Knox Mayor Authorizes Purchase for TCS Expansion

Traffic Control Ssytems IncThe construction of a new facility for an expanding Knox business will remain on schedule after Knox Mayor Dennis Estok administratively authorized the purchase of a lift station to serve the site. City officials previously agreed to run water and sewer lines to the new Traffic Control Specialists, Inc. location west of Toll Brothers and Knox Fertilizer in the industrial park. The company broke ground on the project in November. A May 27th ribbon cutting is scheduled. Continue reading

North Judson Council Makes Additional Appointments for 2016

Council Member Justin Davis, President Wendy J.Hoppe, Council Member Josh Brown, Council Member Jane Ellen Felchuk, Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins, Council Member Nathan Bradley, Town Superintendent Marshall Hortsmann, Town Attorney Rachel Arndt , Town Marshal Douglas Vessely, not pictured is Fire Chief Joe Leszek. Photo by North Judson Town Photographer Peggy Bohac
Council Member Justin Davis, President Wendy J.Hoppe, Council Member Josh Brown, Council Member Jane Ellen Felchuk, Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins, Council Member Nathan Bradley, Town Superintendent Marshall Hortsmann, Town Attorney Rachel Arndt , Town Marshal Douglas Vessely, not pictured is Fire Chief Joe Leszek. Photo by North Judson Town Photographer Peggy Bohac

The North Judson Town Council reorganized and made some additional appointments when it met Monday for the first time in 2016. Wendy Hoppe has once again been selected to serve as council president. She will also remain the council’s representative on the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors. Continue reading

Starke County Pursues Adult Jobs Training Grant

 
 

Starke County officials are applying for one of eight state grants to set up a job skills training program for local adults. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver recently spoke to the commissioners about the need for such an initiative.

“The idea is that workers who are currently employed but are not utilizing the potential they have, or workers who are unemployed and seeking new skills, the goal was to find a program that could train them.” Continue reading

Historical Marker Commemorates Knox Drugstore Site

Koffel buildingA historical marker now stands on the site of one of downtown Knox’s first commercial structures. The Koffel Building at the corner of Main and Lake Streets was completed in 1891, a year before the city’s streets were paved with brick, four years before municipal electrical service was offered and 17 years before city water was available. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver says drug stores were a vital part of a booming business district.

“Always in the drugstore the fountain was a big thing. From the very beginning there were tables where it was appropriate for the ladies to come in to have coffee, tea or a soft drink or whatever from the fountain. That became quite a social center in the day.” Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Approve Donation Toward Serenity Garden Project

Knox City Council
Knox City Council

The Knox City Council agreed to donate funds to build a gazebo for the Serenity Garden project.

Knox High School students will be planting trees, flowers, and other plants in the green space at the corner of Lake and Main Streets in the downtown area. Don White, who is a member of the Starke County Economic Development Board of Directors, presented the council members with an idea for a sturdier structure for a gazebo at that location.

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January Report Shows Increase in Unemployment Rates

Indiana Workforce DevelopmentStarke County returned to the top 10 in terms of unemployment in January.

Ron Gifford from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation said that all 92 counties went up by an average of 1.1% per county, but the state as a whole only went up 0.1%. Starke County reported an unemployment rate of 9.0 percent and was ranked seventh in the state. Pulaski County had an employment rate of 6.3 percent and ranked 52nd in the state. Marshall County reported 6.2 percent.

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

SCILL Center
 

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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