CASS COUNTY – Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announce the cities of Decatur and Logansport as the Generation 3 Communities for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI).
This initiative is open to self-identified communities of 25,000 or fewer people who want to develop a new generation of local leaders; promote the launch, survival and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs; and/or enhance the natural and physical assets of their hometowns.
“I applaud of the leadership of Decatur and Logansport for taking this important step to strengthen, expand and improve the capacity of their communities in order to offer more jobs and a higher quality of life,” said Lt. Governor Holcomb. “The HCI process has already proven itself as a bedrock for communities, especially in rural Indiana, to continue to learn and grow for the betterment of their residents.”
The HCI program is delivered by OCRA in a unique partnership with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute (ICI) and Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development (PCRD). Together, these entities champion the core principles of HCI, especially working to gain broad-based input and a buy-in that is vital to the long-term success and sustainability of all community development initiatives.
“Several local residents want to bring about positive changes in their hometowns, but are uncertain on how to do so,” said Bo Beaulieu, Purdue Center for Regional Development Director and Extension Community Development Program Assistant Director. “HCI endows local people with the skills they need to make good things happen in their communities.”
“The HCI process is an important component for a community’s path to resiliency and success,” said David Terrell, Director of Ball State University’s Economic Development Policy. “The players will have a deeper understanding of the community, their needs and opportunities. The Indiana Communities Institute of BSU is proud to be a partner in this initiative.”
In the competitive selection process, communities were asked to gather a team of up to 20 citizen leaders from a range of interests to explain why they believed the yearlong educational and community capacity building program is needed and how they might collectively leverage the opportunity to do even greater things. The participating communities work with Ball State, Purdue, and OCRA to study data about their economy and residents as well as examine the effectiveness of past and current planning efforts. Community wide surveys and forums are one of the methods deployed to assist in shaping the focus of the local leadership.
The initial information gathered then helps the team choose one of three educational tracks or Building Blocks in the HCI process:
“HCI is an important program that builds human capacity in rural Indiana,” said Bill Konyha, OCRA Executive Director. “Communities completing the HCI process are much more likely to tear down silos stifling the collaborative process and emerge with a sandbox in which diverse community elements can effectively use their combined gifts, talents and skills to advance the community.”
The City of Decatur wanted a way to remind their community that they have plans in place that will be beneficial, but they need the entire community to work towards implementing those future plans. The primary benefit Decatur sees in being an HCI community is being able to draw new people and enhance communication strategies to ensure their plans are shared with all members of the community.
The City of Logansport believes trust between residents and the City and County governments is extremely important. Logansport sees HCI as an opportunity to continuously boost that trust even further, regardless of the building blocks the team chooses to pursue. The exercise of recruiting the HCI team has already brought to their attention the need to ensure all demographics are represented in leadership roles within the community.
The Generation 3 HCI Communities – Decatur and Logansport, will be joining the ten communities from the first two generations of HCI. These communities include Auburn, Corydon, Lebanon, Orange County, Perry County, Pulaski County, Rush County, Seymour, Spencer County and Vermillion County. All ten are at varying stages of executing their projects, whether that be the HCI Foundation Phase (lasting 4-8 months), the Building Block Phase (lasting 3-6 months) or the Capstone Phase, the length of which depends on the proposed project.
For further information on the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, please visit the Hometown Collaboration Initiative’s website, the OCRA website or contact your Community Liaison.
|The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to assist communities in shaping and achieving their vision for community and economic development.|
|The mission of the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) is to pioneer new ideas and strategies that contribute to regional collaboration, innovation and prosperity.|
|The Indiana Communities Institute (ICI) addresses the modern challenges of economic development through community-based strategies for sustainable growth. Although our efforts focus on strengthening communities throughout Indiana, this strategy serves as a model for university economic development efforts across the nation.|
Office of Lt. Governor Holcomb
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