Indiana Regional Cities Initiative recognized for cross-border collaboration


The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has received an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council for the state’s efforts in attracting and retaining talent through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative. The award was presented at the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference in Toronto, Ontario.

“The next generation of talent is looking for more than just a good-paying job. They want to live in communities with culture, amenities and private and public institutions that inspire,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “Through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, communities across the state are working together, crossing county lines to act as regions, creating long-term plans focused on quality of place and talent attraction. We are especially proud of this initiative, and what it means for the future of Indiana.”

The initiative, which sets a framework for communities to come together in developing long-term visions and strategic plans, is a Silver Award recipient for the Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration, Population Greater Than 500,000 program. Chris W. Cotterill, chief operating officer for the IEDC, Mark Wasky, vice-president for government and community affairs for the IEDC and Eric Doden, chief executive officer of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and the key architect of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative accepted the award on the state’s behalf.

Through the regional cities initiative, seven regions representing 70 percent of the state’s population have developed plans to develop “positive and unique national brands, transforming their regions into global destinations for talent through quality of place projects,” the IEDC says in a news release.

The state has committed a total of $126 million in matching funds to three regions to support their development plans, with at least 60 percent of the total investments coming from the private sector.

Since implementation, the IEDC has approved $80.6 million in state funding for 41 projects, totaling $903.0 million investment, which is a 10.2-to-1 ratio.