Economic Opportunities 2015
(EcO15) is an ambitious effort building upon Southeastern Indiana’s economic growth areas which include Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare Services, and Hospitality/Tourism.
the EcO15 Presentation
The EcO15 project is funded in
part by Lilly Endowment Inc. which provided $38 million in grants
that will support the initiative which seeks to create a truly regional system of life long learning.
The Community Education Coalition received $26 million and $12 million
was awarded to Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.
The two organizations provide leadership, oversight and management support services for the regionally-focused initiative.
vision of the project is to connect the residents of ten counties within Southeast Indiana through education to better economic opportunities by the year 2015.
The EcO15 initiative directly impacts the counties of Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ripley, Ohio and Switzerland.
Heritage Fund works with the community foundations in the region to distribute grant funds into each county.
The project's objectives and
strategies are to:
Move residents up one level
in their education, training, and/or job placement
Create an Advanced
Manufacturing Network of Excellence
Create a Healthcare
Services Network of Excellence
Pathways within Hospitality and Tourism
Coordinate and align a
regional system by connecting the dots
Be a catalyst for regional
Ideas for Progress
Grow Community and
Other recent leveraged
investments in the regional learning system include:
$16 million by Columbus
community for learning system program improvements (including
previous grant awards of $5.85 million from Lilly Endowment)
$25 million for Columbus
Learning Center (plus 20-year annual operating budget for
$2.5 million for workforce
development managed by Region 9 (advanced manufacturing,
embedded systems, supervision, and nursing)
$2 million for Dream It Do
It state-wide initiative (a portion of which will flow through
$2 million annually for
bachelors and masters degrees programs (MBA and Engineering)
In announcing these grants, Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins said:
“The Endowment invited the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County to propose a plan to enable the residents of its community and region to take fuller advantage of the promising economic development opportunities in front of them. This invitation was offered because of the strength of the community foundation’s board and staff leadership and the vision, dedication and collaborative spirit of the community and business leadership in Columbus and Southeastern Indiana, demonstrated in part through the Community Education Coalition. We also were impressed with the compelling economic opportunities in advanced manufacturing, health care services, and hospitality and tourism industries.
We are delighted that the educational programs to be supported by the grants will over time help thousands of residents in the region enhance their economic well-being and overall quality of
Specifically, proceeds of the Lilly Endowment grants will be focused on three primary economic growth areas and coordinating services, which include:
Advanced Manufacturing: As more than 28 percent of the region’s workforce
(38,000 people) is dedicated to advanced manufacturing, a substantial portion of the grant will be dedicated to developing an advanced manufacturing network of excellence, incorporating the regional Dream It. Do It. initiative. This network will establish a comprehensive advanced manufacturing education and training program that will use regional advanced manufacturing labs positioned throughout Southeastern Indiana.
Health Care Services: More than 10 percent of the region’s workforce
(15,000 people) is employed in the health care services sector. Proceeds of the grant will be leveraged to create a regional network of stationary and mobile clinical simulation labs that can be used for accreditation and advanced degree certifications.
people) Revenue from the gaming industry has helped spur tourism efforts in the region and created a heavy demand for service employees. The grant will help create training and career pathway development for meaningful careers in the hospitality and tourism field.
Shared Coordinating Services: To coordinate and align the regional learning system, the grant will provide funds to staff an EcO15 coordinator located in each of the 10 counties. Each coordinator will have an understanding of process and programs to better guide students and will act as a liaison between industry and educational
The EcO15 Initiative will be guided by a 40-member regional advisory council. The council will be made up of representatives from each of the 10 counties and will include leaders from community foundations, education institutions, workforce partners, private-industry employers, economic development organizations and government representatives.
“The Endowment invited us to develop an initiative that used education as a bridge to connect people to the economic opportunities that are present in this community and county,” said Sherry Stark, president and CEO of Heritage Fund. “We expanded our proposal to include the southeast region of Indiana because issues, challenges and opportunities don’t stop at county lines.”
Once the EcO15 Initiative has been implemented throughout the Southeastern region, it will be a unique model within the United States concerning how regions educate their citizens and leverage that talent to drive the productivity and competitiveness of their regional economies.
The Advanced Manufacturing
Network of Excellence
More than $24 million has been
invested into the creation of a regional Advanced Manufacturing
Network of Excellence. This network will establish a comprehensive advanced manufacturing education and training program using a “hub and node network system.”
Educational services will be provided by partners including Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, IUPUC, and Purdue
University College of Technology.
A major piece of this network is the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCE)—a shared, state-of-the-art facility that builds capacity and competitiveness for manufacturers in Southeastern Indiana. The building contains shared and dedicated integrated technology labs that are built around a curriculum of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). These labs are blended with education, workforce, and business development programs that collaborate to deliver hands-on, team-centered, project-based learning and applied research serving students and regional companies in becoming high-tech and knowledge-intense.
The Center serves as the hub for the Advanced Manufacturing Network of Excellence. The Network is a collection of advanced manufacturing integrated technology labs located throughout ten counties in Southeastern Indiana. The Center coordinates and supports the network by delivering educational and technical support services, developing career awareness programs and pathways, and collecting and disseminating best
Objectives of the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence:
Provide shared teaching labs, training, and laboratory space for programs that educate and/or train people for advanced manufacturing careers.
Provide shared space and services for educational institutions and companies to conduct applied research that would advance student and business growth and development.
Provide advanced manufacturing support services for students, educators, and companies throughout the region.
Lead advanced manufacturing efforts by aligning the region’s educational and economic assets.
Increase competitiveness and productivity by helping companies become high-tech and knowledge-intense.