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USDA Rural Development Finds “High Quality” in Economic Development Plan



INDIANAPOLIS, March 15, 2017 – The Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (EIRPC) has achieved the “High Quality Plan” designation from a national panel of experts for their regional economic development plan. This “High Quality Plan” qualifies EIRPC to receive a $5,000 grant from the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) located at Mississippi State University. This funding and their newly approved plan will help them as they dive deeper into the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program.

According to the USDA, a SET plan is a targeted strategy for implementation of “viable regional economic development blueprints and actions plans,” designed to stimulate economic growth and development within a region. The EIRPC’s SET plan targets six goals, focusing on areas like addressing workforce development issues, agriculture and value-added processing of agricultural products, healthcare, infrastructure, quality of place and collaboration among the five counties.

“Rural communities recognize the importance of economic development that generates positive benefits to local residents,” said Alan Krapf, USDA Rural Development Acting Indiana State Director, “SET helps communities join forces to promote better use of resources that help grow businesses and create jobs. We congratulate the EIRPC for the work they have done and for achieving this designation.”

“SET provides a pathway for local residents and organizational leaders to give of their time and talents to build and put into action a high quality regional plan,” stated Dr. Bo Beaulieu, director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, earlier this week. “It is the local buy-in that has made SET such a success in regions across the U.S.”

The EIRPC represents Wayne, Union, Randolph, Fayette, and Rush counties in economic development activities. EIRPC is partially funded through annual county per-capita fees and an annual federal planning grant as an Economic Development District of the U.S. Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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