Six counties in north central Indiana are moving forward in updating the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council will use funding from the national Stronger Economies Together program to turn input from the public as well as business and economic leaders into a strategy to promote job and revenue growth throughout the region.
The council, which represents Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami and Tipton counties, was chosen last year as one of seven recipients of Stronger Economies Together Funding nationwide. It has already held two forums to gather public input, which it says will play a key role in shaping the region's economic focus.
The council was formed in 2014 to assist communities throughout the six-county region. Since then, Executive Director Steven Ray says the organization has secured nearly $2 million in state and federal funding for local projects.
The NCIRPC is the third Indiana region to receive SET funding over the last few years. In 2015, the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (representing Randolph, Wayne, Rush, Fayette and Union Counties) and Indiana 15 (representing Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo Counties) were selected for funding. Since 2010, the SET program has launched in 32 states and nearly 100 regions. Organizers of the program say those communities have used the funding to help attract more than $600 million in grants, loans and other resources to support regional economic development