Lt. Governor Ellspermann Announces Semi-finalist Communities for Hometown Collaboration Initiative

Corydon One of Six Semi-Finalists in the Hometown Collaboration Initiative

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann today announced six semi-finalist communities for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI), which was unveiled at regional conferences held around the state during the month of October.

This initiative is open to communities of fewer than 25,000 people that want to expand their pipeline of local leaders, strengthen and expand jobs by building on existing economic assets and improve the attractiveness and quality of life of their hometowns. A core principle of HCI is that broad-based input and buy-in is vital to the long-term success and sustainability of all community development initiatives.

The newly designed program is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) in partnership with Ball State and Purdue Universities.

"I commend the semi-finalist communities for collaborating with the state and our academic partners in the HCI program. You are taking important steps to ensure a strong foundation is in place for community and economic development," noted Lt. Governor Ellspermann. "I am confident this approach will help cities and towns attract and retain businesses and residents alike."

Eligible applicants were asked to choose between three building blocks:

  • Economy - Strengthening our Hometown Economy
  • Leadership - Developing our Hometown Leadership Pipeline
  • Placemaking - Focusing on our Hometown's Natural & Built Resources

The application consisted of six open-ended questions that demonstrated the community's ability and need to participate in the program as well as identified the current strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they were asked to explain why their community was prepared for this program.

2014 Semi-finalist communities include:

  • Corydon
  • Lebanon
  • Rushville
  • Seymour
  • Perry County
  • Pulaski County

The next step in the selection process is community site visits conducted by the HCI team the week of December 15. Each of the finalist locations will have a focused 90-minute session with the HCI team to further elaborate on their need for the program and allow the team to experience each community.

For the inaugural program year, five communities are expected to receive the HCI designation which should be announced in early 2015.

For further information on the Hometown Collaboration Initiative or to contact a regional Community Liaison with questions, please visit http://www.in.gov/ocra/2732.htm or http://www.in.gov/ocra/2330.htm.

Request for Information Released for Harrison County, Countywide Broadband Internet Project

Vendors encouraged to respond, help set direction for countywide broadband internet infrastructure development

Connect Harrison County, Inc., with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, released a request for information (RFI) to encourage and examine the level of interest Internet Service Providers, municipal utilities and various cooperatives have in working with Harrison County, Indiana on providing broadband Internet infrastructure for high-capacity network connectivity – which will allow homes and businesses to access high-speed broadband Internet reliably.

This RFI is the next step in gathering information to move the Connect Harrison County, Inc. countywide broadband Internet project forward.

Harrison County, Indiana, is a thriving community located approximately fifteen miles west of Louisville, Kentucky. With a population of just over 39,000, according to the 2012 census, most of Harrison County is rural and is comprised primarily of small businesses and residences. Harrison County is home to Indiana’s first state capital in Corydon and, as a result, has a strong historical connection to the area that they are proud to preserve and promote.

Workforce Development Economic Data

Provided below is the November edition of the Labor Market Review containing October data for Economic Growth Region 10.  Also provided is the EGR 10 Unemployment Claimant Profile report with data for 3rd Quarter of 2014. These documents are prepared and published by Indiana Workforce Development. 

Labor Market Review - Economic Growth Region 10 

Unemployment Claimant Profile Report

Mauckport High Speed Internet Center Opens Rural Community Connects

On Friday, October 10, 2014 residents of rural Mauckport, Indiana got a first look at their community's new high speed internet center. Q Wireless LLC, an Internet Service Provider dedicated to providing high-speed broadband internet access to rural mid-America through partnerships both public and private, applied for and received a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service (USDA RUS) grant through the Community Connect program. The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be made available through strictly private investment, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens. The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet.

Q Wireless partnered with the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County and the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation to make the application for the $782,000 project to construct a high speed internet center with 10 computer stations to serve the Mauckport, Indiana Community. Of the total cost, Q Wireless LLC, the Chamber of Commerce and the HCEDC shared in matching funds of $147,920. The project also includes funding for the expansion of high speed internet infrastructure to provide residential internet service in Mauckport and the surrounding areas. The Director of the HCEDC, Darrell Voelker said " in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, the expansion of high speed internet has been a priority for at least 10 years and while some progress has been made, we have a lot more to do. Clearly, this part of Harrison County had little hope for this type of service without the efforts of Q Wireless LLC and the financial support from the USDA." We are pleased to support this cause and applaud the Chamber for taking the lead, Voelker added.

"Since opening the Mauckport High Speed Internet Center we have witnessed community members making good use of the facility, from connecting to family across the country, to applying for employment via the internet, and for our youngest users gaming and homework.," said Lisa Long, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County. "It has been particularly interesting to see multi-generational use of the center and how the generations are interacting with each other to teach new skills and values," continued Long.