Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Feb 2, 2006
North Central Indiana consortium selected for U.S. Dept. of Labor ?WIRED? grant

INDIANAPOLIS (February 2, 2006) ? A grant of up to $15 million awarded yesterday (Feb. 1) by the U.S. Department of Labor will be used to increase regional cooperation on economic and workforce development efforts, promote entrepreneurship and connect businesses to qualified workers in the north central regional of Indiana.

Governor Mitch Daniels announced that a North Central Indiana consortium (NCI) is one of 13 in the country to be awarded a federal grant of up to $15 million under a new initiative to promote partnerships to transform and rebuild regional economies. The consortium includes workforce development, economic development and education organizations; Purdue University will serve as the project administrator.

The grant has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor?s Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development, or WIRED Initiative. The governor?s Office of Federal Grants and Procurement worked with regions across the state to develop proposals, then sent three to the Department of Labor for consideration. Nearly 100 proposals were submitted by governors nationwide.

?To build a more prosperous Indiana, we?ll have to attract new and more diverse kinds of jobs beyond those we?ve relied on. Give young Hoosiers the skills required by those jobs, and veteran workers the retraining to compete for them, and Indiana will be a match for anyplace on earth,? said Daniels. ?We?ve been nearly last in America in competing for federal grant money. Big wins like this one are a positive sign that we can change that situation.?

?The skills and quality of our workforce will be the key lever for economic development in Indiana?s knowledge economy,? said Ron Stiver, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. ?The NCI proposal effectively builds on such efforts as our Strategic Skills Initiative, Workplace Literacy and other state regional initiatives to transform Indiana?s regional economies so they can effectively compete in the 21st century global economy.?

The project is called the NCI Transformation Network and will span 14 rural counties, 15 cities and 5,577 square miles. The project will be organized around three major regional change efforts: the NCI Entrepreneurial Collaborative, the NCI Next Practice Cluster Initiative, and Maturity Matters Older Worker Initiative.

Strategic partnership members are Purdue University, Workforce Development Strategies, Inc., North Central Indiana and Tecumseh Area Workforce Investment Boards, Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corporation, Greater Lafayette Venture Club, Lafayette School Corporation, Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo/Howard County Development Corporation, and several units of local government.

A link to the North Central Indiana consortium proposal may be found at: