READI program catalyst to helping regions
around state grow together, become model for others
Our state has continuously stepped up to try new things, test what works and build something new. Our growing and thriving entrepreneurial network is a catalyst for Indiana’s future economic strength — whether in our willingness to explore new ideas like Startup Genome or the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Indiana has a track record of challenging other states to think differently about their strategy for economic development and regional collaboration.
The key is to remain in a constant state of curiosity and to feed that curiosity by taking calculated risks.
The most relevant example of that risk and Indiana’s willingness to dive in head first is READI — a program of unprecedented magnitude not just for our state but for the nation. Through that $500 million investment, we’re placing a big bet on our state and its ability to allow regions to come together on their own. We’ve also placed a big bet on the creativity and collaboration of our communities, and they delivered bold visions that will begin coming to fruition over the coming months.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and I see a big return on this investment for Indiana’s future and are incredibly proud of our regions and their people for coming together to identify the biggest opportunities for improvement in their communities, and commit to investing in population growth, workforce growth, infrastructure, parks, trails, broadband access, child care and housing. When improving our communities is at the heart of a bet, we are sure to win.
Indiana has conditioned to become a winning team by putting ourselves in the enviable position of fiscal fitness. We are a leader among states in economic performance and stability. But we can do more to increase this favorable environment. Along with our endless curiosity and willingness to take risks comes the thirst for continuous improvement.
By continuously thinking about new ways to do things, by shooting and aiming higher, and by identifying our biggest opportunities, we position ourselves for unparalleled success. We see examples every day of the collaboration across private public and academia partners, and we are laser focused on improving the tools and processes at our disposal to be more aggressive in securing wins for Indiana and its communities.
In Indiana, we endeavor to never stop learning and never stop improving or innovating. By working together to build that exciting future, by being nimbler than ever before, by playing offense, Indiana will be a model for other states throughout the 21st century. I’m proud to serve under a governor who is truly our state’s entrepreneur-in-chief, leading Indiana into a bold, aspirational and exciting future.
Brad Chambers is Indiana Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), serving as a member of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s cabinet and leading the state’s economic development efforts since his appointment in summer 2021. He also is the founder, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Buckingham Companies.