Developing Certified Sites
With the assistance of Strategic Development Group, a site selection firm based in Columbia, SC, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership maintains a regional site certification program. All sites have been certified “shovel ready” by Strategic Development Group, meaning that they meet a stringent set of criteria to minimize potential roadblocks and ensure fast-track construction.
Visit the Certified Industrial Sites page
Research & Benchmarking of Successful Regions
To further understand the competitive position of the region and how to effectively grow its target industries, the Fund supports research in the following areas through the Community Research Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne: specialized research related to the region’s target industries; an annual summary of business investment among target industries in Northeast Indiana – published each year as the Business Dynamics Report; support to development of a “Regional Dashboard” of economic indicators; and, overall maintenance of data contained on the website of the Regional Partnership.
In addition, the Fund commissioned research to benchmark best practices in economic development in successful regions across the country. From this research, individual reports were compiled with recommendations on organizational effectiveness for each of the ten local economic development organizations (LEDOs) in the region, as well as the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
Visit the Resource Center
Business Retention & Expansion Efforts (BRE)
The Fund supports the NE Insider Program, a web-based platform designed to assist LEDOs in managing information received through regular meetings with local industry. In addition to providing a tool for tracking business needs at the local level, NE Insider also provides a vehicle for aggregating certain data across all 10 counties in Northeast Indiana. With this capability, the region can pool resources and speak with one voice to affect change on important issues. The information collected from NE Insider can be used to coordinate grants needed for employee training; address real estate and financial needs of expanding businesses; create opportunities for businesses to collaborate; and monitor issues that impact the business climate of the region.
To assist in economic development efforts at the county level, the Fund makes grants available to LEDOs each year on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis for projects that will improve their operating performance and capacity and/or address a demonstrated capacity building need in their community.
The Fund provides staffing and program oversight for the Talent Initiative, a program established through a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant focuses on accelerating education and training initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to provide the skilled workforce needed by the defense/aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry clusters in the region.
Visit the Talent Initiative website
The Fund provides support for staffing and stewardship of Vision 2020, a regional initiative focused on aligning the region’s economic development efforts around five key areas: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. By collaborating with strategic partners from across Northeast Indiana, Vision 2020 has established a collective vision, mission and slate of priorities to achieve by the year 2020.
Industry Cluster Initiative
The Fund has worked to support key industry clusters in the region: advanced manufacturing, defense/aerospace, food processing, insurance, medical devices and logistics. By focusing economic development efforts on growing these existing clusters, the region’s asset base is strengthened, creating a support framework for business expansion, new business formation and new business attraction.
Representing one of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s primary vehicles for being demand-driven and “keeping a pulse” on the needs of key business sectors, the Industry Cluster Initiative focuses primarily on education/workforce development and business climate issues.
Industry cluster reports coming soon.
About the Fund
Board of Directors
Foundation and Additional Support