Tag: regional opportunity initiatives

Radius Indiana graduates 2023 class from Economic Development for Community Leadership Program

BEDFORD, Ind. (May 3, 2023) — The sixth annual Radius Indiana economic development course at French Lick Resort concluded last Thursday, providing community leaders from six Indiana counties with insights into the evolving field of economic development. 

Participants in the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program attended educational sessions on topics related to local economic development, networked with other community leaders, and built skills in strategic planning and community problem-solving.

“Radius acknowledges that the field of economic development is undergoing considerable change to reflect the evolving needs of our communities,” said Jeff Quyle, CEO and president of Radius Indiana. “This year’s course provided information on topics that are timely and relevant to the vision that today’s community leaders have, topics like housing development, downtown business vitality, and population attraction. We appreciate the participation of our speakers who shared so much information that educates southern Indiana’s local leaders on issues of importance to economic vitality.”

The program is the only course of its kind to be offered in the southern Indiana area. Since the first course in 2017, nearly 165 people representing 25 Indiana counties have gathered to learn from national and regional speakers about topics and skills including site development, business attraction, workforce, marketing, quality of place, business finance and incentives, and entrepreneurship. 

The speaker lineup for the two-and-a-half-day course included:

  • Lisa Abbott, Regional Opportunity Initiatives – Housing Development 
  • Jim Plump, Jackson County Development Corporation – Economic Development Theory and Practice
  • Chelsey Manns, Manns Consulting – Site Development
  • Matt Eckerle, Baker Tilly – Incentives
  • Tim Conrad, Stimulus Engineering – Site Selector Prospective
  • Michael Wilcox, Purdue Center for Regional Development – Quality of Place
  • Jenna Dix, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Divison – NSWC Crane Update
  • Jason Hester, Greater Columbus Indiana Economic Development Corporation – Business Retention and Expansion
  • Michael Eggleston, Federal Reserve – Rural Prosperity
  • Carol Rogers, Indiana Research Center – Community Data
  • Wendy Dant Chesser, One Southern Indiana – Strategic Planning and Community Engagement 

The Radius Economic Development Leadership course is truly second to none. There are very few offerings for economic development training and this course fills a much-needed gap for professionals and elected officials,” said Manns. “Radius and the team are forward thinking and extend the invitation beyond the Radius region, which benefits everyone.” 

The group also heard from five panels focused on Radius-based programs including Choose Southern Indiana and population attraction, Discover Southern Indiana and tourism, Spark Downtown and downtown revitalization, support for entrepreneurship and small business support, and economic development marketing.

This year’s graduates included city, town, and county representatives, consultants, realtors, defense industry specialists, economic development professionals, utility representatives, and marketing specialists. 

“I would encourage anyone who’s interested or works in economic development to consider attending this program. The course motivated me to take a deeper look into the challenges we face and how to get better involved,” said Matt Burkett, Deputy for Small Business for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. “The course was very comprehensive and covered a wide range of topics around economic development. I’m not an economic development professional, but I now better understand the challenges, available resources, and points of contact for businesses I engage with.”

Corporate sponsors and scholarships helped fund the program, including generous support from Hoosier Energy, Frost, Brown & Todd, Banning Engineering, Smithville Fiber, Duke Energy, Clark Dietz, and Indiana Municipal Power Agency.

Those interested in attending a Radius Indiana course in the future should contact the Radius office at 812-277-9778.

2023 Graduates from Radius Indiana’s Economic Development for Community Leadership Program


ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention, and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.


IEDC visits our Region for talent attraction update

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Talent attraction and workforce development are two of the most important aspects of economic development. Talent attraction focuses on recruitment from the talent pipeline outside of a given community, while workforce development aims to further an individual’s ability to grow their skills and develop the tools they need for business success in their community. Radius Indiana has implemented several initiatives over the last few years to bring new employees into the workforce as well as retain skilled employees to continue working in our eight-county region. 

Earlier this month, Radius had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with  Tony Denhart, executive vice president of talent and workforce for the Indiana Economic  Development Corporation (IEDC), to introduce him to the initiatives and programs taking place throughout the region. Denhart joined IEDC in January of this year and this trip served as his formal introduction to our part of the state. 

Denhart had the opportunity to meet with several organizations on his visit, including Regional  Opportunity Initiatives, representatives from WestGate@Crane Technology Park, and Naval  Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division as well as several defense contractors. Conversations  included learning about the Uplands Science and Technology Foundation (USTF), a nonprofit  research foundation dedicated to enhancing the vitality of WestGate@Crane Technology Park  and its recently-completed Master Plan. 

Each organization had the opportunity to share its talent and workforce efforts or its needs for talent. Radius discussed its four major ongoing talent and workforce attraction projects with  Denhart: Choose Southern Indiana; Veteran Recruitment- Digital Campaigns; Veteran  Recruitment- Hiring Program; and Catapult.  

Choose Southern Indiana offers a $5,000 relocation incentive to qualified out-of-state individuals  or families who relocate to the region. Such incentive programs are being increasingly used by  states and communities throughout the country to attract talent.  

Radius utilizes a series of social media and digital marketing campaigns to recruit military  veterans and retirees to move from outside Indiana to join the local population and workforce.  To complement the success of the digital campaign veteran recruitment strategies, Radius was  given funding from the State of Indiana for the purpose of attracting and retaining veterans from  outside of the eight-county region to grow the available workforce with unique skills and talents.  Radius became engaged in distributing veteran resumes across the private defense sector  industries. 

The Catapult program provides training to help individuals become skilled and educated in  modern manufacturing production based on employee training programs developed in  Japanese auto assembly plants in Indiana. 

Radius is one of the region’s leaders in workforce and talent attraction, and we thank Tony  Denhart for visiting our region and learning about our programs and initiatives.

The Indiana Uplands is READI to Go



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) and Radius Indiana are pleased to announce that the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands will continue their shared commitment to economic and community prosperity through participation in the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Each of the 11 counties affirmed their participation in the Indiana Uplands READI application through formal resolutions provided by key entities across the region, including county commissions, city and town councils, school districts, and other entities.

On July 1, ROI notified the Indiana Economic Development Corporation of its intent to seek funding, alongside its partner organizations, through READI on behalf of the Indiana Uplands region, comprised of Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, and Washington counties.

“READI, as its acronym so aptly communicates, has the potential to position this region to accelerate the work we have been collectively pursuing through regionally relevant, demand-driven strategies focused on economic growth and community prosperity,” said ROI President and CEO, Tina Peterson. “READI will allow our region of 406,000 individuals living in 48 cities and towns to take the next steps in further activating a rural region with rapidly growing technology-driven sectors, world-class education assets, and incredible natural resources. We have momentum, and we are READI to build upon it.”

ROI has opened an online tool to allow Uplands organizations and individuals to provide information on potential projects and programs that have the capacity to grow the region’s economic outcomes through investments in place-based talent, business, and quality of place opportunities. The online READI submission tool captures information about the project or program, its regional impact, and the anticipated budget. Submissions can represent projects/programs in various stages of development from conception to implementation. Information provided via the tool will inform an updated Indiana Uplands strategic plan and the Regional Development Plan required to participate in READI. The online tool will accept submissions through July 30.

In May, Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced the launch of READI. This transformational initiative will dedicate $500 million in state appropriations to strategically advance quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction within self-defined Indiana regions. Through READI, regional grants of up to $50 million will support projects and programs that help make Indiana a magnet for talent and economic growth. Regions will be required to provide matching dollars to leverage the potential of READI.

In addition to involvement by leadership in all 11 counties, ROI and Radius Indiana are coordinating efforts on behalf of the READI program in collaboration with stakeholders representing major regional employers and other anchor institutions.

In 2015, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded three grants to three organizations totaling $42 million to fund regional development initiatives identified in the 2014 Strategic Plan for Economic and Community Prosperity in Southwest Central Indiana. Regional Opportunity Initiatives, formed in 2016 alongside the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement and the Indiana Innovation Institute, has a mission to grow potential and possibility in the Uplands through a focus on advanced industry sectors, regionalism, transformative school and workforce redesign, and placemaking strategies.

Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in the Indiana Uplands region: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention, and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

“Our region’s wealth of recreational and tourism attractions will really shine brighter as the READI program allows us to enhance the quality of place and nourish the dynamic economic growth and entrepreneurship that are part of the culture here,” said Jeff Quyle, President and CEO of Radius Indiana.

As part of the READI effort, regional stakeholders are working to update the strategic plan developed for Southwest Central Indiana in 2014. Aspects of the updated Indiana Uplands strategic plan, including fundable projects and programs, will be used for the READI application due by August 31, 2021. READI funding decisions are expected to be made by IEDC in December 2021.

More information is available at: https://regionalopportunityinc.org/readi

Economic and community development, financial experts discuss housing strategies at Crawford County virtual summit

LEAVENWORTH, Ind. (March 17, 2021) — Local leaders from the economic and community development fields and financial experts shared strategies for improving area housing at the Crawford County Economic Development Corporation’s (CCEDC) first-ever housing summit on March 17. 

“As we look at the overall conditions in our community, we want to face the challenges with honest and open dialogue and information with great data from our studies,” Michael Thissen, executive director of CCEDC, said. “We’re grateful for the leaders who spoke at the summit who are committed to Crawford County and our region’s prosperity.” 

The virtual summit was part of Crawford County’s initiative to improve local infrastructure. Over 40 community members attended the event, which was sponsored by First Savings Bank. The webinar explored the current state of the rural housing market and analyzed the components needed to build housing capacity, including quality of place, transportation, and addressing rental disparity. 

Tina Peterson, president and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, presented Crawford County-related and regional results from ROI’s recent Housing Study during the summit. The study showed that Crawford County is one of the region’s most rural counties and has some of the lowest home values. 

Other speakers at the summit included: 

Topics ranged from the impact of COVID-19 on housing and regional economic development and how new housing benefits communities, to other resources for increasing residential development. 

“This housing summit offered a good opportunity for a wide variety of Crawford County residents to become involved in making decisions about meeting future housing needs,” Quyle said. “The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation brought in some very informative speakers, and they were very transparent and inclusive in their work to share this start of a process to work on the housing needs of the county.”

CCEDC is looking for individuals to join its first-ever housing task force to advance housing initiatives in the county. Those interested should contact CCEDC at info@selectcrawfordcounty.com. Formal invitations will be sent on March 31.

Watch a full recording of the webinar


About CCEDC: The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation serves Crawford County, Indiana, for business, entrepreneurship, and workforce growth and builds capacity for quality of place. Its mission is to grow a prosperous Crawford County, together.