Northern Indiana is the region of Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties. Given its central Midwest location and proximity to Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, the region enables access to major cities, markets and customers. Northern Indiana residents have access to regional and local amenities such as Lake Michigan beaches, bike trails, a burgeoning local culinary scene, minor league baseball, theaters and a zoo, not to mention the cultural, sporting and community activities that the region’s higher education institutions provide. Cities such as South Bend, Mishawaka, Plymouth, Goshen, and Elkhart have urban attractions of riverfronts and water amenities.
Northern Indiana has a variety of economic, demographic and quality of place assets. The region’s key strengths include: many existing place-based assets, a competitive cost structure, access to markets, higher education resources, and cultural diversity. Innovation Districts are already emerging throughout the region, and leaders are exploring additional place-based development opportunities in their communities.
The Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) was formed as a quasi-governmental authority, governed by a five-member board, to carry out economic development projects in Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties and the municipalities within those counties.
IC 36-7.6 defines the structure and authority of the RDA. The board members are professionals in business, finance, economic development, rail, or air transportation, and they are appointed by the executives of the counties.
The Regional Cities of Northern Indiana initiative serves every citizen and business organization of Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties through a commitment to pursuing transformational economic development projects and strategic initiatives for the entire three-county region. Since November 2014, the Regional Cities of Northern Indiana has engaged business, philanthropic, academic and government leaders from Indiana communities across Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties in the planning process. In doing so, a group formed that leverages the vast experience and services of Northern Indiana's leading business, academic, philanthropic and government leaders.