OCRA holds regional conference at WestGate Academy Conferencing & Training Center.
March 18, 2016 – Office of Community & Rural Affairs (OCRA) works with the communities of Indiana to establish economically thriving places where the citizens want to live, work, and grow. The mission of OCRA is to provide assistance to its local, state, and national partners in an effort to obtain their vision for economic development. On March 18, OCRA visited the WestGate Academy Conferencing & Training Center to meet with other professionals who share a similar interest in shaping Indiana’s rural communities.
During the 2016 OCRA Regional Conference held at the Technology Park, attendees were able to gain a better understanding of the agency’s updates as well as an insight into the OCRA Grant application process and New Historic Renovation Grant Program. Indiana Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb, who gave the keynote address, expressed his enthusiasm for connecting with the citizens of Indiana’s rural communities. Holcomb later wrote in a Facebook post after the event, “Today I joined the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs team at the Southern Regional Conference where we connected southern Indiana cities and towns with community resources. Rural towns are truly [the] heart of our state!”
Along with Indiana Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb, many other speakers were able to discuss ways to further ready Indiana’s communities. Following a welcome from the Commanding Officer Timothy A. Craddock, OCRA Southwest Community Liaison Marty Vaught introduced OCRA and its purpose. OCRA Deputy Director Geoff Schomacker provided insight towards the agency’s overview and program updates before introducing the panel of Project and Program Managers Matt Crouch, Collette Childress, and Aletha Dunston.
Following a short networking break, guests were enlightened on ways to use data to understand your communities perforce by Community Performance Indicators Bill Konya, Matt Crouch, and Jill Curry, followed by speeches from Marie Hawkins, Martin County Bicentennial Coordinator, Indiana Rural Health Association Executive Director Don Kelso, and OCRA Project Manager Colette Childress.