The Northwest Indiana Economic Development District (NWIEDD)
The NWIEDD was originally created as a Not-For-Profit Corporation in 2009 after many years of Regional groups discussing the need for the formation of an Economic Development District (EDD). The Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) and Northwest Indiana Forum (Forum) came together with the singular goal of making Northwest Indiana recognized as an Economic Development District, a status bestowed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which would make the Region eligible to receive certain types of federal funding.
After many years seeking this designation amidst subsequent changes to federal requirements for the designation of an EDD, NIRPC has been working with the EDA to finally complete the EDD designation for the counties of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte in Northwest Indiana.
NIRPC’s designation as an EDD is one of the collective goals within the newly-released strategic plan for regional economic development, Ignite the Region: A Regional Strategy for Economic Transformation, spearheaded by the Forum in collaboration with multiple regional partners throughout the Region, to “establish an economic development district (EDD) to serve as a facilitator of regional initiatives and a conduit for additional funding sources in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties.” The strategic plan encourages “regional partners [to] support and assist NIRPC in its efforts to receive EDD designation.”
The EDD designation will be consistent with NIRPC’s charge within its state enabling legislation to “institute and maintain a comprehensive planning and programming process for: (1) transportation, (2) economic development, and (3) environmental policy, and provide a coordinative management process” for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties. (Indiana Code 36-7-7.6)
One of the functions of a federally-designated an Economic Development District (EDD) is the maintenance and implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) plan. The NIRPC Board of Commissioners will function as the EDD Governing Board.