the projects submitted represented over $900 million in proposed investment with nearly $225 million being requested in READI funds.

The East Central Indiana READI Governing Body, which consists of two representatives from each participating county, have reviewed each submitted project to better understand the proposal and its alignment with the region’s goals around talent development and talent attraction. At this time the Governing Body has recommended that all submitted projects be included in the East Central Indiana Regional Development Plan.

The Governing Body is now in the process of determining which of the 150 projects will be highlighted as strategic regional efforts that will make positive developments in quality of place and quality of life, quality of opportunity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development. The final plan, which will include details on several proposed regional efforts, will be submitted to the IEDC by the September 30, 2021 deadline.

Following that submittal, the IEDC board of directors will form a READI review committee to evaluate regional development plans. Each region will have the opportunity to present its vision, goals and strategies that will positively impact the area’s quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development. Should the East Central Indiana region be awarded a $50 million READI grant, the ECIRP Governing Body will establish a set of investment criteria to prioritize and distribute grant dollars. As a part of the funding process, additional information will be requested on any number of projects to supplement the regional planning process. It is also possible that additional projects will be reviewed and added to the Regional Development Plan as a part of the final funding determination. Additional information on the funding process and proposed investment criteria will be shared as it is finalized.

If you would like more information about the East Central Indiana Regional Development Plan, please contact Katie Clark at or 317-460-7830.