Thrive West Central’s Area 7 Agency on Aging Division offers recourses for the COVID-19 vaccine

January 18, 2021

By RJL Solutions

Thrive West Central’s Area 7 Agency on Aging Division offers recourses for the COVID-19 vaccine

In response to the state’s announcement that Hoosiers 70 and over are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, Thrive West Central’s Area 7 Agency on Aging Division is assisting the 6-county region of West Central Indiana throughout the process.

To support the goal of vaccinating 90% of Indiana’s individuals 70+ years of age and as a dedicated regional driver, Thrive West Central’s Division of Area 7 Agency on Aging (AAA) is serving as a partner in outreach and vaccine registration to those residing in West Central Indiana. Services include registration, transportation, coordination for homebound individuals through partnerships with EMS providers, utilization of frequently asked questions from the FSSA/DA for further education, scheduling, information and overall assistance.

“This process has been new and somewhat overwhelming for all. Our job is to ensure the citizens of our region are taken care of and are using the resources at hand to make this process as seamless as possible,” states Ryan Keller, Executive Director of Thrive West Central.

Individuals 70+ years of age are encouraged to call 211 for the state registration hotline or 812-917-3145 for Thrive’s AAA registration and information center. Online registration and vaccine information is available at

To date, the AAA registration and information center has received a high volume of calls. Individuals are encouraged to leave a message with their name and call back number and speak slowly and clearly. A representative from the department will reach out within 24-72 hours with a return call to begin the process. Only one voicemail per individual is […read more]

Thrive West Central making progress on Regional Trails System

Jan 5, 2021 7:15 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Thrive West Central here in Terre Haute is continuing to make progress on initiatives in the Wabash Valley.

You may remember back in August, they began the process of making a cohesive Regional Trails System across our six-county area here in the Wabash Valley. Executive Director of Thrive West Central Ryan Keller shared the immense progress they’ve made to make this initiative closer to becoming a reality.

Keller says Thrive West Central recently signed a contract with a developer to get the ball rolling on a regional trails app. Regional Trails groups in all counties here in the Wabash Valley are working together to upload maps of trails.

Keller says his vision is to have a cohesive Regional Trails Group up and going as a stand-alone 501(c)(3) organization within three years. Eventually, Thrive West Central will identify trail-friendly businesses to generate economic development in our area.

Keller says being able to get out and enjoy our local trails and our regional trails system will be a huge benefit to all citizens.

“It’s a huge bump in quality of life,” Keller said, “Being able to go out there and plugin with your mobile phone to see where there’s new trails or trails that have yet to be developed is really exciting.”

This past summer, Thrive West Central did some research studying trail systems established in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. They discovered property values increased along trails, community engagement was improved, and businesses along trails experienced an uptick in traffic. Keller says that’s why they are making this project a focus in 2021 here in the Wabash Valley.

Keller says he and his organization really want to make this trail system […read more]

Thrive West Central launches economic survey

By Times Staff 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Thrive West Central, an innovative regional driver dedicated to enhancing community assets while improving the overall quality of life in West Central Indiana — including Sullivan County, announced the launch of Resilient, a regional recovery and resiliency plan to help our communities thrive.

Resilient was made possible through the $400,000 Economic Development Administration CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant that Thrive received in August.

“I want to express my gratitude for the funds we were awarded through EDA’s CARES Act  Recovery Assistance grant that has allowed us to launch Resilient,” said Ryan Keller, Executive Director at Thrive. “Over the course of the next 18 months, we will be collecting data through surveys, engaging with community members and determining next steps for our region. This cohesive, collaborative effort will better assist the communities we serve to overcome the impacts caused by COVID-19.”

Thrive will spend the next several months engaging and conversing with a diverse group of stakeholders to gain a clear picture of the regional challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This comprehensive data collection and analysis process will culminate in the publication of a recovery and resiliency plan that will serve as a guide for communities as they look to emerge from the pandemic and work to rebuild their communities. Resilient will specifically look to engage with stakeholders and communities in Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.

“I am excited to begin work on this important effort,” said Alex Brown, Economic Recovery and Resiliency Coordinator at Thrive. “Communities throughout our region have already shown great resilience in responding to the hardships caused by the COVID-19, and we look forward to further equipping our communities to both recover from the pandemic […read more]

Development group is now Thrive West Central

By Howard Greninger

Dec 3, 2020

West Central Indiana Economic Development District has a new name and now will be known as Thrive West Central.

“Our organization was created with a mission and vision to see our six-county region thrive through economic and community development as well as an area agency on aging and disabled resources,” Ryan Keller, executive director of Thrive West Central, said in a virtual news conference Thursday.

“Thrive West Central was chosen because it exemplifies who we are as an organization focused on helping communities thrive through the development of community assets and the improvement of quality of life initiatives in our region. We do this through innovative problem solving, quality service, and collaborative partnerships,” Keller said.

In July, Gov. Eric Holcomb moved the role of Metropolitan Planning Organization away from West Central and into the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. 

The MPO targets federal funding for transportation projects and develops a 20-year transportation plan as well as three- to five-year transportation improvement plans, called TIP, which lists all transportation projects planned and funded for that period.

With that role removed, it was time to restructure West Central’s departments and redefine plans, Keller said.

Thrive has hired 12 new staff members this year, creating three divisions, Keller said, adding he plans to hire three to five more employees by the end of the first quarter in 2021. Some new staff includes Jon Ford, a state senator, who serves as director of business development; Kristine Krueger as community/economic grant specialist; and Alex Brown as economic recovery and resiliency coordinator. 

“We are nearing 50 staff members,” Keller said, adding Thrive’s 2021 budget is about $5 million.

“Most […read more]

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