|Project Site:||Steward of Place: How Indiana University Kokomo Engages with the North Central Indiana Region to Support Economic Development|
|Submitted By:||Indiana University Kokomo|
Indiana University Kokomo is a regional campus of Indiana University with a core mission of being a “steward of place”; a publicly engaged institution fully committed to direct, two-way interaction with the communities we serve. Located in north-central Indiana, the campus has been engaged in creating and cultivating partnerships that strengthen the economic vitality of our twelve county service region. In response to a call from these partners the campus led an effort to address the need to help local leaders think and act regionally to be competitive in our global economy. Each community was struggling to survive on its own and needed help in finding ways to work together. Upon embarking on this project the region had no formal regional organization and was unable to compete for federal and state funding for regional projects and the enhancement of economic development. Our goal was to identify regional leaders, help them learn more about the benefits of regionalism, and then facilitate the creation of a regional partnership organization. Answering the call to help communities in north-central Indiana embrace regionalism began with identifying and educating regional leaders and ended with a working organization that is successfully bringing grant funds benefitting the region. IU Kokomo continues to be deeply engaged in this project, and continues to lend support to the organization’s endeavors. As a regional campus, committed to steward of place, IU Kokomo’s support and leadership resulted in a systematic and sustainable outcome that will have impact on the region for years to come.