INDIANAPOLIS -- A panel of business leaders responsible for helping choose which of Indiana’s seven Regional Cities Initiative proposals will get state funding met Tuesday to determine the criteria on which those proposals will be judged, but it’s not clear which criteria the regions themselves should prioritize.
The Regional Cities committee largely agrees on the goal of the initiative: attract and retain talent. There’s less consensus on how to accomplish that. Is it prioritizing so-called quality of place? Or, should the focus be on creating high-wage jobs? Thompson Distribution CEO John Thompson chairs the committee. He says while there will be criteria that each region should use as a guideline, he doesn’t want any sort of rubric that weights one consideration more than another. He says he wants to see what the regions decide to focus on.
“They’re in the best position to determine what outcomes they’d like to see in their region,” Thompson said.
Each region will receive a finalized version of the criteria next week before they present their proposals to the committee Oct 6 and 7. A decision on which regions are awarded the state money is expected in December.