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Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund Announced; Applications Sought

September 24, 2004

September 24, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - Stimulating the economy and creating jobs in Putnam County are among the goals of a new initiative announced by DePauw University and the Greencastle/Putnam County Economic Development Center. Through the Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund, DePauw will provide matching seed funds up to a maximum of $20,000 per year, as well as in-kind services and resources, to support various economic development projects in Putnam County that connect to internship and educational opportunities for DePauw students.

The initiative is funded by a $750,000 grant awarded to the University in 2003 by Lilly Endowment (read more here) as part of an effort to reduce the "brain drain" in Indiana and encourage more college graduates to remain andCampus Aerial View work in the state.

A group of community leaders and area businesses will collaborate with DePauw officials to coordinate the grant review process, and area leaders will work to provide additional funding and in-kind resources to support applications funded through the venture fund.

"The Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund provides an exciting opportunity for DePauw and the local community to cooperate to create growth opportunities and to help generate economic development on a local level," says Bill Dory, executive director of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center. "By working together and sharing resources, we can maximize the impact that we have on the community."

Especially encouraged to apply for the matching seed grants are existing small to mid-sized Putnam County firms with projects that foster economic development or job creation. Business activities should focus on one of the five sectors identified as priorities for economic development by the state: advanced manufacturing, advanced logistics, information technology, life sciences and biotech, and capital development.

Dennis Trinkle, associate vice president for academic affairs, chief information officer and Tenzer Family University Professor in Instructional Technology at DePauw, said the University also will seek to interest DePauw alumni in returning to Putnam County to establish businesses with support of the grants. "I'm confident that this initiative and others will increase DePauw student and alumni awareness of employment opportunities in Indiana, stimulate economic investment and entrepreneurship in Putnam County, enhance talent retention in the local community and state, and provide even more opportunities for DePauw students and our partners in Putnam County to acquire entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills," Trinkle said. "We thank Lilly Endowment for its confidence in our vision, and confidence that these programs will make a very visible and positive difference."

Grant applications will be accepted through November 15, 2004. Interested business persons can obtain a paper application at the Greencastle/Putnam County Economic Development Center, 2 South Jackson Street, and at DePauw's 361° Office located in the Percy Lavon Julian Science & Mathematics Center (room 131), 602 South College Avenue. The application, more information about the Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund, and a description of the Opportunity through Collaboration program are available online by clicking here.

Access an audio clip of Dr. Trinkle at Inside Indiana Business' Web site, here.

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