The cities of Gary and Michigan City were chosen for the Economic Recovery Corps Fellowship, a program launched in 2023 by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
The program will connect economic development leaders with 65 “host” cities in the inaugural fellowship. Gary and Michigan City were among 500 applicants.
Gary Mayor Eddie Melton said Christopher Harris, the city's director of redevelopment, helped secure the fellowship.
“Having this fellow will be a catalyst for the reinvestment and revitalization of our downtown Broadway corridor,” Melton said in a press release.
The ERC will partner with Gary's Redevelopment Commission to focus on the city's downtown branding and redevelopment through a recently formed Transit Development District.
In Michigan City, the Economic Development Corp. Michigan City will host the fellow. The focus will be on the Vibrant Michigan City Playbook.
“What a great opportunity for Michigan City to be one of the very few cities in the country to receive a fellow to allow us to push our Vibrant Michigan City agenda forward for our citizens,” said Mayor of Michigan City Angie Nelson Deuitch. “Our citizens helped us to create that agenda, which impacts not only the west and east sides of town, but all of Michigan City. So, we are just thrilled to have a fellow working with us to help us fulfill our goals.”
The Economic Development Corp. Michigan City, the Brookings Institute and Local Initiative Support Services make up a collaborative effort that made the playbook possible. It launched in July 2023. Brookings and LISC selected Michigan City as one of three small towns to address economic and inequity issues.
The Economic Recovery Corps Fellowship's funding lasts 2.5 years, and is a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration with $30 million in funding.