Development

City, county partner for workforce grant

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Crawfordsville and Montgomery County have joined three neighboring counties in applying for up to $50 million from the state to recruit and retain workers.

The collaboration with Boone, Putnam and Hendricks counties is part of the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, which was launched to help communities develop economic plans.

As Montgomery County works to attract more housing in hopes of increasing the workforce, the funding could help lure developers by providing roads, sewer and water lines and broadband connection, said John Frey, president of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

“If we want residential development here, we’re going to have to incent it, and incenting it means a little bit of help with the infrastructure,” Frey said.

The region will receive $500,000 in state funding to develop the plan, working with industry leaders and other stakeholders across the four counties.

Winning regions will be selected by the end of the year. The state says at least $2 billion in match funding for communities could result from the initiative.

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton said in a statement the partnership creates an “intentional brain trust” to address workforce challenges and quality of life opportunities.

The partnership is spearheaded by regional groups including Montgomery County Economic Development, the Boone County Economic Development Corp., the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership, Greencastle-Putnam County Development Center and local elected officials.

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