Several members of organizations vital to the success of the welding program were awarded welded plaques.
The SCILL Center in cooperation with Vincennes University hosted an open house yesterday evening at the Knox Middle School for their welding program. Director Jerry Gurrado was quick to decline any credit for the program; rather, Gurrado said it was an unbelievable cooperative effort that made the welding program a possibility.
Gurrado explained that an overwhelming number of organizations and businesses came together to bring the welding program to life. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation, the welding subcommittee, the superintendents of area schools, the Vocational Co-Op, SCILL board members, the Center for Workforce Innovation – the list goes on and on. Even Vincennes University helped to make the program a success, as the provided not only a day instructor, but also a night instructor and textbooks for the course. The Starke County Commissioners played a role; KVREMC, NIPSCO, and factories like Sabre, Kruze, Galbreath, Braun, and countless others helped shape the welding program.
The SCILL Center made quite an impact on the shelves of the Starke County Food Pantry during their food drive held last month. Director Jerry Gurrado said they raised a total of 500 pounds for the pantry through their Car Care Clinic and through the assistance of students and staff, as well as several local businesses who decided to join in on the effort.
Gurrado explained that they received a financial contribution from First Farmers Bank in Knox, and Save A Lot donated a massive amount of canned goods as well. Gurrado said it was a very touching moment when they delivered the quarter-ton of goods to the pantry.
It may be warmer than usual for November, but that doesn’t mean bitter winter weather is far. In light of that, the SCILL Center is extending their coat drive through the second week of December to allow more coats to be donated for those in need throughout the area.
SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado said that they set a record last year with 751 coats collected, despite the fact that it was a mild winter. Because a number of coats had been left over, the SCILL Center gave the extra coats to local churches for distribution. Gurrado said it would be fantastic to have that overwhelming support again this year, but he’s got his concerns.
The SCILL Center is staying busy, and this week they’re kicking off their Commercial Driver’s License classes. SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado said the six-week program will assist those who are interested in earning their CDL, with two weeks of in-classroom learning followed by two weeks of truck operation. The final two weeks, Gurrado explained, would consist of learning on the road.
The SCILL Center students are set to rake leaves for residents who are elderly or physically handicapped. This community project will be on Saturday, November 3.
If you would like to be on the list, call Knox Mayor Rick Chambers at 772-4553 to submit your name. The students will rake up to 15 yards. Your residence will be taken care of on a first come, first served basis that day.
The SCILL Center is definitely staying busy with events planned throughout the end of the year. This week, the center is hosting a Food For Friends Car Care Clinic, which Director Jerry Gurrado said serves a double purpose: it raises money for the Starke County Food Pantry and gives drivers the chance to have their vehicle checked out for free!
“It’s actually a pretty unique and very neat situation, where you can come in here to the SCILL Center any time between 8 o’clock and 4 p.m., central time, we put a diagnostic on your vehicle, run a complete check-up, we’ll top off the fluids, we’ll give you a checklist of whatever the necessity might be. And then you get the option of taking it to wherever your own dealership or garage is,” explained Gurrado.
The SCILL Center is pleased to announce the Student-of-the-Month recipients for the month of September.
Mason Barlow, a home-schooled student and Meagan Ray from Knox High School were the AM class recipients of the award. Michael Day from Argos High School and Mikinzie Wilson from Knox High School were the PM class recipients of the award.
The Student-of-the-Month is chosen by the AutoTech instructors, Rodney Dawson and Mark Anderson, based on the student’s test scores, class participation, attitude, attendance and initiative in the shop.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa
During their meeting this week, the Knox Community School Board spotlighted the welding program. The newly-designed program is being taught in the Knox Middle School.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa said Jerry Gurrado from the SCILL Center gave a report on the program which is getting off to a good start.
Community Services of Starke County
The SCILL Center will be partnering with WKVI and First Farmer’s Bank on Oct. 16 and 18 to present the “Food for Friends” Car Check.
All proceeds from this event will benefit the Community Services of Starke County Food Pantry. Bring in one can or package of food to the SCILL Center and receive a free pre-winter inspection from SCILL Center students. This inspection will include an anti-freeze, battery, belt, and tire wear check. Attendees will also receive coupons from local auto supply stores.
The SCILL Center students will be participating in their annual community project on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Knox Mayor Rick Chambers said that the students will be raking leaves for those who are physically unable to do so. The students have raked yards for the elderly and the physically challenged in the past and will do so again on Oct. 13.
If you would like to have the students help you at your house, call Knox Mayor Rick Chambers at 772-4553 to put your name on the list. Fifteen households will be included in this project and it is conducted on a first come, first served basis.
The SCILL Center auto tech class is in full swing, with more than 50 kids taking the class split between morning and afternoon sessions. SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado says their enrollment is up this year from roughly 40 kids last year, but that’s not the only good news coming from the center.
Gurrado says they’ve also begun their welding vocational classes with a full enrollment. He says the class started on Aug. 14, and boasts a total of 16 students for its first year. On Sept. 10, the welding lab will host adult welding classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, which Gurrado says will ultimately end with a certification test for the students. Gurrado says this is a very important class, as there is an acute need for welders in this area, the immediate surrounding area, and nationally.
The Starke County Economic Development Foundation and the SCILL Center have announced the start of a new welding program for high school students within the North Central Area Vocational Cooperative in Starke, Marshall, St. Joseph and Fulton Counties.
The program currently has a full class of 12 students and certified welder Andrew Odle is the instructor of the program.
Sparks may soon start flying at the Knox Middle School, as the Knox Community School Corporation has been working with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, the SCILL Center, and North Central Vocational Area School representatives to set up a vocational welding class in the middle school.
Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charles Weaver says that the class would benefit not just students, but adults as well.
The SCILL Center is pleased to announce the Student of the Month recipients for the month of April.
Raymond Singleton from Oregon-Davis High School and Brian Fulghum from Knox High School were the AM class recipients of the award. Thomas Carey from Knox High School and Lucas Borg from Culver Community High School were the PM class recipients of the award. Continue reading
SCILL Center Executive Director Jerry Gurrado addresses the graduates
With proud parents looking on, 16 Senior students of the SCILL Center Auto Tech class received their diplomas last night.
Filling in for the announced speaker, Dr. Dane Miller, Founder of Biomet in Warsaw, the Executive Director of the SCILL Center, Jerry Gurrado, urged the graduates to use the knowledge gained to do great things in the future.
Borrowing from some of the notable people that he has met in his career as a high school coach, including the illustrious Johnny Wooden, Gurrado exhorted the students to follow their dreams.
“Dreams can come true, and by realizing your dreams you can inspire those who follow you in this unique class to realize theirs too,” Gurrado said.
The SCILL Center is pleased to announce the Student of the Month recipients for the month of January.
Tyler Wickizer from LaVille High School and Tyler Keeton from Knox High School were the AM class recipients of the award. Anthony Chasse from Knox High School and Hayden Haimbaugh from Culver Community High School were the PM class recipients of the award.
The SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado announced this week that a literacy program is coming to Starke County. Gurrado talked about the program’s focus.
“We had a training session at the library in Knox, and we had four volunteers that were trained,” explained Gurrado. “If anyone is in need of getting training in basic reading or math skills, the courses are taught in a one-on-one situation instead of in a big classroom.”
Though classes have already started, it’s still not too late to sign up. Several openings are still available for the computer classes offered at the SCILL Center, which are open to the public and area businesses. Classes will be offered from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., with a cost of $40. A minimum of six people are required for each session.
The SCILL Center will be offering a 16-week comprehensive welding class for adults. SCILL Center Director Jerry Gurrado says the course has been in demand.
“One of the things that is needed in our area, between Sabre, Kruz, Dragon Industries, and Hicks, is welding. We need good welders,” said Gurrado.
Gurrado said that a member of his board and others in the community agreed that an adult welding program is needed in the community. The plans now are for the class to be taught at Knox Middle School.
Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa has been meeting with representatives from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Jerry Hollenbaugh, North Central Area Vocational Director, and Jerry Gurrado, Director of the SCILL Center in Knox. Superintendent Gappa told the Knox Community School Board that the group has been meeting to coordinate welding classes to be conducted at the Knox Middle School.
“With just a little bit of work, our former wood shop in the Middle School could be converted to a welding class area,” said Superintendent Gappa. “What I was asking the Board was permission to continue those talks and the Board seemed pretty excited about the idea themselves. This could be a win-win, not only for the school, but for community and the businesses in the area because people learn how to weld, they would become employable and they could improve their skills in the places they do work. This is just our opportunity to work with the business community and the Economic Development Foundation.”