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Local Groups Lay Out Plan To Draw More Jobs To Monroe County

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The Workforce Attraction Plan being presented to community leaders. (Tyler Lake, WTIU/WFIU News)

Two local organizations are rolling out plans to draw more jobs to Monroe County. The Bloomington Economic Development Council and the Community Foundation of Bloomington presented the plan to Monroe County citizens at Ivy Tech last night.

The Monroe County Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plan is the result of a number of community surveys and data collected from across the county.

One issue a number of residents raised was the lack of community spaces that could bring rural residents, minorities, young professionals and retirees together.

The plan is meant to help Monroe County organizations get a sense of some of the problems facing the region. They’ll be able to apply for a share of $3 million in grant funding over the next two years to help address one of the issues.

Tina Peterson is helping lead the effort as the President of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County and CEO of the Regional Opportunities Initiative.

She says the grant money will fund solutions that they hope will help draw a larger and more diverse workforce to the region.

"This work is designed to help us be more ready," Peterson says. "So that’s the idea here, we have a lot to offer in this community but clearly from what we heard tonight, we have some opportunities to make Bloomington a more attractive place." 

Peterson says there are three areas that projects applying for the funding should focus on: aesthetics and beautification, infrastructure and connectivity, and community cohesion and support.

"They’re not all the things that are needed in a community," she says. "But they are the things that are charitable, and this is really a charitable opportunity."

Peterson says the first deadline for applications for funding comes at the end of March, and the agency will repeat the same process in August and February.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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