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September 2020 Updates

Hello Wayne County!

September was busy in Wayne County and frankly, it felt really good. People are getting active, re-engaging, and trying new things, while still social distancing and following mask requirements. This month’s Forward Wayne County newsletter include some happenings that fall under our two main pillars: Our People and Our Community. Please share with your family, friends, and colleagues.


Private First Class Louis Wiesehan Is Home

It was emotional to watch the State of Indiana bring Private First Class Louis Wiesehan back to Indiana. It was powerful to watch Wayne County, from Dublin to Richmond, bring him home. Residents from all our communities lined US 40 and Main streets, put up flags, stopped vehicles on roads, and saluted his homecoming. There was celebration, there were tears, but more than anything, there was support. This is the strength of our County. Hats off to all of our communities. The Pal-Item had a great article about this.
The Arts Are Alive in Wayne County

Arts and Culture are key ingredients to the Quality of Place pie and active organizations means a strong community. Check out our Arts and Culture page to learn more. We were thrilled to see that September brought in-person, socially distanced, and virtual performances from Richmond Civic Theatre, Richmond Art Museum, Richmond Shakespeare Festival, and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. They are trying new things and Wayne County residents should join the fun. We wanted to take this time to highlight the upcoming county-wide Downtown ChalkFest from Center City Development Corporation. This year, they are inviting all of Wayne County to grab their chalk, and draw from anywhere and win prizes.
Neighborhood NICE Program

Building a community where everyone feels a sense of pride, ownership, and belonging takes the residents, city and county officials, organizations and businesses all working together toward a common goal of a livable and lovable community - or what we call a NICE! community. The key to a NICE! community is Neighborhood Involvement and Community Engagement. 

The purpose of the NICE! workshop series is to bring together community members to learn: what is NICE!, how to create it, how to sustain it, and how this program can lead to improving neighborhoods and communities through the idea of social infrastructure and interaction. Watch for additional details about our upcoming workshops in coming months and you can visit our Neighborhood Development page to learn more today!


Indiana Small Business Restart Grant
Indiana extends small business restart grant program and expands eligibility criteria to include small businesses located in Indiana outside of Marion County. Deadline to apply is 12/1/2020 or until funding is exhausted.

Rural Relief Small Business Grant
Beginning 9/28, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will have a small business relief grant open to rural areas nationwide or communities with fewer than 50,000 people.
Deadline to apply is 10/5/2020.


Lincoln High School Seeking Employers

Lincoln High School, in the Western Wayne School District, has launched a new career program to support students as they engage in work-based learning experiences with employers throughout the region. Kaitlyn Lacey is looking for more opportunities to place students with companies in Wayne County. If your company is interested in participating in Lincoln’s program or would like more information, contact her at

Internships: In-Person or Virtual?

Why not both? If we want our students to stay, live, and work in Wayne County, we need to engage them. A perfect way to do that is offer an internship. COVID has taught us that work can be done at the office or at home. The same can be said with internships. Look at ways you can engage a student intern in-person or virtually at your organization. Areas schools would love to connect their students with you. We would love for you to share your intern pictures with us by tagging Forward Wayne County on social media and using the hashtag #WCintern. Here is the Chamber’s intern, Richmond High School’s Cliff Hazelbaker. According to Roxie Deer, “He’s been a great asset. And he is thorough in his work.”
HYPE Loves Wayne County

HYPE Wayne County (Helping Young Professionals Engage) is a committee of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce. The goal of this committee is to help young professionals (21-40) engage in their community by offering social and professional development opportunities. Their efforts are helping Forward Wayne County’s goal of attracting, recruiting, and retaining our younger workforce. They have an Adulting 101 Series happening throughout the fall. Get your young professionals involved.

Missed Our Blogs?

No problem. Here are the links to both:

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