The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is seeking a $15,000 grant to plan for future workforce needs through the SCILL Center. Executive Director Charlie Weaver says they are looking at the cost of implementing vocational and adult automation robotics equipment maintenance programs. He says there is a growing need for that skill set in manufacturing settings.
Weaver adds training for floor managers in a factory setting is also in high demand. He says workers often get promoted because of their good work ethic but do not necessarily have the conflict resolution skills managers need.
The Starke County Commissioners are acting as the sponsor for the grant application. Weaver told them the SCILL Center also needs room to expand. Right now the welding program is housed at Knox Middle School, and the automotive program and offices are in the Knox Industrial Park. Weaver says eventually they would like to look into the feasibility of having them all under one roof in order to cut down on overhead expenses. He stresses that is a longer-term consideration. Right now the Starke County Economic Development Foundation is seeking a $15,000 planning grant. It requires a $1,670 local match. Those funds will come from the economic development share of the CEDIT fund.