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The Hometown Collaboration Initiative, an Initiative of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), is accepting applications from communities or counties with a current population of 25,000 or fewer. “HCI provides smaller communities with the ability to make a difference,” said Bo Beaulieu, Purdue Center for Regional Development Director and Extension Community Development Program Assistant Director. “HCI gives communities the tools, skills and strategies they need to make their hometowns the best that they can be.”
This initiative is targeted toward energizing communities who aim to: (1) promote the launch, survival and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs; (2) invest in place through community design, public space developments, local foods or other quality of life initiatives; or (3) develop a new generation of local leaders, The Purdue Center for Regional Development, Purdue Extension Community Development Program, and Ball State Indiana Communities Institute are initiative partners with OCRA for implementing this community capacity building initiative. The initiative has three phases: In the Foundation Phase, communities will study data, assess local assets, invite public input, and determine the priority needs of the community. Next, in the second phase, they will select one of three Building Blocks to explore more fully. The three Building Block options include:
• Economy – Build a supportive community environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
• Leadership – Develop a new generation of local leaders who will take an active part in addressing community priorities.
• Placemaking – Invest in your place through creative quality of life initiatives related to public spaces, design, local foods and tourism, among others.
Last, during the Pathway Project Phase, communities will finalize and implement a project that aligns with their Building Block activities. Interested communities must electronically submit their application to Info@IndianaHCI.org no later than 4:00 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2017. Interested communities may sign up to attend a webinar to learn more about HCI. The webinar will be conducted March 6, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
For more information on how to apply for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, visit the Hometown Collaboration Initiative website at www.IndianaHCI.org/apply.