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Microlender Expands Service Area to Include Starke County

by rgifford Wed, June 18 2014 17:37

Accion, a nonprofit microlender, has announced that it is expanding its service area beyond Lake and Porter counties in northwest Indiana to include Starke, Pulaski, Jasper, Newton, and LaPorte Counties.  Accion has been providing loans from $500 to $50,000 in Indiana since 2008 to existing and start-up small businesses that have been unable to get bank financing.  As of March 2014, they have provided 70 small businesses loans totaling $455,627.

For more information concerning Accion, contact Ron Gifford, Business Advisor for Starke and Pulaski Counties for the Indiana Small Business Development Center by email (rgifford@isbdc.org) or by telephone at 574-772-5627.

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U.S. Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged for May

by rgifford Fri, June 06 2014 17:07

The number of jobs created in the month of May was on target with estimates at 217,000 jobs created, which had the effect of leaving the national unemployment rate at 6.3%, unchanged from April.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that most of these new jobs came in lower-paying industries.

For the month, 145,000 more people were employed, while 46,000 more were unemployed.  Long-term unemployment continues, although the average duration of joblessness fell to 34.5 weeks, the lowest level since November of 2010.

INDOT Awards Bid for Knox Industrial Park Road Improvements

by rgifford Tue, May 20 2014 20:41

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has awarded the bid for road improvements for CR 300 East, which is the main road through the industrial park to Phend & Brown of Milford, Indiana.  The winning bid was for $2,395,770.88, which was less than the engineer's estimate of $2,664,000.  As the result of this project, the road will be widened, and drainage improvements will be made, all of which will facilitate truck traffic in the park

The project is a joint project with Starke County, the City of Knox, and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation all contributing funds for the work.  Phend & Brown was also the successful bidder on an intersection improvement at the north edge of CR 300 E where it intersects with SR 8 that will facilitate truck turns off of and onto CR 300 E.

There were a total of six bidders on the new project, with bids ranging from the low bid of Phend & Brown up to a bid for $2,955,439.78.

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Unemployment Rates Continue Downward Trend

by rgifford Tue, May 20 2014 19:52

The national, state, and county unemployment rates all went down in the month of April according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.  On the national level, the rate dropped by .4 from 6.7 to 6.3%.

The State of Indiana reported a rate of 5.7% for April, down from 5.9% in March. This was the ninth straight month that the rate has declined.  The state's labor force also rose by 11,700 which is the seventh straight month that number has risen.  All 92 counties reported decreases in their rates, the second consecutive month this has occurred.

For Starke County, the rate dropped by 1.3%, from 8.2% in March to 6.9% in April.  That rate is the lowest for the county since May of 2008, with the rate falling from 8.4% in January of 2014 to the current rate of 6.9%.  This was also the fourth straight month that the county experienced a rise in the number of people in the countable labor force.

Starke County and Indiana Unemployment Rates Both Drop in March

by rgifford Mon, April 21 2014 19:31

Starke County saw a full 1% drop in its unemployment rate between February and March, dropping to 8.2% for March. The State of Indiana also dropped another .2% on the strength of a growing labor force and the addition of several more jobs in the private sector. According to a report released this morning from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Indiana saw a growth in its labor force of more than 25,000 people, and added 3200 private sector jobs in March. The current rate is now below 6% for the first time since July of 2008.  The rate for Starke County has fallen from 15.1% in March of 2009 to its current level of 8.2%.

State of Indiana Unemployment Rate Falls in February

by rgifford Fri, April 18 2014 17:43

The State of Indiana has reported an unemployment rate of 6.1% for the month of February, down from 6.4% in January. According to the Department of Workforce Development the number of unemployed Hoosiers is less than 200,000 for the first time since August of 2008.

National Unemployment Rate Holds at 6.7% for March

by rgifford Fri, April 18 2014 17:07

192,000 jobs were added in March and the total number of people looking for work increased leading to no change in the U.S. unemployment rate for the month of March. The rate of 6.7% would have decreased to 6.5% had it not been for the increase in the labor force according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

INDOT Announces Two Highway Closures in Area

by rgifford Thu, April 10 2014 22:02

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has announced that two highways in the immediate area of Starke County will be affected by some upcoming work. State Road 35 will be closed from State Road 10 south to Winamac for approximately 10-20 days beginning on April 14 for a pipe replacement. State Road 23 between Koontz Lake and Walkerton will be closed for about 40 days for a culvert replacement, with construction commencement to take place soon, at a specific date to be announced.

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The Starke County Youth Club Receives $175,000 Grant

by rgifford Tue, March 25 2014 23:38

The Starke County Youth Club (SCYC), now in its 13th year of providing after-school activities to all three Starke County school corporations, has received  a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant in the amount of $175,000 from the Indiana Department of Education to assist that organization in meeting the needs of Starke County youth.  SCYC utilizes research based curriculum, standards based lesson plans, interactive activities, plus homework and tutoring to help make student achievement possible.  SCYC sponsors both a school year after-school session as well as a summer session, and serves over 200 elementary students in the County.

This grant program has four broad goals, including increasing academic achievement, improving student behavior outcomes, increasing family involvement, and increasing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities.  The grant will be used to cover part of the cost of staff, supplies,and evaluation services, as well as curriculum and some transportation expenses.  SCYC was one of 78 agencies that applied for funding and was one of 53 projects selected for funding.  Grant monies are a component of No Child Left Behind and is a state formula grant intended specifically to assist students who attend high-poverty schools.  This grant will be funded for 4 years and 5 months and in part will be used to expand the program into the middle schools in Starke County.  SCYC was also the recipient of a $225,000 grant last year as a part of the same program.

SCYC is continuing services that bridge the gap for students and families to build a brighter tomorrow, where their mutual goals can be reached.

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Indiana Unemployment Rate Declines While Individual Counties Increase

by rgifford Mon, March 17 2014 20:20

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released its January unemployment report this morning. Even though 82 of Indiana's 92 counties saw an increase in their individual rates between December of 2013 and January of 2014, and only 3 counties experienced a decrease in their rate, the state rate dropped by .4% from 6.8% to 6.4%, the lowest rate for the state since the 6.3% rate in September of 2008. The Indiana rate is now lower than the national rate, and is also lower than all of Indiana's neighboring states.

Starke County saw its rate jump from an adjusted 7.8% in December to 8.5% in January. All counties contiguous to Starke in northwest and northcentral Indiana saw increases except for St. Joseph County, which registered a slight decrease. The Starke County rate for January is still much lower than any of the previous four years for that month, and continues to be lower than the years after the fourth quarter of 2008.

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Creating Opportunities ... Delivering On Promises

"The first thing we have to do is prove we’re credible and then deliver results. We have done that. Give us a task and we’ll get the job done." Charles Weaver, Executive Director

Starke County location and logistics create opportunities:

  • A 90-minute drive to downtown Chicago
  • In the heart of Indiana, the "Crossroads of America"
  • Midway between the east coast and the Rocky Mountains
  • In the NAFTA Super Highway corridor
  • One day’s drive within one-third of the population of the United States
  • Excellent service from class-one and short line railroads

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation delivers on our promises to make your move here easier than you ever thought possible. We have:

  • Built and leased back spec buildings
  • Constructed lead track and rail spurs
  • Installed water tower, water mains, and sewer infrastructure
  • Upgraded highway interchanges
  • Continue to assemble land for development

The Foundation has built a reputation as the LEDO that partners with you to get the job done.

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