Regional efforts can translate into regional benefits.

That’s the goal of West Central 2025, an initiative of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.

“It is the voice of many is greater than one,” said Kristen Craig, vice president of the Chamber. “We are trying to get everyone to work collectively, think collectively and thinking about those opportunities we can pursue as a region.”

Now West Central 2025 has new logo, to be used in marketing its presence, as well as it’s own website — www.westcentral2025.com  which also allows people to join a Facebook group. The logo and website were disclosed in a presentation Thursday at Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute.

State funding has been moving toward regional efforts, Craig said.

“I have a feeling that whatever happens over the course of the next few months [and] years with the state, it is all going to be very regional in funding. So, we are trying to get ourselves positioned in a way that we can take advantage of whatever happens there,” Craig said.

The West Central 2025 group covers Vigo, Vermillion, Clay, Parke, Sullivan and Putnam counties. A seven- month study began early this year through the work of interns, hired through RJL Solutions.

“When we asked residents, students [and] small business owners, ‘Do you want West Central Indiana to promote a better image?’ 81 percent said yes, let’s do something and get a voice together,” said Anna Madden, who worked on the study.

“More than 70 percent of college students said they would visit a website for tourism, community events and quality of life, because they felt like the region was notspeaking to them…and want to be all digital,” Madden said. “Additionally 70 percent of residents would visit this website as well because they want to become more involved in their community.”

And 70 percent of business owners would contribute to and be involved in the website to partner with other businesses, Madden said.

“West Central 2025 is the perfect initiative to lead the region into growth, better quality of life, partnerships and an inclusive branding initiative…to coordinate discussions,” Madden said.

The new website gives the group an organizational platform to start its work, Craig said. Some initial targets for West Central 2025 include rural broadband connectivity as well as quality of place issues, such as trails and pathways to connect communities into a larger regional effort, Craig said.

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