Special to TH
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — Becky Skillman, president/CEO of Radius Indiana, made two presentations of $100,000 on behalf of the Regional Impact Fund, administered by Radius Indiana.
The contributions to the city of Bedford and Vincennes University both honor commitments by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in 2008.
Each county’s local economic development organization had secured the funds for education projects in their county.
“As we meet with site selectors from around the country, we consistently hear that one of the first pieces of information a business considers in making a location decision is the trained workforce available in that area,” said Becky Skillman. “Regions with a well-trained available pipeline of talent have the most opportunity for new jobs. Radius Indiana is proud to be a partner in this project that will play a key role in developing a globally competitive workforce.”
The first presentation, made to the city of Bedford, represented funding requested by the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council as matching funds to be applied to the Stone Gate Arts and Education Center, a city of Bedford Stellar Grant project.
The Stone Gate Arts and Education Center will be located in the northwest corner of the downtown square, featuring an adaptive reuse of a currently vacant building. Oakland City University and Ivy Tech University will expand their offerings as they relocate the Bedford Area Learning Center into the building.
The Indiana University Flagship center will also partner to offer Mandarin language courses, deepening the relationship and offering more cultural exchange opportunities with Bedford’s sister city in China. The mixed use facility will also feature a black box theater for cultural events, and space will be available for art showings and additional functions.
“The Lawrence County Economic Growth Council requested this funding in anticipation of downtown revitalization efforts, and to support educational resources to build a strong, ready workforce poised for business attraction or expansion within the community and surrounding areas,” said Gene McCracken, executive director of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council.
Mayor Shawna Girgis commented, “Due to these partnerships with Radius Indiana, the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, and local and regional educational institutions, the offerings at the Stone Gate Arts & Education Center will result in a trained and ready workforce that supports NSA Crane, industry, business attraction and expansion efforts; and will benefit the local community, region, state of Indiana, and national defense.”
Construction on the project will begin next year, and will be complete in 2016.