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Community Foundation of White County

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There’s always something happening at your community foundation – and we’re always delighted to share good news about our wonderful community!

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  • Leslie Goss

WHIN for the Win!

Approximately five years ago, the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette was contacted by Lilly Endowment. Inc. regarding its desire to invest a major grant through the Foundation to enhance and accelerate regional prosperity in our area.

Thus began a $38.9 million initiative that became named the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN), engaging partners, including community foundations, from throughout our 10-county area.

Last week, the WHIN staff “took its show on the road” and welcomed friends from around White County to hear what they have learned and shared what direct impact WHIN has had in our White County community.

Some highlights:

· WHIN has directly invested over $1.5 million in grants, subsidies and staff time in White county (the murals in Wolcott are one small, but visible and outstanding! example)

· $219,822 invested in our local schools for: e-learning, STEM-related education and projects, and the InMAC technology studio at the Boys & Girls Club, for example

· 21,100 acres and several area farmers are now served by WHIN’s Ag Alliance, providing access to research and ‘living lab’ opportunities

· 3 area manufacturing companies and 111 employees are now engaged through WHIN’s Manufacturing Alliance, with more partners welcome

· 88 White County Ivy Tech students are enrolled in programs related to digital ag or advanced manufacturing because of WHIN’s support

· 21 new-age, high-tech weather stations have been planted around the county

· developing new technology to soon have high-speed, everywhere-reliable internet accessible to providers throughout the county.

· Expanding IoT (Internet of Things) technology in innovative ways (sensors “planted” in farm fields to detect moisture, growth patterns, etc., for example)

WHIN’s “True North” statement has been to develop an ecosystem that enables globally competitive businesses to plant and grow the Wabash Heartland Region. WHIN is designed to create an innovative and prosperous ecosystem: to position our 10-county region as a global leader in high-tech agriculture, next-generation manufacturing, and cultivating “quality of place” communities that are vital, focused, and connected.

Our ten counties are rich in assets: people committed to their communities’ well-being and growth; strong educational facilities, including both Purdue University and Ivy Tech, and the research and development capacities within; numerous and varied manufacturing facilities, both large and small; and an agricultural base with a strong history and even greater potential, particularly in terms of technology.

WHIN has worked to help integrate these, and many more, assets in ways that can multiply and expand the potential of each. The Internet of Things (IoT) runs throughout its plans and accomplishments. Technology, education, connectivity, and enhanced quality of life permeate each initiative and project it explores.

WHIN’s CEO, Johnny Park, provides unparalleled knowledge, energy and commitment to this amazing and unique opportunity. We are truly honored to partner with the WHIN team and its board members to help enhance and accelerate regional prosperity. To learn more, log onto WHIN is most impressive, to say the very least!

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