On the practioner level, regional collaboration started here at least 10 years ago with the EDO's, Tecumseh Area Partnership Work One, Ivy Tech, Purdue and other organizations around the table and received a 3 year $15 Million Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Grant from the US DOL.
That collaboration lead to the formation of critical few region wide efforts, one particularly called Indiana's Technology Corridor, a convening group for the Regional ED's, and other public and private partners. And ITC has lived on beyond that 3 year grant to launch things like Advancing Manufacturing, The State of Advanced Manufacturing, Joint Regional Company Attraction efforts, project lead sharing, and a place where our regional economic development officials can meet to increase their knowledge and hone their crafts. More Recently under Steve Eberly from Warren County as Chair last year and Jody Hamilton this year, ITC has secured a grant from Duke Energy to create a Regional Attraction Plan, received a grant from InZone to do regional marketing to attract new companies here, implemented Manufacturing Week and a Workforce Summit that is happening in September, and the ITC initially served as the Geographic Basis for the plan announced yesterday.
There are other collaborations across the region by many other public and private entities. These are all great! Except if you look at what's happened to the region as a whole over the past 10 years, you may conclude we need to do more. Especially if you compare us to other regions around the country, especially those with Tier One Research Universities, like Purdue University.
In 2014, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation studied a number of high growth regions around the country and some of you may have heard of or may have read the study. I want to share 4 of the conclusion statements they made about what's needed to transform a region.
1. A bold vision, tenacious leadership, and broad civic infrastructure.
2. Engage and strengthen industry in a whole new way.
3. Regional Investment Strengthens Quality of Place throughout the region.
4. Plans must be visionary, market-based, and Action-oriented to guide regional transformation.
The plan announced yesterday on WLFI by Gary Henriott, you'll see, is led by a steering committee of community leaders, and is exactly what's needed for the region to move forward. As I mentioned above, we can only get so far as a region with just the practitioners and various agencies, collaborating together. We want to thank the committee, the Greater Lafayette Community Foundation and the consultants, that met over the past 20 months, shouldered the mantle of leadership, and worked hard to get the plan to this point. Their belief in the region and the vision they have for our future success is commendable. Thank you!
So as you are reading this, I'd like to challenge you. 10 years from now, you could be reading a similar column, hearing about a similar plan or study as the one announced today, and read about how we've been doing things together in this region as practitioners. Or 10 years from now, you could be looking back at this activity as the start of when our region came together to collaborate, to knock down walls and barriers, to partner, to build something new and conquer our combined challenges and transform ourselves into one of the fastest growing regions in the country and fastest growing in the state. Which would you rather have? We would like to hear from you!