By Wendy Dant Chesser

WDRB Contributor

The state of Indiana will be allocating $84 million to two regions in an effort to catapult communities to "world class city" status. Chosen applicants will demonstrate regional collaboration, public impact and return on investment.

To prepare, community leaders and elected officials in Southern Indiana have been working since December creating a comprehensive plan focused on transformational growth with "game changing" projects.

Funding from the state will provide leverage for brick-and-mortar projects that add to our Quality of Place.

These amenities – like the Big Four Bridge – will create a national brand for our region. We are building a diverse and vibrant community to retain and attract highly-skilled individuals, so that globally-competitive businesses can thrive here while providing good paying jobs.

This is the boldest strategy yet in the battle to combat the "brain drain." We are being given a real opportunity -- with substantial funding -- to position our region as a destination for business and for talented people. In Southern Indiana, the funding is an incentive for Hoosier communities to work together. Imagine the incredible things we can accomplish when different cities, counties and states collaborate toward a common goal.

The Regional Cities Initiative should be a priority not only for businesses but also for anyone wanting their children to have the best and most dynamic opportunities to live, work, and play right here. If you agree, please contact your local Indiana officials and encourage them to get on board with the Regional Cities Initiative.

I'm Wendy Dant Chesser, and that's my Point of View.

Wendy Dant Chesser is the President and CEO of One Southern Indiana.

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