CNBC Rates Indiana as 19th Top Place for Business in 2014 Report

by rgifford Tue, July 01 2014 17:10

CNBC has just issued its annual report on the top states for business for 2014. That report scores all 50 states on 56 measures of competitiveness, developed using input from business groups, economic development experts, companies, and the states themselves. States receive points based on their rankings in each metric. Those metrics are then separated into 10 broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. The study thus claims that the states are ranked based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

Indiana dropped one place from the 2013 report, finishing this year at 19th. For states that are contiguous to Indiana, only Ohio in 18th place finished higher, while Michigan was at 26th, Illinois at 27th, and Kentucky was 36th. Indiana scored highest in the rankings in the areas of infrastructure and cost of living (7th) and education (15th).

Since the report was first issued in 2007, Indiana has been ranked as low as 13th, and as high as 26th, with an average placement for the 8 years of the report of 18th place.  That is far better than any of the contiguous states, with Ohio in 27th, Illinois in 30th, and Michigan and Kentucky in 36th place.



Culver Community High School Named a Four Star School

by rgifford Fri, June 27 2014 21:40

The Indiana Department of Education has recently announced that Culver Community High School was named as a Four Star School for the 2012-13 school year.  That distinction is given to schools that perform in the upper 25th percentile of schools in the performance on ISTEP and ECA state exams, as well as their rating determined by the national No Child Left Behind statute's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

A part of Starke County is included within the Culver school boundaries, and Culver students are a part of the North Central Area Vocational Cooperative which has housed several of its programs in Starke County, including Automotive Technology and Welding Technology which are sponsored and conducted by SCILL, the workforce training affiliate of the Foundation..



Starke County Unemployment Rate Continues to Decline

by rgifford Fri, June 20 2014 19:18

According to figures released this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the unemployment rate for Starke County declined from 6.9% in April to 6.6% in May. That rate has dropped in 2014 from 8.4% in January to its present rate. Starke County was one of only 15 counties in Indiana that saw a decrease in rates for the month of May. For the county, this marks the lowest unemployment rate since April of 2008 when it was 6.2%.

The State of Indiana rate held steady at 5.7% for May, due to about 2,000 unemployed Hoosiers returning to the labor force to look for work. For the month, Indiana added 4,800 private sector jobs.

The national unemployment rate for May was unchanged at 6.3%. Neighboring Midwestern states showed no change in Kentucky (7.7%), up in Michigan (7.5%), and down in Ohio (5.5%) and Illinois (7.5%).

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.



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.



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.

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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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