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RELEASE: Regional leaders to develop economic development strategy for Greater Lafayette region

Regional leaders to develop economic development strategy for Greater Lafayette region

Effort funded through planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Jan. 29, 2015) Leaders from industry, academia, and community organizations have joined to develop a strategic plan that leverages the unique assets of the Greater Lafayette region to drive economic growth and enhance residents' quality of life.

A $495,000 planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the CICP Foundation will enable the Greater Lafayette region to identify opportunities, assets and resources that can be better utilized and coordinated to provide economic opportunities for its residents and communities.  The region is rich in higher education, including Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College, along with several major assets in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, life sciences and renewable energy industries. Each sector will be reviewed in depth to determine how best to leverage these and other assets in the region.

Initially, the strategic planning efforts will focus on ten counties in the region: Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White. Throughout the planning process, the geographical focus may evolve as the plan develops.

“For decades, the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette has touted the strengths and resources of this region,” said Marianne Rose, president and CEO of the foundation. “Coordinating a group of regional leaders who are keenly aware of those assets to develop an economic development plan for the region is our best path forward in making the Greater Lafayette area one of the state’s finest. In turn we will be able to attract new business and industry to the region and retain and grow existing businesses.”

A steering committee consisting of regional leaders and stakeholders invested in the Greater Lafayette region will lead the planning effort. Steering committee members include:

Nate Klinck, director of the Indiana Career Council, will begin serving as project manager for the grant in February under the direction of the steering committee, with special leadership from Mitchell. The Career Council is a 19-member executive-level council established by unanimous vote of the Indiana General Assembly, chaired by Governor Mike Pence. The Council is charged with coordinating the various partners and activities in the State’s education, job skills development, and career training system.

The steering committee will meet regularly to develop a set of recommendations for the region. Recommendations from local and regional leaders, economic and workforce development experts, community foundations and the public will be solicited throughout the process. The steering committee has already begun meeting and will coordinate public listening sessions later this year. The plan is expected to be finalized by early 2016.

“True to its land-grant mission, Purdue has a long history of engagement with public and private stakeholders around Indiana, the nation and the world,” said Schultz, a steering committee member. “This is a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with local partners to identify opportunities for leveraging regional assets in ways that will help us realize transformational benefits and be competitive on a global scale.”

“This region is home to a number of global companies that have been competing at a very high level for decades,” said Mitchell. “The goal is to build on what’s been done right and find innovative ways to attract even more investment in ways that benefit all corners of the region.”

Lilly Endowment awarded the grant for the Greater Lafayette region to the CICP Foundation to facilitate these initial planning activities on behalf of the Greater Lafayette community. The grant is similar in purpose and scope to prior Lilly Endowment grants to carry out strategic planning efforts for other Indiana communities, including most recently in Southwest Central Indiana.

About Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) was formed in 1999 to bring together the chief executives of Central Indiana’s prominent corporations, foundations and university presidents in a strategic and collaborative effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To advance this mission, CICP sponsors five key economic development initiatives, AgriNovus Indiana, BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana, Energy Systems Network and TechPoint, each of which addresses challenges and opportunities unique to its respective sector: agriculture innovation, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, energy technology and information technology. To learn more about CICP, visit www.cicpindiana.com.

About Lilly Endowment Inc. Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

 

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