CRANE -- Radius Indiana, the eight-county economic development regional in south central Indiana, has begun systemic planning and opportunity development to take advantage of major positive changes in the region.
Included in the broad planning initiative was the retaining of Thomas P. Miller & Associates (TPMA), an Indianapolis-based workforce development and research planning firm, according to R.J. Reynolds, Radius Indiana president and CEO.
"The opening of I-69 and the WestGate Academy this year is going to create and unlock a great deal of new growth and expansion potential for the region, and we want to ensure that we're taking advantage of every opportunity," said Reynolds. "This includes the Eastgate industrial park in Bedford and other strategic assets in the region like the French Lick resort."
TPMA has conducted interviews and research meetings in all eight counties, including Greene County, to assess opportunities and map out issues that need addressing.
To secure input from academic institutions, the Radius Indiana staff was host to a presentation and discussion by TPMA professionals April 19.
The firm presented its initial research about Radius Indiana-related opportunities emerging both from the upcoming opening of the all-new I-69 interstate and from the expected opening of the 54,000 square feet WestGate Academy and Conference Center, which is expected to play host to a number of area universities and training activities sponsored by the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Crane.
The TPMA presentation took place at the Stimulus Engineering facility in the WestGate at Crane Technology Park and was attended by representatives from several area universities and schools, including Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Southern Indiana, the Ivy Tech Corporate College, Oakland City University, and Vincennes University.
"While we have major commercial defense opportunities available through the WestGate and NSWC Crane, we also have a major focus on diversifying the region's economy and build cluster strategies around our strengths in advanced manufacturing, and tourism," Reynolds explained. "To be successful long-term, we must build and then execute upon a vision of strong economic diversity.
"We foresee a strong job market as the region expands economically from I-69 and as people retire from NSWC Crane."
The TPMA project will continue through June, when the firm will submit its final report.
Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana is a regional partnership representing eight counties in south central Indiana: Greene, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. The partnership also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division.