Lt. Gov. Crouch and OCRA announce One Dearborn County as a 2024 Stellar Pathways finalist

Press release from Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs

One Dearborn County Stellar Pathways for Indiana Gateways

INDIANAPOLIS (June 18, 2024) – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs today announced four regions as finalists for the 2024 Stellar Pathways program.

After receiving 19 letters of interest, representatives from the Stellar Pathways partner agencies evaluated submissions based on a number of factors. These included each region's demonstrated ability to collaborate, communicate effectively, implement projects, address challenges, secure additional funding and engage the community.

"The Stellar Pathways program empowers communities to invest in transformative improvements, and these four regions have displayed the vision required of a Stellar project,” said Lt. Gov. Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “All four of these teams have not only understood, but embraced the challenge of collaboration which is an important foundation for improving quality of life for Hoosiers in their communities.”

The following regions have been chosen as finalists: 

  • One Dearborn County: Stellar Pathways for Indiana Gateways, including, Dearborn County Economic Development Corporation, Dearborn County, Dillsboro and Greendale
  • Connect LaGrange County, including, LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, LaGrange County, Town of LaGrange, Shipshewana and Topeka
  • Wabash County, including, Wabash County, City of Wabash, North Manchester, Roann, LaFontaine and Lagro
  • Warren County Region, including, Warren County and Williamsport

Relaunched earlier this year, the Stellar Pathways program is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative led by OCRA. The program works with communities in a self-determined region on a shared vision for community and economic development. Additionally, Stellar Pathways promotes local and regional partnerships and assists in implementing sustainable solutions to challenges Indiana’s rural communities face.

As finalists, each region will receive $50,000 to put towards the development of its final strategic investment plan. Each region will also receive a customized one-day workshop with Ball State University's Indiana Communities Institute on Aug. 12 to discuss project alignment and continued planning efforts. 

"This was a very competitive review process, and it is evident these four regions worked hard to earn the Stellar Pathways finalist designation," said OCRA Executive Director Duke Bennett. "I look forward to seeing the impact the Stellar Pathways process will have on these communities." 

The Stellar Pathways program provides resources for transformative quality of place improvements by applying previous planning efforts, leveraging existing assets, fostering regional investments and stimulating continued growth. 

OCRA’s Stellar Pathways partner agencies include the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Health, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Destination Development Corporation and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/stellar/.