Bremen_Christmas lightsLt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announce the Town of Bremen as a Generation 4 Communities for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI).

This initiative is open to self-identified communities of 25,000 or fewer people who want to develop a new generation of local leaders; promote the launch, survival and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs; and/or enhance the natural and physical assets of their hometowns.

“I am proud of Bremen for effectively utilizing what HCI has to offer. This clearly demonstrates their commitment to improve the capacity of their communities through job growth, engagement of local leaders, as well as a desire to achieve a higher quality of life,” said Lt. Governor Crouch. “The HCI process will now have helped 14 rural Indiana communities succeed in taking their cities and towns to the next level.”

“Our recent site visit with local leaders and residents from the Town of Bremen made it clear they are committed to moving their hometown to the next level of excellence,” said Bo Beaulieu, Purdue Center for Regional Development.

In the competitive selection process, communities were asked to gather a team of up to 20 citizen leaders from a range of interests to explain why they believed the yearlong educational and community capacity building program is needed and how they might collectively leverage the opportunity to do even greater things. The participating communities work with Ball State, Purdue and OCRA to study data about their economy and residents as well as examine the effectiveness of past and current planning efforts. Community wide surveys and forums are one of the methods utilized to assist in shaping focus of the local leadership.

The Town of Bremen views HCI as their community’s proactive call to action which will include identifying the issues affecting their town, communicate those issues with the community and create a plan to solve those problems both short and long term. HCI will also help to develop relationships between Bremen’s government, businesses and all residents, in order to achieve the collaboration necessary to maintain a vibrant and healthy community.

The Generation 4 HCI Communities this year, Bremen and Crawford County will be joining twelve other communities from the first three generations of HCI. These communities include: Auburn, Corydon, Decatur, Lebanon, Logansport, Orange County, Perry County, Pulaski County, Rush County, Seymour, Spencer County and Vermillion County. All twelve are at varying stages of executing their projects, whether that be the HCI Foundation Phase or the Capstone Phase.