Now Accepting Applications for Generation 5 of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative

Posted by IndianaHCI on February 7, 2017, in Uncategorized.

Indianapolis – The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced they are now accepting applications for Generation 5 of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI).

Communities (or counties) with a population of 25,000 or less that wish to: (1) promote the launch, survival and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs; (2) invest in place through community design, public space developments, local foods or other quality of life initiatives; or (3) develop a new generation of local leaders, are eligible to apply.

“I am proud to have witnessed the transformation of our previous HCI communities,” said Bill Konyha, OCRA Executive Director. “HCI helps in establishing local capacity, it encourages communities to focus on collaboration as an economic driver and it is helping communities move forward. I strongly encourage all eligible communities to apply.”

HCI is a capacity-building program led by OCRA in a unique partnership with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute (ICI) and Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development (PCRD). Together, these entities champion the core principles of HCI, one centered on the establishment and sustainability of a representative group of local residents that is dedicated to advancing the long-term vitality of their communities.

“HCI provides smaller communities with the ability to make a difference,” said Bo Beaulieu, Purdue Center for Regional Development Director and Extension Community Development Program Assistant Director. “HCI gives communities the tools, skills and strategies they need to make their hometowns the best that they can be.”

Generation 5 applications will be accepted beginning Monday, February 6 and should be submitted to Info@indianahci.org. Applications are due by Friday, March 31 at 4:00 p.m. EST.

To aid applicants with the HCI application process, Purdue University will host a webinar on Monday, March 6 (from 2:30-3:30 pm EST) titled ‘How to Write a Competitive HCI Application.’

Communities selected for site visits will be notified on Thursday, April 6. Next, these communities will be asked to host a visit of members of the State HCI team. HCI applicants that are ultimately selected to be part of HCI’s Generation 5 will be announced on Thursday, May 4.

The HCI Generation 5 community teams will undergo an extensive training program to help focus their energy on one of three Building Blocks designed to build on their community development opportunities. The Building Blocks include:

  • Economy – Build a supportive community environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Leadership – Develop a new generation of local leaders who will take an active part in addressing community priorities.
  • Placemaking – Invest in your place through creative quality of life initiatives related to public spaces, design, local foods and tourism, among others.

“Every community has strengths they utilize to make their homes a better place and HCI allows them to identify where they still have room to improve,” said David Terrell, Director of Ball State University’s Economic Development Policy. “The local HCI teams will develop a deep understanding of what their community needs to successfully maintain dedication of local leaders for years to come.”

HCI Generation 5 designees will join 14 communities that have already received the Hometown Collaboration Initiative designation. The previous 14 designees are engaged in the process and moving forward with the Building Blocks and projects to improve their communities.

For more information regarding the application, eligibility requirements or to sign up for the webinar, visit http://indianahci.org/apply. If you have any questions concerning the application process, please reach out to your OCRA Community Liaison.