July 14, 2015, Muncie, IN – The Steering Committee for the ADVANCE east central Indiana Regional Development Planning process announced its second community workshop, Summit 2, to be held Tuesday, July 28, from 6 to 8pm at the Horizon Convention Center in Downtown Muncie. As a follow up to the successful Regional Summit, Summit 2 will focus on the region’s vision, its collective capabilities, and its strategic direction. The planning team will elicit feedback from attendees to create the development plan.
Nearly 250 people attended the Regional Summit held on June 9th in Muncie. Participants generated hundreds of comments when asked to envision the future of the region. Following the meeting, the planning team organized and analyzed this information to identify key themes. Economic growth, quality of place, and the maintenance of infrastructure were most frequently mentioned. The team is using the information to help shape the region’s development plan. This will be used as an application to the State’s Regional Cities Initiative, a competition through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation with $84 million in funding. It will also be used by regional leaders to shape a more prosperous future.
Attendees of the Summit 2, Shaping the Vision meeting, will hear results from the previous meeting and receive an update on the process. Following this brief presentation, participants will be asked to further distill the regional vision, provide insight on the capabilities of the community’s organization, and work with the planning team to frame a strategic direction for the development plan. The agenda is scheduled for two hours with a majority of the time reserved for the interactive sessions.
The Steering Committee encourages anyone who cares about the future of the six-county region to attend the meeting and provide their perspective. The group has committed to an open and collaborative process and hopes to attract as many attendees to the Summit 2 as possible. They encourage those parties attending to tell their friends, family, and coworkers of the opportunity and to help spread the word. In addition, the committee hopes to attract more representation from region residents outside of Delaware County. The group is open to suggestions on methods for reaching residents of Blackford, Jay, Randolph, Henry and Madison counties.
“The Regional Summit 1 was a success because neighbors told neighbors, and friends told friends. We learned so much as a group from this two-hour session, and our region will see that in the final Regional Development Plan.” Delaware County Commissioner, Sherry Riggin said, “We now need the community, to again, help us evaluate our work frame our strategic direction. This is another unique opportunity and we hope our region will help us continue toward success.”
Following the meeting, the planning team will evaluate the feedback and the incorporate the findings and direction into the draft Regional Development Plan. Anyone unable to attend the meeting will also have the opportunity to comment on the process website.
More information on the project and the Regional Summit 2 is available on the project’s website, www.advance-eci.org
The program’s research and facilitation efforts are being led by Ninigret Partners of Providence, Rhode Island and planningNEXT of Columbus, Ohio.
For more information please contact Kyle May, Project Consultant, with planning NEXT, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry Murphy, Muncie-Delaware County, Indiana Economic Development Alliance (765) 751-9104
Traci Lutton, Muncie-Delaware County, Indiana Economic Development Alliance (765) 751-9126
Jamie Greene, planning NEXT, Project Consultant, (614) 586-1500