We support on an invitational basis regional strategic initiatives in Indiana that build on the work of community foundations, educational institutions, and other local and regional community organizations and partnerships to plan for and build greater community and regional prosperity. Our education and community development divisions collaborate on these initiatives, which are helping communities align education and job training with employer needs and make their communities and regions more attractive places to live and invest.


EcO Network focuses on increasing educational attainment, especially linked to the economic sectors that are most well-paying in southeast Indiana. The effort currently focuses on advanced manufacturing (representing 30 percent of people employed in the region) and health care (representing 10 percent of people employed in the region). Launched in 2007, it is a partnership between the Community Education Coalition of Columbus, Ind., and community foundations in southeast Indiana, as well as community organizations, industry leaders and other employers. Learn more

OrthoWorx is based in Warsaw, northern Indiana, which is home to several international orthopedic industry leaders. In 2009, industry partners, academic institutions and community leaders formed OrthoWorx to help capitalize on the area’s exceptional concentration of orthopedic industry resources and expertise to strengthen the area’s workforce and quality of life. Learn more

Southwest Central Indiana regional initiative is focusing on research, workforce and education development, and projects that enhance the quality of life in an 11-county area: Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties. The Applied Research Institute, Regional Opportunity Initiative and the Rural Center at Indiana University are key components of this regional effort.

Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) is the regional initiative devoted to increasing global economic competitiveness and quality of life in a 10-county area: Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties. WHIN will promote synergistic collaborations among Purdue University, local businesses, and charitable and educational organizations to strengthen the development of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in agriculture and advanced manufacturing sectors. It also will work to build IoT technology skills among workers in the region. Learn more

Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network is an initiative to enhance and link expertise, technologies, workforce development programs and innovation-based facilities throughout the broader South Bend-Elkhart region. Launched in 2019, The University of Notre Dame and the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership (SBERP) along with other key regional stakeholders will accelerate the region’s shared vision, described in SBERP’s Ensuring Prosperity Plan, to create an environment that attracts, trains and retains top talent for tomorrow’s jobs. The LIFT Network also builds on the momentum created by an Indiana Regional Cities Initiative grant awarded to the region in 2015. LEARN MORE