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Michiana Group Ready for Regional Cities Bid

Monday, August 31, 2015
Comprised of Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, RCNI has been meeting since November of 2014 with business, philanthropic, academic and government leaders to identify projects benefiting the region.

Inside Indiana Business recently reported RCNI spokeswoman Regina Emberton as saying the collaboration would spark an estimated $210 million in investment, and has already boosted collaboration among economic development stakeholders in its region.

RCNI, one of several regional development authorities in the state, now has a steering committee representing 22 cities and towns.

The state has been encouraging the formation of RDAs to help transform regions of the state into economic powerhouses attracting talented workforces and new businesses. And it has been encouraging their formation by offering two $42 million grants through its recently funded Regional Cities Initiative. Only two RDAs will be able to claim the grants. 

According to a press release from RCNI, the organization is working with private, academic and public leaders throughout the region to develop several large-scale projects that will spur population growth and improve quality of life.

Emberton said organizers have been pushing hard for this RDA, and every time it came up for a vote in the respective county councils, it has passed.

“We know that an RDA is a critical mechanism to support long-term communication, agenda building and performance tracking for our region,” she said in the release. “Now, we have a development board identified that reflects the regional synergy, the intellectual capital and the real world know-how that it takes to get things done. It’s exciting.”

The deadline for grant applications was Aug. 31.