A Pittsburgh consulting firm has begun a study aimed at boosting regional economies in Indiana.
At Governor Pence‘s request, legislators this year called for a study comparing regional cities in Indiana to similar regions in other states, then examining what the comparable cities have done to spur economic development and looking for patterns which might be duplicated here.
Indiana Economic Development Corporation president Eric Doden says the legislation didn’t specify which cities to study, nor which clusters of cities constitute a region.
He says local officials have done some of that work themselves by opting into the study, and in some cases by partnering with nearby communities.
“We want to have more of a situation where multiple cities would engage in this process – in the planning process – fully understanding that some of them will engage more than others,” says Doden.
Doden says some cities have already offered creative ideas for taking a more regional approach to economic development.
“Some cities saying they’d like to combine to make one plan,” Doden says. “Others have even talked about the possibility of looking at different ways to consolidate their efforts even more aggressively than that.”
One of the first steps is for the consultants to select the peer cities that will be used as benchmarks in the study. Doden says they’re looking for similar cities that can be used as examples.
The study will be finished this fall.