Indiana passed legislation to provide full funding for all three regions selected in the Regional Cities Initiative including $42 million to support Northeast Indiana’s Road to One Million economic development plan.
With the passage of House Bill 1001, a total of $126 million will be allocated from the 2015 Tax Amnesty program to the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative in order to fully fund three Indiana regional development plans.
"Full funding of all three regions is great news for Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana and equally great news for the economic progress of our state. This achievement could not have been possible without the grit and determination of our regional stakeholders and the support of Northeast Indiana legislators," said John Sampson, President and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "These matching state funds will attract private sector investment to grow our state’s population, attract a new generation of talent for our employers and move our region forward."
Northeast Indiana’s winning Road to One Million plan, spearheaded by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc., is the rallying cry for Northeast Indiana to reach one million residents. To achieve that goal, Northeast Indiana needs to accelerate the current annual growth rate from 0.7 percent annually to just over 2 percent.
“The single biggest threat to Indiana’s continued economic growth is talent scarcity, and Governor Pence’s Indiana Regional Cities Initiative is a vital part of transforming our regions to attract the best and brightest talent to the Hoosier state. The collaboration and action we witnessed across the state throughout this process was tremendous and inspiring. Regional development plans in North Central, Northeast and Southwest Indiana alone plan for 100 quality of place projects totaling $2 billion in private and public investments. I thank our lawmakers for recognizing the importance of this initiative and the state’s role in accelerating regional development plans in these three Hoosier regions, helping Indiana retain and attract Hoosiers for generations to come,” said Jim Schellinger, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
The Road to One Million’s full portfolio of $1.4 billion in investments features 70 projects including phase 1 projects (years 1 and 2); longer term projects (years 3-8 implementation); and ideas for projects beyond the state’s initial 8-year timeframe.
“Northeast Indiana’s Road to One Million plan just got a huge kick start. By fully funding the region’s proposal, we are $42 million closer to benefiting from our region’s transformative quality of place projects. A big thank you goes out to those in the delegation that supported this game-changing initiative,” said Vince Buchanan, Executive Director of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana.
Northeast Indiana’s Regional Development Authority (RDA), which represents Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties, will work to fund the near-term portfolio of projects as well as develop administrative procedures and processes.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 11 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com.