On Tuesday, August 17, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Development Authority (RDA) and the South Bend – Elkhart READI Steering Committee convened in consecutive public sessions, with both agendas discussing the progress of the region’s READI proposal. 

The meetings reaffirmed the region’s approach to the proposal development being facilitated by Fourth Economy, a national economic development consulting firm. This includes aligning ideas and themes to the intended and encouraged impact areas as outlined by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The IEDC is urging regions to select strategies that will make positive developments in the following focus areas:

  • Quality of Place and Quality of Life
  • Quality of Opportunity
  • Innovation 
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Talent Attraction and Development

The South Bend – Elkhart region is building on programmatic initiatives from the 2017 Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) Plan to serve as the foundation for the region’s proposal. These include: 

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Education and Workforce
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Industry Growth
  • Talent Attraction and Retention

In addition to these strategies, the RDA is looking at brick-and-mortar projects that align with one or more of the following categories:

  • Recreation, Trails, Athletics, and Wellness 
  • Arts and Culture 
  • Economic Development 
  • Housing 

A lively conversation was had as it relates to process and next steps, which included the notice that IEDC updated the deadline to September 30, 2021, for proposal submissions.  

“As a region rich with innovative students, new and legacy businesses, and committed community members, we are confident in putting forward a robust and competitive proposal to propel the South Bend – Elkhart region’s economy forward!” says John DeSalle, RDA Board Chair and Executive Engineer-in-Residence, iNDustry Labs at the University of Notre Dame. 

For more information and to learn more, click here.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.