Helping Rural Counties Pursue Innovative Regional Economic Development Strategies – Call for Applications Now Open.
USDA Rural Development Acting Indiana State Director Alan Krapf has announced Indiana has been approved to deliver Phase VII of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) Initiative. This effort is targeted to strengthen the capacity of communities/counties in rural America to work together to develop and implement an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region.
The SET initiative is now in place in more than 94 regions in 28 states. According to Krapf, “So far, SET regions across the nation have been able to leverage close to $600 million to support the implementation of their plans.”
The Indiana SET initiative is now inviting proposals from three counties or more that are geographically connected to another and that are committed to collaborating on the preparation and implementation of a regional economic strategy. In addition, 51 percent or more of the region’s population should be classified as rural OR 75 percent of the land in the region should be located in its rural areas. For more information on counties that qualify for the SET program, please reference the following resources below. The application deadline is March 20, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. local time.
Indiana has had three recent SET designations including members of the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NCIRPC), the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission. In partnership with Indiana USDA RD representatives, staff from the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and Purdue Extension provide most of the SET activities.
According to Dr. Bo Beaulieu, director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, “SET provides a pathway for local residents and organizational leaders to give of their time and talents to build and put into action a high quality regional plan. It is the local buy-in that has made SET such a success in regions across the U.S.”
If you have any questions, please contact:
Dr. Michael Wilcox
USDA Rural Development, Indiana
Phone: 260-244-6266, ext. 114