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WIRED kicks off in Indiana May 16, 2006

Posted by Tom in Economic Development, Innovation, WIRED, Workforce.
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One of the most interesting alignment ponits between economic development and workforce development is the U.S. Department of Labor’s WIRED initiative. The program kicked off at one of its target sites in Kokomo, Indiana:

The workforce development group Miami and Wabash counties are a part of was recently awarded a $15 million federal grant to foster entrepreneurship and increase innovation and job growth in North Central Indiana.

The region is one of only 13 across the nation that will receive the funds, said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at a meeting to announce the news at Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo Tuesday. The grant is a part of the WIRED initiative, or Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development, and will be paid over three years.

The money can also be used to advance manufacturing and agribusiness and even to increase post-secondary education rates – a problem many local leaders are currently working to address.

Kokomo’s a heavily auto industry-dependentt community, hosting the Delphi Automotive Electronics & Safety divisional headquarters and a DaimlerChrysler plant. With Delphi in tough financial shape, WIRED is an incredible shot in the arm for a community looking to rebuild itself.

On a side note, it’s interesting to note that elected officials will have a significant say in the allocation of funds – but Purdue University, not a standard economic development or workforce development agency, will be the administrators of the program in Indiana.

Also, if you have not yet checked out the DOL WIRED reading list, you’re missing out. They have some terrific resource material for economic developers and workforce planners alike.
Thanks to EDPro for the heads up on the Kokomo article.

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