The Regional Development Authority (RDA) of Northeast Indiana yesterday submitted its proposal for the State of Indiana’s Regional Cities Initiative, which is designed to enhance talent attraction and long-term population growth.
OrthoWorx Executive Director Brad Bishop is one of five board members elected to the 11-county Northeast Indiana RDA.
Two regions in Indiana will be selected to access up to $84 million in funds, over a two year-period, that were allocated by the Indiana Legislature in its 2015 session for Quality of Place initiatives. Significant local government and private investment must match the State funding.
A fundamental goal of the Regional Cities Initiative is to stimulate population growth to avoid a contraction in the State’s workforce and economic output. The Northeast RDA ‘s proposal is titled “The Road to One Million,” reflecting the region’s ambition to increase population growth and reach a total population of one million residents in the 11 counties, which includes Kosciusko County. The proposal describes 38 projects and $400 million in investments planned for the program’s first two years.
Hundreds of existing community plans, focus group sessions, interviews with stakeholders and walking tours were used as inputs to the proposal. The full portfolio of $1.4 billion in investments features 70 projects, including phase 1 projects (years 1 and 2); longer-term projects (years 3 through 8); and ideas for projects beyond the state’s initial 8-year timeframe.
The initiative is a culmination of a detailed study undertaken by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) of communities around the country experiencing rapid economic growth. Among those communities studied were Raleigh-Durham, Boise, Austin, Nashville and Denver. More information on the program is available at neindiana.com.
The Regional Cities Initiative’s focus on Quality of Life in the region aligns closely with OrthoWorx’s core initiative area of Community Enhancement, in addition to the University | Industry Advisory Board Talent Development Initiative. The OrthoWorx initiatives focus on not only improving the awareness of the Quality of Life assets in the region to young professionals moving to the area, but also to provide residents established in and around Warsaw with Quality of Life resources. OrthoWorx will continue to work alongside the RDA to ensure Warsaw, and Kosciusko County, remain a strategic part of the Regional Cities Initiative.