Forging Ahead: East Central Indiana Receives the Second-Largest Award in Funding from READI 2.0

April 11, 2024

The East Central Indiana region, encompassing Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, and Wayne counties, has received $35 million in funding from Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), the second highest allotment in round two.

The allocation represents a remarkable $20 million (133%) increase in support for regional economic development initiatives compared to the first round. Funding from READI promises to fuel transformative growth and opportunity across communities in the region.

Trevor Friedeberg, President & CEO of the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, expressed appreciation stating, “I am incredibly proud of the work that was put in across the region to make this award a reality. I speak for nearly 400,000 residents of ECI in thanking Governor Holcomb, Secretary Rosenburg, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), and everyone who coordinated, collaborated, and came together to make this possible. With this award we will accelerate growth in our region that will have an impact for years to come. I have said it throughout this process: East Central Indiana is primed for growth and this is our time!”

Launched by Governor Holcomb and spearheaded by the IEDC, READI encourages regional collaboration and data-informed, long-term planning to attract and retain talent in Indiana. In READI 1.0, ECI received $15 million for 19 impactful projects across various sectors including broadband, childcare, infrastructure, arts and culture, recreation, and talent attraction with $5 million disbursed to date.

For READI 2.0, the IEDC has focused on several KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), such as population growth, per capita income growth, growth in employment opportunities, education attainment, housing unites developed, childcare capacity, innovation activities and private investment. The Partnership has outlined strategic investment priorities in their regional development plan, targeting improvements in quality of life, addressing housing and infrastructure needs, supporting childcare and families, and promoting education and opportunity. Drawing insights from regional workshops and survey input from over 3,000 community members, the regional development plan aims to propel transformative change, aligning with the KPI’s identified by the IEDC.

 The regional development plan is projected to have the following outcomes by 2031:

  • Stabilize the population attracting 1,500 people across the region each year.
  • Increase educational attainment enabling 1,300 people to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher each year.
  • Promote housing development building approximately 7,200 housing units (including 3,000 units with READI support).
  • Support livelihoods boosting the regional per capita personal income by $22,043 (representing a 47% increase).
  • Foster innovation encouraging the filing of 100 additional business applications each year.

The regional development plan and READI funding empower the three elements that serve as the backbone of East Central Indiana’s vision: a mosaic of communities, innovative education and medical institutions, and amenities that enable residents to thrive. Through regional collaboration, ECI is forging a bright path for residents.

For more details on READI 2.0 and to read the regional development plan, please visit