Accelerate Rural Indiana wins $20M in state READI funding

Dec. 15, 2021 — Accelerate Rural Indiana (ARI) will receive $20 million from the state to solidify Interstate 74’s southeastern corridor as a top destination for talent. ARI will receive over $200 per capita of READI investment which appears to be the largest per capita READI investment in the state. In total, the state’s READI investment is expected to attract over $400 million of investment in the region.
Yesterday, the coalition of Batesville, Greensburg, Rushville and Shelbyville along with Decatur, Rush and Shelby counties was named a funding recipient of Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) by Governor Eric Holcomb.
ARI’s READI award will fund a subset of projects featured in the coalition’s regional development plan. The group will continue to leverage the plan to pursue additional funding to bring each of the plan’s projects to fruition in the future. 
ARI’s steering committee of elected officials and stakeholders will soon begin working with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to determine which of the region’s projects will be funded with this round of READI funding. 
In September, the region submitted its READI application which included 40 core initiatives gathered from interactions with more than 3,000 residents, anchor institutions and other key stakeholders.
Specific regional projects and programs include more and higher-quality housing alternatives; improved quality of life amenities such as trails, parks and family activities; targeted education and workforce development programming; enhanced water, sanitary sewer, road and broadband infrastructure for attracting regional investment; and regional marketing to attract talent and investment.
Accelerate Rural Indiana communities are working together formally for the first time after having blazed a path of rural excellence in Southeastern Indiana through informal cooperation. In the past five years, they have landed more than $73 million in grants and philanthropic funding, leveraging more than $1.4 billion in private investment.
READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging neighboring communities across the state to work collaboratively to develop a bold vision for their future that, when implemented, will attract, develop and retain talent in Indiana.
To achieve this vision, regions were invited to develop data-driven, actionable and sustainable development plans that outline strategies focused on improving the quality of place, quality of life and quality of opportunity within their communities. 
More information on the READI review committee, as well as links to download each region’s proposal and presentation, is available at
Quotes from key members of ARI can be found here.


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Mason Gordon