Pulaski County one of six communities chosen for new State program

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PULASKI COUNTY – Pulaski County was selected by the State of Indiana as one of six participants in the inaugural round of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI). Sponsored by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), in partnership with Ball State’s Building Better Communities, the Ball State College of Architecture and Planning – Urban Design, the Purdue Center for Regional Development, and Purdue University Extension, HCI is a retooled, more-focused replacement for the former Home Town Competitiveness program, in which Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann had participated, and by which she had been inspired, in her hometown.

HCI is a program that empowers communities of fewer than 25,000 persons to identify and to weave existing economic and community assets to develop and to energize community-wide leadership and engagement; to focus on economic development strategies; and to enhance their attractiveness as places to enjoy and in which to live. Community buy-in and action are fundamental to prioritizing where your community needs to focus its resources to build a sustainable future focused on addressing issues and opportunities. As such, a community survey will be conducted as part of the process.

It is, at this time, the intention of the Pulaski County HCI team, with support from PCED, to focus this initiative on placemaking, by examining ways to build on our community’s natural and built resources. Our hometown team will take stock of its physical assets and explore the integration of the arts, culture, and historic preservation into efforts to revitalize our county, at the same time attracting and retaining young talent, increasing the quality of life for older residents, and conquering the east/west cultural divide, uniting us as neighbors and friends.

The team, carefully selected by the PCED office and approved by OCRA, currently comprises 14 persons from every municipality and walk of life in Pulaski County, including business leaders, young entrepreneurs, County employees, recreation-industry workers, educators, youths, and retirees.

The program will end with a capstone project, which will be brought forth by a culmination of the team’s work and coaching throughout the program. The State of Indiana will be a major financial contributor to the project.

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