MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – The Vibrant Michigan City economic inclusive initiative is taking root as the playbook’s key players map out their next steps.

The playbook, which is the result of a collaborative effort between the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, the Brookings Institute and Local Initiative Support Services, was recently unveiled after months of data analysis, research, public input and guidance from advisory council members who were selected for their expertise and community-based knowledge.

The playbook has six vital avenues that seek to address the challenges faced by the West Side, Midtown and East Side areas of Michigan City. Each pathway is a platform for changes that will be led by leaders and organizations who have experience in each area.

“Our next Vibrant Michigan City session will help create a solid foundation to navigate the initial steps of putting the playbook into place through actionable steps,” said EDCMC Executive Director Clarence L. Hulse. “Each organization will have an individual to lead and support how to begin moving forward.”

The playbook agenda items range from short- to long-term plans and include how to: support pathways to employment for all ages, strengthen local commercial districts and businesses, build healthy and engaged neighborhoods, construct safe and affordable housing, connect people to recreation and nature and advocate to transform legacy sites.

“Under these categories, we are able to pinpoint how we can address our community needs, what we need to focus on and how we can work together,” Hulse said. “In the short term, we can address employment by looking at how to overcome barriers that community members are facing to enter or stay in the work force.

“While in the long-term, we are exploring how to reuse the Indiana State Prison grounds and improving Highway 12 to allow for better access to our natural resources.”

To keep the playbook on track and progressing, leaders for the agenda’s action items will continue to meet regularly. The Brookings Institute and LISC have committed to a three-year partnership with Vibrant Michigan City to provide support and services where needed and to begin the implementation of the various agenda action items.

To stay up to date on the Vibrant Michigan City playbook’s progress, view the pathway breakdowns or read the playbook itself, visit www.vibrantmc.com.

Michigan City is one of three small cities in Indiana that had been selected by Brookings and LISC, which usually work with larger metropolitan areas, such as Indianapolis and Los Angeles. Seymour and Warsaw are also part of the initiative to address economic stagnation and inequity.

The effort is also supported by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and focused on small cities located in the state of Indiana’s READI program regions. Through READI, 17 regions across the state that represent all 92 counties are moving forward with projects and programs designed to enhance Indiana’s regions for current and future generations of Hoosiers. The collaborative initiative also unites city and regional stakeholders to garner vital input from all corners of each community.