Tag: southern Indiana

Sustaining the regions Defense and Agriculture Economies

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

 

In February, Indiana was chosen as the newest site for a federal program that will help private landowners and organizations around military bases by providing resources to improve, protect and preserve their land. More than 3.5 million acres in southern Indiana, from Edinburgh to Jasper, and from Madison to Vincennes, are now part of the Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape.

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership was established in 2013 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of the Interior (DOI). The purpose of the program is to connect landowners within the landscape boundary to state and federal programs for opportunities that will help them sustainably run their land in ways that also support the military bases near them.

The Southern Indiana Sentinel Landscape is one of 10 in the country and aims to be a win-win initiative for both the military, agriculture and the environment. Naval Support Activity Crane, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Center, Indiana Air Range Complex, and Lake Glendora Test Facility all fall within the landscape and will be enhanced by the designation. In addition, this part of the state is home to six state parks, seven state forests, nine state fish and wildlife areas, 39 state-dedicated nature preserves, one national forest, and three national wildlife refuges.

This unique partnership is a great achievement for southern Indiana. Millions of federal dollars and partner resources are expected to target Indiana for this project. Landowners in this part of the state will have access to tools that will not only help better serve Indiana’s military installations but also protect and enhance what they own.

Although the primary objective of the program is to preserve and protect the missions of the included military bases, it will provide opportunities for environmental protection as well. Beside Federal partners, state agencies, such as the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and conservation organizations could increase support for the parks and forests as well as wildlife in the area.

Radius Indiana is a proud partner to the Defense and Agriculture economies. We are grateful to be a part of opportunities that grow our region and support those who live and work here. We look forward to seeing the achievements and accomplishments that grow from this partnership in our part of the state.

 

 

Radius Indiana’s Women in Economic Development Program flourishes in southern Indiana

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 11, 2022) – Radius Indiana’s Women in Economic Development Leadership Series continues to provide professional development opportunities for women in the industry. Established in 2018, the growing program continues to be the first-ever of its kind across the region and state as it enters its fifth year.

The course focuses on a broad range of topics, including business attraction, retention, and expansion, entrepreneurship, quality of life initiatives, networking, and international business etiquette. The program was designed to encourage an open dialogue among participants to share successes, challenges, and best practices.

In 2021, participation increased to include nearly 30 women across 11 southern Indiana counties, covering all eight counties in the Radius region, as well as Pike, Perry, and Spencer. The group met bi-monthly in both virtual and in-person settings.

Planned topics for 2022 include:

  • READI Grant Update
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Broadband
  • Housing TIF
  • IEDC State Incentives
  • Site Selection

Radius Indiana’s Women in Economic Development group provides an opportunity to share best practices with professional women throughout the region. Despite the unique differences in each of our communities, we share similar experiences, and our meetings provide the critical thinking skills necessary to seek opportunities and problem solve,” said Rachel Steckler, director of community development for the city of Huntingburg. “In this group, we support and encourage each other both professionally and personally, and we discuss a wide range of topics including everything from economic development training to personal and professional development.

Radius underwent strategic plan updates in 2018 and this course was created as an initiative for its focus on Regional Leadership and Education. It serves as one of several educational courses Radius sponsors throughout the year, including its annual Economic Development for Community Leadership Program, Economic Development Incentive Seminar, and site selector visits.

Radius Indiana partners with Chelsey Manns, president of Manns Consulting, to lead the group in bi-monthly meetings. Manns is a veteran in economic development and helps communities develop and execute project plans for business growth, quality of life initiatives and community development. 

This has been such a great group to work with over the years and watch grow and develop both professionally in economic development and personally,” said Manns. “The ability to have a place where women can come and learn from other women on key topics that impact the profession has been an invaluable opportunity for the region and beyond.”

Those interested in learning more about Radius Indiana’s Women in Economic Development Leadership Series should contact the office at 812-277-9778.

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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 the region to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Radius Indiana’s Entrepreneur Survey shows interest in start-ups post-pandemic

BEDFORD, Ind. (Feb. 24, 2022) –– A new study of entrepreneurship in southern Indiana provides insights that both confirm and confound expectations about business start-ups as the economy emerges from the pandemic era. The survey of entrepreneurs, carried out by Radius Indiana, is a follow-on to a 2019 survey before COVID-19 upended numerous aspects of business activity.

The 2021 Radius Indiana Entrepreneur Survey shares information on the demand for spaces, resources, and other support to grow entrepreneurship and support remote working in southwest central Indiana. Just over 100 respondents to the online survey revealed their needs and preferences as entrepreneurs and small business owners in the eight-county region.

The survey showed an appetite for entrepreneurship among women in the region (47 percent of respondents were female), as well as diversity in the types of businesses survey-takers plan to start. These statistics reconfirm that the region’s entrepreneurs are diverse, and the services and initiatives put into place to support entrepreneurship must be flexible and customizable to the wide variety of situations.

“The diversity that our regional entrepreneur’s display was a pleasant surprise. Almost half are females, and veterans make up nine percent of respondents – perhaps a result of the influence of NSA Crane – which draws people with an interest in the defense sector,” Blaine Parker, director of entrepreneurship and small business support for Radius Indiana, said.

“We’ve all grown accustomed to hearing about serial entrepreneurs, who start or own multiple businesses. Our survey confirms that those leaders are very present in our region, with nearly half of the survey respondents owning multiple businesses, especially in the retail and professional services fields,” Parker added.

Chamberlin/Dunn, an analysis and strategy firm that works to gather, improve, and apply better information for better decisions for its clients, conducted the survey in December 2021 and January 2022.

The survey is a follow-on to the 2019 survey that was part of the Southwest Indiana Technology and Collaboration Hub Network or “SWITCH” Network Feasibility Study run by Radius Indiana and the Southern Indiana Development Commission.

“One of the biggest benefits of this survey is that it shows coworking or shared office amenities may be in higher demand than even survey takers realize,” Nicole Dunn, who helped administer both the 2019 and 2021 surveys, said. “In both surveys, the same percentage of respondents (55 percent) said they would not use a coworking space frequently or at all. But in this second survey, we asked a more detailed question about coworking space amenities, and that showed about two-thirds of respondents would indeed use those services for themselves or their employees.”

Both surveys showed the highest demand was for access to funding, grants, and capital, and mentorship from other entrepreneurs. COVID does not seem to have changed that.

The survey also reported:

  • There is a high demand for assistance with marketing and marketing research;
  • There is interest in starting businesses in both downtown and non-downtown locations;
  • And there is demand in the region for certain services, especially broadband, printing/copying, and conference room space.

Three counties in the region showed new business start-up levels above the national average in 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. While national numbers of new business growth increased by 24.3 percent in 2020, Dubois (28.14 percent), Greene (36.13 percent), and Lawrence County (25.54 percent) all saw higher rates of new business formation. The Radius survey results suggest that the strong new business formation may continue into 2022 and 2023.

“One of Radius Indiana’s goals is to focus on boosting new businesses in the downtown cores of our communities, as both an economic development initiative as well as a quality of place improvement, and we’re encouraged by the number of individuals who indicated they have a high likelihood of opening in a downtown,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “We are actively assisting the downtown revitalization process now with our programs, and this gives us candidates we can talk to for our next cohort.

“This survey confirms that the steps we’re taking to develop a dedicated revolving loan fund for downtown startups will be a useful achievement this year.”

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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

Radius Indiana secures $27,000 Grant for electric vehicle charging stations in Dubois Co.

BEDFORD, Ind. (April 22, 2021) — Two new public charging stations in Jasper and one in Huntingburg will add Dubois County to the map of destinations for electric vehicle drivers. 

Radius Indiana pursued a grant on behalf of the City of Jasper from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for $27,000 to install two electric charging stations for vehicle owners in Jasper, with two additional locations in Huntingburg and neighboring Petersburg.

“Our region has untold numbers of restaurants and shops and attractions in our cities and towns,” said Blaine Parker, Radius’s Director of Tourism and Quality of Place. “We realized that with the growing number of people who drive electric vehicles, we needed to help install the charging stations that would bring our communities and attractions into an easy driving range for EV drivers. When these are installed, drivers can recharge their car batteries while they eat lunch, shop, visit the local galleries, and enjoy relaxing visits in our beautiful scenery. Our slogan is ‘Discover Southern Indiana’ and that’s what we want the EV crowd to enjoy!” 

IDEM’s grant is funded by the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust and will help fund the installation of the Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations.

In October 2017, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order establishing the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. The order outlines Indiana’s plan to distribute the state’s $40.9 million portion of a legal settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Volkswagen Corporation for its violation of the federal Clean Air Act. 

The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Program continues to offer grant opportunities for clean air projects that will significantly reduce diesel emissions across Indiana. This statewide program is supported by Indiana’s portion of the national Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund and is focused on equipment and vehicle repowers and replacements with newer, cleaner alternatives of various fuel types. 

Coordination for the charging stations began this month and installation will follow. The project will be completed by the end of 2022.

“We appreciate the economic opportunity this grant provides our community by continuing the expansion of EV charging stations,” said Mayor of Jasper Dean Vonderheide. “Our utility crews will be installing these stations in strategically selected locations. We strive to be a community in step with the growing demand from our residents and visitors to the area. The stations will serve residents, industry partners, tourists enjoying the plethora of attractions in the immediate area, and the families engaged in the many sports and recreational activities we host. Thank you to Radius for providing this opportunity.”

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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.

Crawford County aims to improve area housing through virtual summit

LEAVENWORTH, Indiana (Feb. 24, 2021) — The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation announced today that registration is open for its first-ever housing summit on March 17, focused on improving area housing and future initiatives for the county.

“Housing is a critical part of growing the value of Crawford County,” CCEDC Executive Director Michael Thissen said. “Our county serves as the gateway to southern Indiana, and gives great access to both the Louisville market and French Lick. We hope that the housing summit will demonstrate the value of living in Crawford County and help us develop strategies for improved housing options that will encourage more families to move here.”

The summit’s focus on market-rate housing is part of Crawford County’s initiative to improve local infrastructure. Speakers from the economic development field, financial experts, and local groups involved with housing projects in other areas in southern Indiana will offer perspectives on local and regional housing strategies. 

Organizers encourage business leaders, employers, elected officials, developers, real estate professionals, policymakers and area residents from Crawford as well as other counties across Southern Indiana to attend the virtual event, which is sponsored by First Savings Bank. 

Crawford County is one of the region’s most rural counties and has some of the lowest home values, according to Regional Opportunity Initiative’s recent Regional Housing Study. The study reported numerous challenges that must be overcome in the region to facilitate a housing market that meets demands and supports growth, including significant pockets of low housing quality, infrastructure costs that defer development, and inconsistent building codes or permitting systems. 

Tina Peterson, president and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, will present additional Crawford County-related and regional results from ROI’s recent Housing Study during the summit. Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, will discuss the state’s housing strategy and IHCDA programs. 

“I look forward to sharing the results of ROI’s study with community members, as it shows that areas of our region are logistically ideal for housing development,” Peterson said. “Living in less-crowded, greener areas is growing more appealing, and with the current low-interest rates, this is a great time to work toward some of the strategic goals laid out in the study.  We believe that the Indiana Uplands is well situated for housing growth and applaud Crawford County for taking a proactive approach.” 

Registration for the Crawford County Virtual Housing Summit is available at www.selectcrawfordcounty.com. The free event is scheduled for 9 a.m.-11 a.m. 

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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. 

 

Washington, Indiana Sites Receive Certifications

Two prime business development sites in Washington, Indiana, have received Gold and Silver Site Certifications, making two additional southern Indiana locations to take advantage of a new certification program through Radius Indiana’s partnership with Verisite.

Verisite is the result of the collaboration between Ginovus, Plaka + Associates, and the Veridus Group that brings considerable industry experience in economic development, site selection, and engineering. 

The Verisite Silver Certification gives companies and site selectors the assurance the site is ready for expedited development and that all needed documentation and data has been compiled and verified, which results in cost savings and speed to market for a new business.

Located at the intersection of Interstate 69 and Highway 50 in Washington, the 47-acre and 183-acre greenfield sites offer prime locations for future industrial or commercial development. Both sites benefit from the condition and accessibility of existing infrastructure within close proximity, established local development ordinances, and aggressive local, regional, and state-level incentives. 

The locations have access to critical utility infrastructure needed to establish state of the art facilities, as evidenced by M&C Tech establishing their first manufacturing operations in the community and most recently True Rx Management Services.

Radius Indiana, the regional economic development organization, is actively recruiting veterans to the region through a digital marketing campaign designed to help bring additional talent to meet local employers’ needs. In addition, Radius is launching two new workforce training programs: “Catapult” and “Build Your Own,” which focus on the upskilling of workers to meet the needs of manufacturing and construction trades. 

Another regional organization, Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI,) is actively administering a program called Ready Schools that leads to the creation of student-run manufacturing businesses as training grounds. In addition, ROI has programming for STEM Fellows, digital fabrication labs, out-of-school STEM learning, graduation and career coaches, career pathways, educator boot camp, and work-based learning.

Washington actively partners with both organizations to better connect growing talent to the region’s career opportunities to include advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and defense.

The Verisite program creates opportunities for excellent locations, like Washington,  to become a preferred location for industrial growth and innovation. The comprehensive site certification process compensates for industry gaps, such as brownfields and existing buildings. The proprietary program creates a narrative around in-depth market research and analyzes human capital components in order to provide decision-makers with reliable data. 

The tenured firms involved in Verisite designed and built the proprietary process for site certification to finally establish universal definitions and designations for site certification. This offers a modern, trustworthy standard for property owners, developers, and communities that utilizes a consistent and standardized set of criteria to determine all aspects of a site’s readiness for development.

“We commend Daviess County and the region for being proactive in their site development efforts. Communities that understand speed to market and the importance of mitigating risk, are well-positioned to win site selection projects”, said Leslie Wagner, Senior Principal, Ginovus.

For more information on the certified sites in Washington, Indiana, contact Radius Indiana at j.quyle@radiusindiana.com or 812-277-9778.