To further accelerate and spur Indiana’s economic growth, the next two-year state budget invests $500 million in the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI. Through this bold, transformational program, neighboring counties will team up to strategically promote and make their communities a magnet for top talent and new jobs.

Our state is in a strong financial position to make this large and beneficial investment on behalf of Hoosier communities large and small. This program is expected to have a significant return of investment of at least $2 billion in public, private and philanthropic match funding.

READI builds on the framework of the successful Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, which encouraged communities to team up on economic development efforts. Through READI, the state will provide competitive grants to regional counties, cities and towns working on a shared vision of their future and mapping out programs, initiatives and projects to retain today’s talent and attract the workforce of tomorrow.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will oversee the program and provide grants of up to $50,000 as regions develop plans, which could include infrastructure projects, workforce programs and revitalization efforts. Funds can also support multi-year programs, including talent attraction initiatives, public-private partnerships to advance innovation and small business support services.

Now through July, Indiana counties, cities and towns are encouraged to coordinate and self-identify proposed regions. The IEDC will be hosting informational meetings across the state in the coming weeks.

We are READI for economic growth, and this responsible funding approach will transform all corners of our state and ensure small, local communities are part of Indiana’s long-term success. Learn more about this innovative program at iedc.in.gov.