The Regional Economic Acceleration Development Initiative (READI) is a state program that’s been going on for a few months now.
New Castle and Henry County joined the East Central Region with the support of elected officials and the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC).
The Courier-Times spoke with EDC President Corey Murphy to discuss the process of developing East Central Indiana’s “Forge Your Path” plan. This comes after it was turned in to the Indiana EDC at the end of September.
Murphy was asked about how the region banded together to come up with a plan in such a short timeframe. Henry County and New Castle leaders had to figure out a plan that not only benefited our communities but the region as a whole.
“The process was efficient, fast-paced, yet effective. Very short timeline,” Murphy said. “Our regional relationships and long history of collaboration helped us move quickly. In other words, we weren’t just coming together for READI. The goal was to present a compelling plan worthy of earning state investment via the READI initiative. Each county was represented by two individuals with a liaison from Ball State University, host of the East Central Talent Collaborative.”
Murphy was also asked about the willingness to compromise and work together.
“The meetings were geared toward creating an aspirational data-driven plan that helps our region attract, retain and grow talent. All voices were heard. There was a consensus developed,” he said.
Murphy spoke on what it has been like to work in the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership.
“The East Central Indiana Partnership is an outstanding regional convener that builds trust among the stakeholders. Trust is the most important currency when collaborating regionally,” he said. “Our consultant team led by Katie Clark of Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group did a fantastic job leading the region and assembling the plan.”
Murphy was lastly asked about if he learned anything more about our county and region during this process.
He replied, “This process confirmed the uniqueness and resiliency of our region. We have tremendous assets to build upon. We now look forward to receiving additional information / instructions from the state on the next step in the READI journey.”
The Courier-Times will update its readers when more READI information is released.
The Regional Development Plan will be uploaded to the State of Indiana website sometime in the following days. You can keep updated on it on the website at https://www.iedc.in.gov/program/indiana-readi/ regions#skip-header.