Koontz Lake Dam Project Nears Full Completion

by rgifford Fri, July 06 2012 17:57

With State Road 23 reopened to traffic on June 28, 2012, the last remaining items in the Koontz Lake Dam Project are nearing completion.  The latest report from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) said that as of June 26, 2012, that project is 98% complete.

Indiana Continues High Rankings in Latest Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card

by rgifford Fri, June 22 2012 17:40

The 5th Annual Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card has been released this week by Conexus Indiana and the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research.  For the second consecutive year, Indiana received a grade of A in 4 of the 9 categories that were looked at.  Only Texas had as many A grades.

Indiana continued to rank high, not only in the Midwest Region, but also nationally, as it was ranked as the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the nation.  The state ranks first among states in manufacturing employment per capita, 9th in logistics employment, and 10th in freight shipments by tonnage.  This combined to give Indiana an A in both manufacturing and logistics.

Indiana also received an A in Global Position, ranking 10th in manufacturing exports per capita, and first in income derived from foreign manufacturing investment.  The other area that received a grade of A was for its favorable tax climate.

The study also noted these Quick Facts about Indiana:

      Manufacturing workers earn about 50% more than non-manufacturing workers with the same level of education

      Indiana exports manufactured goods to every continent except Anartica.

      Indiana has consistently improved its grades in logistics, benefit costs, diversification, and productivity/innovation.

      Indiana has received straight grades of A in manufacturing, tax climate, and global reach for 5 consecutive years.

Starke County Unemployment Rate Drops for Fourth Straight Month

by rgifford Thu, June 21 2012 17:13

The unemployment rate for Starke County as of May, 2012 has fallen to 9.6%, the lowest it has been in the County since November of 2008, when it was 9.0%.  In addition,the rate has fallen from 11.7% in January of this year down to its current level, including four straight months when it has gone down from the previous month.

The rate for the State of Indiana has fallen to 7.9%, while the national rate is at 8.2%.  Neighboring states range from 7.3% in Ohio up to 8.6% in Illinois.

Starke County Highway Projects Nearing Completion

by rgifford Tue, June 19 2012 17:33

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has updated their construction progress report on two projects that are currently ongoing in Starke County.  The Koontz Lake Dam project is now listed as 93% complete, with State Road 23 scheduled for opening no later than June 27.  That project has been ongoing for several months and included reconstruction of the dam and road at that location.  The contract for this work was let on January 12, 2011 in the amount of $4,646,759.

The second project is the reconstruction of the bridge on US 35 over the Yellow River on the north side of Knox.  That project is now about 43% complete, and plans are to pour the bridge deck within the next couple of weeks.  This project was let on March 7, 2012 in the amount of $803,101.

Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor Sees Increase in Shipments in 2012

by rgifford Tue, June 12 2012 23:01

The Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor handled its first shipment of wind components in May and has seen major increases in several steel products as well as industrial and agricultural cargoes.  This has resulted in a 6% increase in 2012 shipments through the first five months of the year.  Significant increases in early shipments of fertilizer, corn and soybeans amount to 10 times greater shipments than at the same time last year.

The Port has reported that they have seen new outbound shipments of slag material for Phoenix Services, one of three companies opening new facilities at the Port in 2012.  The Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor is located about 45 miles from Starke County, Indiana.

The entire St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period of March 22 through May 31 were up 3.7% over the same period in 2011.

Dismal Jobs Report for May Leads to Increase in US Unemployment Rate

by rgifford Fri, June 01 2012 17:37

The US Department of Labor this morning released its May jobs report.  While analysts expected to see 150,000 jobs created, only 69,000 new jobs were added for the month.  Private sector jobs added amounted to 82,000, while public sector employment continued to fall by another 13,000 jobs for the month.

The US unemployment rate rose for the month from 8.1% up to 8.2%.  Approximately 12.7 million Americans are still unemployed, and of that number, 42.8% have been unemployed for 6 months or more.

Starke County Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Rate Since November, 2008

by rgifford Fri, May 18 2012 19:54

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released its April unemployment report earlier today,which included the fact that all 92 Indiana counties reflected a decrease in their respective rate from that reported in March.  The State rate fell to 7.9%, which now puts the State below the national rate of 8.1%, and was the fifth straight month that the rate declined.  Private sector jobs grew by 15.400 during the month, which was the fourth largest one-month increase in 22 years.  Manufacturing accounted for 6,200 of these new jobs.  For Indiana, this was the first time since November of 2008 that the rate was below 8%.

For Starke County, the rate fell a full percentage point, down to 9.8%, which similarly was the first time that the County rate has been below 10% since November of 2008.  Over 100 additional people obtained employment for the month.  The County rate has now fallen almost 2% since January of this year.

Indiana continues to fare well with its contiguous states, with only Ohio having a lower rate of 7.4%. The other 3 contiguous states are still reporting unemployment rates in excess of 8%.

Work on US 35 Bridge Project in Knox Going Forward

by rgifford Wed, May 16 2012 19:50

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers reported this morning that construction work on the bridge on US 35 on the north side of Knox is approximately 2 weeks ahead of time with the contracted work. However, new replacement parts are not going to be delivered until June 1.  During this period of time, crews will be working to repair the south support pillar which is in worse shape than originally believed, and when new parts for the bridge are delivered on June 1, the original schedule will be followed.

Foundation Board Member Nominated for Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Award

by rgifford Wed, May 16 2012 17:30

Wendy Hoppe, owner of Hoppe PRO Hardware in North Judson, Indiana has been nominated in the category of Influential Woman of the Year in Construction for this year's awards banquet, to be held at the Radisson Star Plaza on May 31, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.  Hoppe is one of three nominees in that category.  Winners in each of several categories will be announced at the awards banquet.

Hoppe is currently the President of the North Judson Town Council, has served for eight years on the Board of Directors of the Starke/Pulaski Habitat for Humanity, and is currently serving her second year on the Board of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.  Hoppe was the first licensed female plumbing contractor in Indiana, and has held that license for over 25 years. She has been in the hardware business for the past 40 years, taking over the family business 5 years ago.  Prior to that, Hoppe was a sales representative in the hardware business for over 25 years, covering parts of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor Names New Port Director

by rgifford Mon, May 14 2012 19:10

Peter Laman has announced his resignation as Port Director for the Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor, and will be replaced in that position by Anthony Kuk.  Kuk comes to the Port after serving as general manager for Nexeco Solutions' Midwest operations based in Chicago.  Kuk will officially takes over this position today.

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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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