Northeast Indiana Accepting Project, Program Proposals for READI Program Application

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Local economic development officials in Northeast Indiana’s 11 counties are accepting project and program proposals for the region’s application for Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) Program funding until July 16.

Project and program organizers are asked to submit their project for consideration through an online form and share details about the project or program including the vision, regional impact and funding breakdown. Additionally, the proposal form requests information on how the project or program submission aligns with pre-identified categories of economic impact for the region’s application. These categories include:

  • Grow the Workforce
  • Downtown Vibrancy
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Projects and programs must be submitted to the local economic development office where the project or program is located to be considered in Northeast Indiana’s READI Program application. For projects or programs that have a regional scope or that impact multiple counties, the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) board and Local Economic Development Organization (LEDO) Council will review the application for consideration in the overall plan.

Northeast Indiana RDA Board President Gene Donaghy said while project and program proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis, in order to be included in the Regional Development Plan—the official plan application to IEDC—proposals must be submitted through the online form by July 16.

 “We understand this is a quick turnaround. It’s also a transformational opportunity for our region. By joining together to develop an excellent economic plan for Northeast Indiana, we can build on the success of the Regional Cities Initiative. That’s why we are encouraging local leaders to submit creative and impactful project and program proposals by July 16 and connect with local economic developers for any questions or assistance on the process,” noted Donaghy.

The RDA also finalized an agreement with TIP Strategies, a nationally-recognized consulting firm hired to develop the application collaboratively with the RDA, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, local economic development organizations and other regional partners. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. identified TIP Strategies based on the organization’s work with the firm on an Economic Development Action Plan for the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County.

John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc., highlighted the strengths TIP Strategies brings to economic development planning projects.

“We are very impressed by the TIP Strategies team. They have brought a high degree of expertise, experience and creativity to our economic development action plan, and that benefits everyone in our community. We are pleased to help bring them into the regional planning process as we start critical work on the READI Program proposal,” remarked Urbahns.

Ryan Twiss, vice president of talent initiatives for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, shared appreciation for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

“The comprehensive work Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has proactively done with TIP Strategies to date sets Northeast Indiana up for success, as the region can leverage this work and build on it in preparing a strong READI Program application. We are incredibly grateful for the partnership and collaboration Greater Fort Wayne Inc. continues to demonstrate throughout this critical initiative. We’re thankful GFW Inc. adjusted their project timeline to support this regional approach,” said Twiss.

All project and program proposals are confidential and considered preliminary until finalized and presented to the RDA board. This is an extremely competitive process and there is no guarantee that all project or program proposals will be included in the plan. Further, if a project or program proposal is included in the regional plan, that does not ensure READI program funding. If a project or program proposal is not included in the plan, that does not prevent the project or program from receiving READI program funding.

To access the online project or program proposal online forms, please visit the website at or reach out to the local economic development organization in your county by visiting

Summary of READI Program Timeline

Q3 2021

  • By July 1—Communities must identify their region and notify the IEDC
  • July-August—Regions develop strategic plans
  • By August 31—Regional plans are due

Q4 2021

  • September-October—IEDC application review and regional presentations
  • December—First round of investment decisions are made and financial partnerships announced

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), currently the largest RDA in the state, consists of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. The RDA is overseen by a five-member board, each appointed by consent of the executives of the member counties and municipalities, and receives staffing support from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. For more information, visit

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