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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy first step toward more potential federal funds

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (IMPO) invites the public to review and comment on the plan that will provide a framework for economic development in the eight-county Central Indiana region for the next five years.

Development of the plan, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), was led by the IMPO in collaboration with the Indy Chamber, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and officials from Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Morgan and Johnson counties. The plan analyzes the region’s strengths and weaknesses and offers a vision for the best use of federal funds.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration requires regions to have a CEDS in place to support grant applications for funding from its ongoing programs, Economic Adjustment Assistance and Public Works Program, as well as for some emergency funding programs.

“The CEDS is a first step in helping us unlock more federal funding for the region,” said Anna Gremling, executive director of the IMPO.

The CEDS acknowledges that the Central Indiana region has experienced considerable growth in recent years and has a wide range of assets to support ongoing success, but it also identifies challenges that could hinder future growth, including, the threat of uneven prosperity that could benefit some areas of the region more than others.

To address the region’s opportunities and challenges, the CEDS is organized around three strategic areas, with a number of supporting tactics for each area.

  • Talent: Tactics include strengthening digital literacy in underserved populations, strengthening programs helping workers overcome barriers to career growth, and supporting more apprenticeships, internships and career exploration events.
  • Innovation: Tactics include helping area employers attract more research-and-development funding, supporting entrepreneurial efforts and diversity in entrepreneurial programs, and expanding the region’s broadband infrastructure.
  • Place: Tactics include expanding housing availability and access, enhancing transportation options and improving collaborative, regional water management.

The public is invited to review the draft plan and participate in virtual town halls to learn more and provide feedback. The plan is available for review at https://www.indympo.org/whats-underway/ceds, where the public may also leave comments.

The schedule and access information for the virtual town halls follows:

Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82412228518

March 5 at 7 p.m. via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84495551242

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) defines the Comprehensive Economic Strategy (CEDS) as a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. It is designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of a region and provides the capacity-building foundation for different sectors (private, government, non-profit) to work in conjunction with one another to create the environment for regional economic prosperity.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  Jen Schmits Thomas, 317-441-2487, jen@jtprinc.com

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