NE RDA Approves Funding for Learning Center

NE RDA Approves Funding for Learning Center

The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) met recently to consider a request for Regional Cities Initiative funding for a project submitted by the Manchester Early Learning Center.

The Board voted to support the Manchester Early Learning Center with a grant of $520,000, which represents 20 percent of the $2.6 million of the project’s total cost.

Currently, the Manchester Early Learning Center has a waiting list with more than 100 families looking for early childhood care and education. The new, larger facility will fill a need for early childhood education and care in the community and provide the quality of life assets working families need. The Center also plans on doubling the staff.

“In Northeast Indiana, we know that investing in early childhood education is critical to long-term educational attainment and workforce outcomes as we work to reach the Big Goal. By supporting the Manchester Early Learning Center, we are providing families the quality of life assets we need to attract and retain talent while also investing in the education of our future leaders,” said Michael Galbraith, director of the Road to One Million.

The Board’s recommendation now goes to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for review and final approval to receive funding.

The RDA is responsible for disbursement of the $42 million in funding granted to the region through the Regional Cities Initiative established last year.

The purpose of the Regional Cities Initiative funding is to attract and retain talent by providing financial support for game-changing quality of place projects that will increase economic growth, lead to population growth, and enhance the region’s national brand identity. Northeast Indiana won the Regional Cities grant last year with its Road to One Million Plan that outlines more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in investment over the next 10 years.

“Working families need a safe and welcoming place to educate and care for their children. Investing in early childhood education means we are creating an attractive region for working families to live, work and succeed. The Manchester Early Learning Center is an opportunity for empowerment and growth of our region, our families and our children,” said RDA board chairman Jeff Turner, senior vice president of Metal Technologies.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which helped lead the effort to secure the Regional Cities Initiative funding, also provides staffing support to the RDA.

The board also heard a presentation from Jeremy Skinner about the Buffalo Street Redevelopment Project in Warsaw, which requested $3.5 million, which is 20 percent of the $17.6 million of the project’s total cost.

In addition to the approval of funding, the RDA also reported on the progress of the following Road to One Million projects, which are either approved or under review by the IEDC:

  • Great Lakes Capital for the Skyline Tower;
  • Trine University;
  • University of Saint Francis;
  • Embassy Theatre;
  • The DeKalb County YMCA; and
  • Little River Trail.

To learn more about the Road to One Million, visit the website at www.neindiana.com/regionalcities.