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Three significant “wins” for the Tri-State Region in December

IU School of Medicine Announced Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Center

 $34.2 million donated by William C. and Mary R. (O’Daniel) Stone

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (December 17, 2021) —Today, a  pair of Evansville natives announced their continued support of health sciences in southwestern Indiana with a major gift to Indiana University School of Medicine. William C. and Mary R. (O’Daniel) Stone announced a $34.2 million gift to establish the Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine—Evansville.

“Investment by the Stone Family builds upon the significant clinical research assets located in the Evansville region and adds to our ability to attract new life science opportunities leveraging the world-class research being performed here,” said Greg Wathen, president of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership.  “Through our region’s gameplan, Talent 2025, we have a deliberate focus on attracting and strengthening employment opportunities offering higher than average wages, and this investment and the opportunity it presents is an important step forward.”  

Today’s announcement is also a prescient reminder of the work previously done in securing a new Indiana University medical campus in downtown Evansville, the clinical research underwriting made from the Regional Cities initiative, as well as what new horizons will be reached from this week’s READI announcement.  Attracting world-class medical researchers and clinicians along with a first of its kind real-world evidence data lake to Southwest Indiana has long been the goal for the Evansville region; and solidifies our community as a place where people want to work and live.  Quite simply, this announcement furthers that aspiration.


 $500 Million Investment,  320 New Jobs,  $2 Million in community aid

On Thursday, December 16th Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced construction for a new 650,000 square-foot Pratt Paper mill will being early next year in Henderson. The company will be investing $500 million to construct the new Henderson complex, $100 million more than first announced last July. Once operational in 2023, Pratt Paper will employ 120 employees.

More than recycled paper, Pratt also announced plans to construct a 500,000-square-foot expansion to produce corrugated sheet and boxes for major distributors and big box stores. Boxes will be made using paper prepared in  the new paper mill. Construction of this plant will be completed by 2023 and employ 200 people.

In addition to Pratt’s investments in a new 100% recycled paper plant in Henderson, Anthony Pratt, global executive chairman of parent company Pratt Industries/Visy announced the company would also be donating $1 million to the state’s Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund and $1 million to the Tri-State Food Bank.

READI Investment

 $50 Million Awarded for transformational projects in the Evansville Region

On December 14, 202, Governor Eric J. Holcomb made a formal recommendation for the distribution of $500 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) funds to regions throughout the state of Indiana, with $50 million allocated to the Evansville Region.

In May, Indiana launched the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), dedicating $500 million in state appropriations to promote strategic investments for quality of place and talent attraction.  On September 23rd, the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership (E-REP) and Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (SWIRDA) submitted the Evansville Region’s READI plan. 

At its core, the plan is focused on population growth and highlights near-term opportunities to be enabled by READI funding and long-term projects to support the region in fully achieving its vision.  The week of November 29th, the Evansville Region was first of 17 Indiana regions to formally present its development plan before the state’s review committee.

The READI plan is called ‘e looks good on you’ and incorporates the goals and strategies of prior work through both a community-wide branding campaign and multi-year planning initiative called Talent 2025, which focused on population growth and talent.

Please note that all of the potential projects highlighted in the READI plan are conceptual at this point as no project has been approved for funding. On January 11, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation will outline the compliance steps to receive the funding.  The next steps will be for the Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, which will be the recipient of the funding, to begin the process of determining which projects best achieve the region’s population and talent goals. As more information becomes available, E-REP will distribute READI information via our website at