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June 1, 2015

The ADVANCE east central Indiana Regional Summit to take place June 9th


Muncie, IN – The Regional Summit for the ADVANCE east central Indiana planning effort will be hosted June 9th, from 6 to 8pm at the Horizon Convention Center, 401 South High Street, in downtown Muncie. Anyone from Blackford, Delaware, Henry, Jay, Madison, and Randolph counties interested in providing input that will help shape the future of the region should attend. The program includes sharing the State of the Region report, validating project themes for the regional development plan, learning about comparable regional successes, and generating big ideas for the future prosperity of the region.

This is an exciting moment for the region. For the first, time the community members across the six-counties will be invited to gather and share their vision for the future of east central Indiana. “The region has amazing assets. The ADVANCE process is the opportunity to come together and leverage these assets for positive community transformation,” said steering committee member John Fallon, Associate Vice President of Economic Development and Community Engagement at Ball State University.

During the Summit, attendees will learn about the key socio-economic, place-based trends, and comparable regional successes. Some initial findings from this analysis include:

  • The six counties of the ADVANCE region include an area of 2,246 square miles, larger than the state of Delaware;
  • In 2013, there were more than 356,000 residents;
  • By 2030, the region will have shrunk 6% from 2013, to a 343,000 residents;
  • There are more than 110,000 jobs in the region with the largest sectors in health care, education, and retail/wholesale services;
  • The region produces over 400 megawatts per year from its more than 225 wind turbines. That’s enough energy to power 100,000 homes.

The Summit will dive into the key trends and present a snapshot of the community today. This analysis is intended to establish a baseline from which the community can measure its transformation.

“The State of the Region is an important aspect of our Regional Development Plan because it allows our communities to identify our strengths and weaknesses and begin to chart our growth,” said Terry Murphy, Vice President of Economic Development for the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance. “These trends don’t have to define our future. You need to know where you’re headed before you can start to turn the wheel,” Murphy added.

As part of the Regional Cities Initiative, the state of Indiana is asking communities to develop regional plans that identify assets, including talent-base, infrastructure, business climate, quality of place amenities and more. The initiative’s incentive program could bring additional resources and attention to east central Indiana.

The state legislature set aside $84 million to be invested in projects over the next two years that are identified in regional cities plans across the state. These grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. To be eligible to compete for portions of this funding, a community must be part of a regional cities plan.

Please RSVP you attendance to Ashley Surpas by email at or by phone at 765.751.9116.

More information on the project and the Regional Summit is available on the project’s website,

The program’s research and facilitation efforts are being led by Ninigret Partners of Providence, Rhode Island and planning NEXT of Columbus, Ohio. Phase 1 of the work will be completed by July 1st.

For more information please contact Kyle May, Project Consultant, with planning NEXT,