The International Economic Development Council rewarded the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership for its work with the READI grant program.
The partnership earned a 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Bronze Award in the regionalism and cross-border collaboration category.
Organizations were honored Sept. 19 at the IEDC’s annual conference in Dallas.
“The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its READI grant project,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC president and CEO, in a press release. “This award is a testament to the regional partnership’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better.”
The Regional Economic Development Acceleration and Development Initiative was launched by Gov. Eric Holcomb and administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
The partnership’s share of those funds was $50 million, the maximum amount for the 17 regions that were created to receive the funds. The Smart Connected Communities 2030 plan outlines goals and strategies for potential READI uses. Capital project proposals were requested in June 2022, and 17 projects and 11 programs were chosen to receive funds.
“READI was an incredible opportunity for the South Bend – Elkhart region,” said Bethany Hartley, president and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. “The $50 million in funds from the state was leveraged into an additional $448 million in public and private funding. This project was multifaceted, requiring coordination and communication on many levels.”
The International Economic Development Council is a nonprofit with 4,300 members. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership works with partners in 47 communities in Northern Indiana and southwest Michigan.