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Purdue Center for
Regional Development

Purdue and USDA RD Join Forces to Implement National Regional Economic Development Program

Posted by Bo Beaulieu on June 02, 2017, in SET.

The Indiana Office of USDA Rural Development (RD) announced the designation of the Southern Indiana Development Commission (SIDC) as a Stronger Economies Together (SET) region. Seven regional economic-development groups in five states were selected to participate in this latest round of technical assistance awards.

“Rural communities recognize the vital importance of economic development for the benefit of residents,” said Alan F. Krapf, Acting Indiana State Director. “USDA Rural Development’s Stronger Economies Together (SET) program enhances regional economic development efforts by providing assistance in the creation of a high quality plan. The plan is produced in collaboration with local stakeholders and a state resource team made up of individuals from state and federal agencies, university extension and other organizations that possess expertise and knowledge in community and economic development.”

SET is a nationwide initiative launched in 2009 by USDA Rural Development in partnership with the regional rural development centers, the Purdue Center for Regional Development and the nation’s land-grant university system. The goals of the program are developing a stronger regional mindset, increasing regional collaboration, discovering the region’s current and emerging assets, and developing and implementing a high quality regional economic development plan that aligns with the region’s strengths.

Professionals with the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Purdue Extension will coordinate and deliver the year-long SET program in the SIDC region, in partnership with USDA RD. “We are honored to be partnering with our USDA Rural Development partners in Indiana on the SET initiative,” stated Dr. Bo Beaulieu, director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development. “By joining forces, we are bringing the best resources available to strengthen and support the important regional economic development work of SIDC.”

The Southern Indiana Development Commission (SIDC) is a voluntary organization of local government serving Daviess, Greene, Knox, Lawrence and Martin Counties to provide assistance with community and economic development. SIDC utilizes multifaceted resources, opportunities and skills to strengthen and improve the quality of life in the area.

The SET program provides systematic coaching to guide the design and implementation of a practical and viable regional economic development plan, in-depth data tailored to the region that describes its current and emerging clusters, comparative economic advantages, detailed demographic and socio-economic information, as well as technical assistance.