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Funding released for three READI projects

Northwest Indiana Forum

Three Northwest Indiana READI projects are ready to move forward. The Northwest Indiana Forum secured $50 million for 34 projects through the state's Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. Now, the forum says the first three have met all the necessary requirements and are ready to receive the funding.

Almost $1.9 million is going to the United Way of Northwest Indiana for the Level Up NWI program. Its goal is to help struggling residents "break through barriers" to get higher-paying jobs and a better life for their families. Meanwhile, $141,000 will be used on a Minority Business Skills Enhancement Program. It'll help train minority and rural business owners on planning, bookkeeping, digital marketing and financing. And more than $101,000 will go to an NWI Biz Hub Entrepreneur Resource Center to provide free programs to small business owners and establish partnerships in each county.

In a statement, Northwest Indiana Forum President and CEO Heather Ennis called the three projects the tip of the iceberg.