October 16, 2023

Purdue, IU to collaborate on analysis of Indiana’s $500 million economic development efforts

Purdue Center for Regional Development and Indiana University Public Policy Institute will examine regional impact of state’s READI program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Center for Regional Development, as part of the Office of Engagement, and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute will collaborate on a multiyear project to examine the economic and community impact of Indiana’s nationally recognized, $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative.

Launched by Gov. Eric Holcomb, the READI program has awarded more than $487 million of the initiative’s original $500 million to accelerate strategic investments in 17 regions that represent all 92 Indiana counties. These funds will match additional public, private and nonprofit dollars, totaling an expected $12.2 billion invested in Indiana communities, talent and innovation.

The project will assess the first iteration of the READI program, from its inception in 2021 through December 31, 2026, to produce key performance indicators and other program insights, including population growth, per capita income and economic impact analyses, for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), which administers READI. The IEDC will allocate $1.69 million over nearly four years to this project to monitor the state’s growth in key areas that contribute to the quality of life of Hoosiers. 

“When we announced the READI grant program, we knew it had the potential to have a generational impact across every region and further accelerate population and economic growth throughout Indiana,” said David Rosenberg, Indiana secretary of commerce and CEO of the IEDC. “This partnership with Purdue and IU will put additional data behind these investments in quality of place, quality of life and quality of opportunity, highlighting the significance of each project and program and the state’s unprecedented investment as a whole. Together, we can illustrate Indiana’s commitment to and progress toward creating nationally recognized, vibrant destinations that retain and attract top talent.”

Additional Information

The IEDC announced funding awards December 2021, allocating matching grants to 17 regions ranging in amounts from $5 million to $50 million. These funds will support 361 unique, shovel-ready projects and programs across the state to accelerate community, workforce and economic growth.

“These investments have the potential to really transform the regions of the grant recipients,” said Roberto Gallardo, vice president for engagement and director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development. “In this case, the investment is so significant that I think we really need to go beyond dollars and cents. Community engagement in the program is key to its success.” 

Tom Guevara, director of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, echoed Gallardo’s sentiments, saying the joint research project will deliver tangible, data-driven insight.

“Our work, in partnership with the Purdue Center for Regional Development, will give state leaders and local communities detailed insights for the next several years on how these investments have worked to improve the quality of life and economic future for Hoosiers everywhere,” Guevara said.

Gallardo said the Purdue and IU team will develop a survey to examine the community buy-in for the projects. The research will explore not only how the money is used in the development of capital projects and programs but also how those local efforts are improving the quality of life for residents.

“We want to know if residents are positive about this,” Gallardo said. “With our contribution to the evaluation process, we’ll be helping to tell a powerful story of the impact this program is having in regions throughout the state.”

Gallardo said results will help provide transparency and accountability to state lawmakers, who authorized the $500 million investment, and inform Indiana residents of what’s being done to attract, develop and retain talent in Indiana through capital investments.

Gallardo and Guevara said both partners offer complementary skills and expertise that will allow them to synchronize data and generate creative analyses for the IEDC that, Guevara noted, “can be used for expanding growth and opportunity and providing policy insights that can help leaders make the best decisions for maximum return on public investment.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes, at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.

About the Purdue Center for Regional Development

The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) seeks to be a leader in innovative and adaptive partnerships empowering regions to find solutions for equitable, sustainable and resilient development. PCRD will collaborate with people to listen, identify and enhance assets unique to their story, resulting in prosperity and quality of life. Learn more at https://pcrd.purdue.edu/.

About the IU Public Policy Institute

The IU Public Policy Institute (PPI) produces unbiased, high-quality research, analyses and policy guidance to effect positive change and improve the quality of life in communities across Indiana and the nation. As a multidisciplinary institute within the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, PPI supports the Center for Health and Justice Research, the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy, and the Manufacturing Policy Initiative.

About the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

The O'Neill School is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2023 Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs by U.S. News & World Report, the O’Neill School ranks first in the country. Five of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings, including nonprofit management, ranked first. 

About IEDC

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit iedc.in.gov. 

Writer/Media contact:

Wes Mills, wemills@purdue.edu

Ken Bikoff, kbikoff@indiana.edu

Erin Sweitzer, esweitzer@iedc.in.gov 

Source: Roberto Gallardo

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