Muncie, IN — The United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $150,000 in Economic Adjustment funds to the East Central Indiana Regional Planning District (ECIRPD) to assist the Anderson-Muncie-New Castle public-private coalition in developing a regional economic vision and manufacturing strategic plan.
“This opportunity for the cities of Anderson, Muncie and New Castle will give them a clear vision of how to repurpose themselves in the 21st century,” said E. Roy Budd, President & CEO of ECIRPD.
Beginning with a robust analysis of the region’s assets and opportunities, this plan will explore how large, defunct automotive sites can be repurposed to create jobs and give back to the communities.
“Currently, all three cities have several former manufacturing sites that need new direction, and all three also have talented people who are eager for fresh opportunities,” said Budd.
If the EDA approves of this plan, ECIRPD will be eligible to apply for up to 20 million dollars to put towards the plan’s implementation as part of the EDA’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). IMCP is an initiative to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing and help cultivate an environment for businesses to create well-paying jobs in regions across the country.
ECIRPD will be competing with other strategic plans from other districts across the country for the manufacturing grant. A successful application will emphasize public-private and higher education collaboration. In addition, it will target investments that facilitate collaboration among stakeholders within a region and build on existing regional assets to create a supportive regional economic ecosystem for business investment and innovation, increased international trade and exports, the creation of good jobs, and improved quality of life.
Founded in September 2009, ECIRPD’s purpose is to serve the local governments of Blackford, Delaware, Grant and Jay counties by providing plans for economic development, leadership and professional services to maximize opportunities for growth and prosperity for all citizens of the district.
EDA’s mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting regional and national innovation, collaboration and competitiveness, and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. In implementing this mission, EDA advances economic growth by assisting communities and regions experiencing high unemployment and low per capita income to foster an environment conducive to economic growth and job creation.
Written by Morgan Crouse
1208 White River Boulevard
Muncie, IN 47303