Stop by the Starke County Career Success Coalition Booth

sccscThere’s always so much to do at the 4-H fair. You can try all kinds of different food, ride the rides and look at all the various fair projects but did you know that you also have access to all sorts of information about further education? The Starke County Career Success Coalition has their very own booth set up in the commercial building during fair week. Continue reading

Starke County Council Sets County Vehicle Maintenance Rate

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council reluctantly set a labor rate of $18.50 per hour for work on county-owned vehicles by mechanics at the highway garage. That’s the journeyman mechanic’s hourly rate. Continue reading

SCILL Center Instructors Honor Students of the Month

SCILLSeveral Knox Community High School students were honored recently by their SCILL Center welding program instructors. They pick students of the month based on test scores, class participation, attitude, attendance and initiative in the shop. Recent honorees include Brock Majchrzak in January; Jonathan Rowe and Logan Schwenk in February; and Aidan Hollingshead and Nick Runkle in March. Continue reading

State Coalition to Attempt to Close Skills Gap, Programs Already in Place Locally

A skills gap is being blamed for the lack of progress in Indiana’s economic recovery. According to the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition, career and technical education for youth and the lack of credential attainment among the state’s adult workforce, are needing attention.

The Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning Center or SCILL Center, is ahead of the curve with providing opportunities for adults and students to gather skills needed to be a productive member of the adult workforce. Ron Gifford from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation said officials recognized one gap about three years ago.

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Starke County Chamber Hands Out “Above and Beyond Awards”

Starke-County-Chamber-of-Commerce. LogoThe Starke County Chamber of Commerce recently recognized community contributors with their inaugural “Above and Beyond Business Awards.” They will be given annually to businesses or organizations that do something special, like add a new program or go out of their way to support Starke County.

The SCILL Center was recognized for their high school auto tech and welding programs and adult welding program, all of which give Starke County residents training for lifelong employment opportunities.

The Starke County Youth Club was also honored with a plaque. Their after school, summer and basketball programs serve more than 600 Starke County youngsters annually and provide social and leadership skills as well as help with academics and test scores. Recently the SCYC added middle school programs at Knox and North Judson-San Pierre. Continue reading

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Seeks Planning Grant

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. Continue reading

Another Vocational Program in the Works

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) is looking to bring life back into the vocational building on the Oregon-Davis school campus to begin an automation robotics and equipment maintenance program as an extension of vocational programs through the SCILL Center.

According to Ron Gifford, the SCEDF will assist in seeking a way to fund the program full-time and to acquire equipment. A pilot program started this year with several students in the eighth grade through the tenth grade enrolled in the program.

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Michigan City Native Joins SCILL Center Welding Program Staff

Elizabeth Tylisz

Elizabeth Tylisz

A Michigan City native with extensive hands-on welding experience is set to join the staff of the SCILL Center welding technology program. Starting Monday, Elizabeth Tylisz will be teaching the morning vocational welding class and some of the adult welding classes. Continue reading

Ancilla College President Reflects on Tenure

Dr. Ron May

Dr. Ron May

Ancilla College will soon have a new president. This is Dr. Ron May’s last day. He’s retiring after eight years at the private, two-year school. He says Ancilla fills an important niche for students by giving them the foundation to either continue their education at a four-year institution like IU or Purdue or succeed in the workforce after they graduate.  Continue reading

Starke County Community Foundation Gives Generously to Local Organizations

A number of charitable organizations are on the receiving end of more than $40,000 in grants from the Starke County Community Foundation. The gifts are made possible through the foundation’s endowment fund, which is supported by gifts to the SCCF. The money is invested. Each year some of the interest goes back into the fund to help it grow, while some is given locally in the form of scholarships and grants. Continue reading

SCILL Center Students Graduate

20140529_182649“The choices you make today will follow you tomorrow” was the message that guest speaker Janice Hernandez wanted the students to take away from the SCILL graduation ceremony Thursday evening.

Hernandez is in charge over at Integrity Trade Services and advised the students gradating from the program to include their work with the SCILL Center on their resumes.

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Register Now for Computer Classes Offered by the SCILL Center

 The SCILL Center is offering computer classes.

The first class will be on Tuesday, March 18 at 5 p.m. CT at the Starke County Economic Development Foundation in Knox. This will be an introductory class where students will learn computer software; terminology; using the mouse; selecting, inserting, deleting, saving, opening, and printing documents; creating folders, movement between windows, customizing a desktop and more.

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SCILL Center Winter Clothing Drive Needs Distribution Sites

The SCILL Center is once again holding their winter clothing drive after collecting hundreds of coats, gloves, scarves and other winter clothing last year to be distributed to those in need of warm clothes last year. Jerry Gurrado, the coordinator of student services and programs at the SCILL Center, told WKVI that they are currently collecting articles but what they are most in need of are distribution sites.

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Mayor’s Office Accepting SCILL Center Leaf Raking Applications

In an effort to promote the importance of lending a helping hand to the community, the SCILL Center students in Knox will begin raking leaves in the near future when the foliage begins to fall from the trees. The community project focuses on helping those who are elderly or physically handicapped as the students will rake their yards free of charge on a to-be-determined Saturday.

Students will rake up to 15 yards, clearing them of leaves, on a first-come, first-served basis. No date has been set for the project as the leaves have not yet begun to fall, but those who sign up to have their yards raked will be notified via phone of the project date.

To get on the list, call the Mayor’s Office at (574) 772-4553.

Local Welding Student Applies for Apprenticeship

Jim Coughlin

Jim Coughlin

The Boilermakers Local 374 has provisionally accepted a student in the SCILL Center welding program to its apprenticeship program.

Jim Coughlin of LaPorte completed the 12-week SCILL course recently and was happy that his training helped him in being accepted into the apprenticeship program.

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SCILL Center Car Show/Pit Stop Competition This Weekend

The SCILL Center’s 11th annual Car Show/Pit Stop competition is coming up this weekend. On May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., several five-member teams will compete and race two runs using combined times to determine who won as they compete for two scholarships: first place will receive $250 scholarships and a trophy, while second place will receive $100 scholarships.

The competition comes at a cost of $15 for registration, which runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and includes a dash plaque. The event features music from the ’50s through the ’70s, food and soft drinks, door prizes, and a 50/50 drawing.

For more information, call Tabitha Dillner at the SCILL Center, (574) 772-8001.

SCILL Center Graduation Program Set for May 16

A graduation celebration is set for Thursday, May 16 for the 2013 graduates of the SCILL Center auto tech and welding programs.

Dr. Ron May, President of Ancilla College, will be the featured speaker during the event scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT. Scholarships will be awarded to the students as well as special awards for attendance, performance skills and highest test score average.

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SCILL Center Vocational Welding Students Serving Internships

Jerry Gurrado

Jerry Gurrado

The SCILL Center vocational welding students are diligently working to improve on their new trade, and Executive Director Jerry Gurrado explained that 10 of the 16 vocational welding students have earned their certifications – something Gurrado said he’s very thrilled about. The students are currently about six months ahead in their training and Gurrado attributed their success in their studies to instructor Andy Odle.

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SCILL Center Gearing Up to Begin Third Adult Welding Class

Jerry Gurrado

Jerry Gurrado

For those interested in picking up a new skill, the SCILL Center is now taking applications for their next adult welding class, which Executive Director Jerry Gurrado said is right around the corner. The class kicks off on May 6, and Gurrado said that the local WorkOne office has already received a number of applications. Applications can be obtained by calling the SCILL Center or WorkOne, and Gurrado strongly encourages everyone to contact WorkOne to take advantage of training dollars available to lessen the expense.

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