In April, residents and officials alike will have a unique opportunity to have their voices heard as they spend a day, “Creating the Future of the County.” Leadership Starke County has secured a team of nationally-known facilitators to guide the group through the process of shaping the county’s future. Jim Jessup, the group’s facilitator, told WKVI that the team works with rural communities across the country, but each member has a close connection to Starke County and northwest Indiana.
“Number one, they’re going to actually do the facilitation of it,” said Jessup. “In other words, do this all over the country with namely rural communities, and so they’re very knowledgeable and capable of talking about small, rural communities and how they can help grow and how they can help develop the community.”
Jessup said the event will be a chance for a group of people from Starke County to sit down and talk about the future of the county, and one of the main topics will be searching for grants for communities like Starke County.
“It’s going to be kind of a strategic look at what people think or want for the future of the county,” said Jessup.
The lead facilitator, Jessup explained, was born in Starke County and now runs a business out of Texas. The other two facilitators who will be working alongside her are also from northwest Indiana, and Jessup said they are very aware of the region and have a knowledgeable grasp on things that can be done to improve the community.
Jessup said the group would like to get a variety of key community leaders from the county, including three high school students – one from each of the schools in the county.
“The main thing is to try to make it as diverse as possible. We want people that are involved in all geographic areas of Starke County, but then also all sectors of Starke County, meaning non-profit, business, healthcare, education – all the different sectors of the county. We want it to be as diverse as possible so we get lots of different perspectives,” Jessup explained.
The “Creating the Future of the County” event will be held Friday, April 5 at the Bass Lake Property Owner’s Association building on the south side of Bass Lake from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.