More than a dozen statewide government, non-profit and economic development groups are collaborating to help communities across Indiana respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizations are Accelerate Indiana Municipalities, Association of Indiana Counties, Indiana Association of Regional Councils, Indiana Chamber Executives Association, Indiana Economic Development Association, Indiana Library Federation, Indiana Office of Career Connections and Talent, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Indiana Public Health Association, Indiana Tourism Association, Indiana United Ways, Indiana Workforce Development Board Alliance, Prosperity Indiana and Purdue Extension.
Philanthropy Alliance President and CEO Claudia Cummings said all those groups, working together, allows each of them to mobilize resources to the people who need them. As an example, she pointed to Starke County, where the United Way and a local community foundation were able to more quickly get money to county government.
“Both to support those in need of supplies and groceries due to unemployment, quarantine or other facets but also was part of their economic development strategy to maintain operations with their local businesses and to keep employees working,” Cummings said.
Economic Development Association President and CEO Lee Lewellen said the groups are also more easily sharing information statewide. That includes developing a web portal that serves as a one-stop-shop for COVID-19 resources and assistance.
“So that no matter where somebody in a community – if they go to the Chamber [of Commerce], they go to the community foundation, United Way – all of those entities will have one portal that will provide access for all of the information,” Lewellen said.
Lewellen and Cummings said they envision the collaboration working long after Indiana gets through the coronavirus pandemic.