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Aaron Vigil-Martinez
Small Business & Entrepreneurship


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Kim Vinson
Business Development


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Regional Cities Initiative

What is the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative?

We’ve made Indiana a destination for business. And now, through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, we’re making Indiana a destination for talent.

The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative is helping communities across Indiana come together to transform their regions into nationally-recognized destinations to live, work and play. With employers continually stressing the need for a large, skilled workforce, Indiana is building upon its strong economic foundation to create a quality of place that attracts and retains future generations of Hoosiers.

In 2015, that need led seven Indiana regions to collaboratively create compelling strategic regional development plans that include more than 420 projects. Because of the Regional Cities Initiative, 70 percent of the state's population now lives in a region with a bold and viable plan for transforming its future.

Now, regions across the state are breaking ground and cutting ribbons on projects that will enhance and enrich communities’ arts, culture, recreation, innovation and connectivity. 


Three Regions Receiving $126 Million in Matching Funds

As part of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative’s first phase, the state has selected North Central, Northeast and Southwest Indiana to receive $42 million each in matching funds to support their regional development plans. 

North Central: Through the Innovate Indiana Plan, North Central Indiana is planning 40 regional development projects with $736.93 million in investment, including renovations to South Bend’s former Studebaker buildings and improvements to Ignition Park.

Northeast: Northeast Indiana’s Road to One Million Plan encompasses 41 regional development projects, including a regional trails network and riverfront development in downtown Fort Wayne, with investments planned at $471.67 million.

Southwest: Indiana’s Great Southwest plan focuses on 19 regional development projects, including a medical research center in downtown Evansville and updates to the Evansville Regional Airport, which total $926.35 million in planned investment. 

Additionally, the IEDC encourages other regions across the state to embrace regionalism and long-term planning focused on quality of place. 

Continued Planning

In addition to these three regions, the IEDC continues to support and collaborate with regions around the state. In October 2016, the IEDC Board of Directors awarded $150,000 planning grants to Central, East Central, Northwest and West Central (Wabash River Region) to support and encourage continued quality of place planning and development efforts. During the 2017 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly created the Business Promotion and Innovation Fund, which can be used for continued regional planning across the state in an effort to retain and attract top talent to Indiana.