Mar 14, 2023

READI Bolsters Quality of Life Investments in Northwest Indiana

Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined local officials and community leaders today in Gary as the Northwest Region celebrated a significant investment that will support current and future residents. Fueled by $10 million in funding from the transformational Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), the $30 million Tolleston Opportunity Campus will increase access to childcare, health care and other community programming.



“Indiana’s strong fiscal foundation has placed us in a position of strength and has enabled us to make unprecedented investments in our rural, urban and suburban communities,” said Gov. Holcomb. “This historic initiative in Gary will provide critical services for Hoosiers, increase quality of place and position the city and surrounding region for continued success.”



The nationally recognized READI program allocates $500 million to 17 regions across the state to accelerate shovel-ready projects and programs that are expected to transform Indiana communities, attract talent and improve the quality of life for Hoosiers in the short and long term. The Northwest Indiana Region, led by the Northwest Indiana Forum, was awarded $50 million in READI funds to advance its strategies, grow its population base, improve quality of place and quality of life, increase and diversity the region's quality of opportunity, and spur innovation and entrepreneurship to attract and retain talent. 
“The Forum is very proud to be leading the northwest Indiana READI effort,” said Heather Ennis, president and CEO of Northwest Indiana Forum. “This is one of 34 amazing projects occurring in northwest Indiana. As these catalytic projects evolve, many – like the Tolleston Opportunity Campus – are adding additional partnerships, deepening the impact they will have on our region.”
Supported by three anchor organizations – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, Crossroads YMCA and Methodist Hospitals – the Tolleston Opportunity Campus will be built at the Gary branch of the Boys & Girls Club in the former Tolleston Middle School. The project, which includes a new 50,000-square-foot space and an upgrade to the Boys & Girls Club, reimagines urban development, working to deliver exceptional spaces and programs focused on youth development, healthy families, healthy communities and economic and workforce development. These spaces and programs will include a fitness center with a wide range of amenities, learning opportunities for families and specifically for children, as well as a health care clinic and extracurricular classes. 
“Our community is excited about the Tolleston Hub project, including the new YMCA,” said Mayor Prince. “It’s proof Gary and our friends and neighbors can reimagine what’s possible when we all work together. We welcome all of our partners to Gary, and we look forward, with you, to accomplishing great things for northwest Indiana.”
Through READI, 17 regions across the state that represent all 92 counties are moving forward with projects and programs designed to enhance Indiana’s regions for current and future generations of Hoosiers. Collectively, the state’s $500 million investment is expected to yield roughly $8 billion of additional public, private and nonprofit dollars invested in enhancing Indiana’s quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity.