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National Unemployment Rate Inches Upward

by rgifford Wed, June 12 2013 20:32

The national unemployment rate went from 7.5% in April up to 7.6% in May, despite new jobs meeting expectations.  A total of 175,000 jobs were added in the month, exceeding the April total of 145,000 jobs.

Indiana Scores High on Site Selection Magazine Survey

by rgifford Mon, June 10 2013 17:29

Site Selection Magazine has issued its 2012 report on the Top Ten Competitive States which awards Indiana the most competitive state for business in the Midwest and the second best nationwide behind Texas.  The rankings are based on a state's ability to attract investment based mainly on a 10 factor index.  Indiana's second place ranking is the highest finish for the state in about 10 years.

The rankings appear in the magazine's May 2013 edition.  

SBA Reports on Small Businesses in Indiana

by rgifford Mon, May 20 2013 19:54

Small businesses in Indiana represent 97.4% of all employers and they employ 48.2% of the private sector labor force, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Most of Indiana's small businesses are very small as 77.4% of all businesses have no employees and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.

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Indiana Again Scores High in Business Friendliness Survey

by rgifford Mon, May 20 2013 17:14

The Kaufmann Foundation and Thumbtack.com recently released their annual ranking of states for their friendliness to small businesses.  Indiana placed 15th among all states in this most recent survey.  This survey of eight thousand small businesses ranked states in 11 categories.  Indiana was awarded the following grades:

Overall Friendliness: B+

Ease of Starting a Business:B+

Ease of Hiring: F

Regulations: C

Health and Safety: D

Employment, Labor, and Hiring: C-

Tax Code: D

Licensing: A-

Environmental: D

Zoning: B-

Training and Networking Programs: C-

Neighboring Midwestern states were ranked lower than Indiana, with Kentucky at 22nd, Ohio at 24th, Michigan at 36th, and Illinois at 37th

Starke County and Indiana See Drop in Unemployment Rate for April

by rgifford Fri, May 17 2013 19:39

All 92 Indiana counties as well as the State of Indiana experienced decreases in unemployment rates for the month of April, according to figures released this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.  Indiana saw a decrease of .2%, while the Starke County rate decreased 1.3% down to 10.3%.

Private sector employment in the Hoosier state also increased by 6,800 jobs over the past month and exceeded the national rate of growth. Indiana has now experienced private sector employment growth in 37 of the past 40 months. 

April also recorded the biggest drop in the total number of unemployed in over a year. Seven thousand, eight hundred fewer Hoosiers were reported unemployed in April than reported in March. Weekly claims for unemployment insurance also decreased by more than 14 percent over the past month and initial claims continue to remain below 2005 levels. 

Chief Executive Magazine Names Indiana as Best Place to Do Business in the Midwest

by rgifford Tue, May 07 2013 17:18

Chief Executive Magazine, a bi-monthly publication for top management executives, has just issued its ninth annual "Best and Worst States" survey.  More than 500 chief executives are surveyed on topics such as business tax policies, regulation, workforce quality, and livibility factors.  This year's survey found Indiana rated as the top state in the Midwest and 5th nationwide.  Indiana's ranking has moved up eleven places since 2010.

Neighboring states rankings included Kentucky (29th), Ohio (22nd), Michigan (44th), and Illinois (48th).

National Unemployment Rate Drops on Better Than Expected April Job Gains

by rgifford Fri, May 03 2013 17:05

The Department of Labor reported this morning that 165,000 jobs were added in April, beating forecasted expectations of 140,000 jobs for the month.  Private employers created the most jobs, with sequestration still hurting the government sector.  On the strength of this jobs report, the national unemployment rate for the month dropped from 7.6% to 7.5%.

SCILL Step-Up Welding Program Achieves Approved Provider Status with Indiana Department of Workforce Development

by rgifford Tue, April 30 2013 20:11

The Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning (SCILL) has received notification from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) that its Step-Up Welding Program has achieved Approved Provider Status with DWD.  DWD had previously granted the same status to the SCILL Beginning Welding Program which is just finishing its second 12-week class.  While the Beginning Welding Program is for those with no welding experience, the Step-Up Program is designed for those who have basic welding skills but are looking for American Welding Society (AWS) certification, or for those who wish to gain additional welding skills and/or become certified in one or more AWS classifications.

A program that has achieved this status makes students in that program eligible for WorkOne training dollars, if they meet the qualifications of WorkOne. For additional information on either program, contact SCILL at 574-772-8001.  SCILL was created by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) in 1996 to assure that a qualified workforce was available to Starke County employers.

Northwest Indiana Economists Discuss Regional Economic Trends and Opportunities

by rgifford Tue, April 30 2013 18:56

A team of five economists discussed their findings about the Northwest Indiana economy and how that economy is recovering from the recent recession at an event held on the Valparaiso University campus on April 29, 2013.  The Northwest Indiana Forum coordinated this initiative which was first held about a year and a half ago.

Two key findings this year included the fact that the sum total of the region's output had increased 13.3% to $33.2 billion, but that employment in the region continues at recession levels and there are actually 6,700 less people working in the region than during the recession.  Other findings included that there has been an 11% increase in productive capacity, a 4.9% increase in private sector sales, and a 19% increase in the average value per employee added to products and services produced in the region since the recession.  The average compensation per job is about $48,200, which includes the value of employer-provided benefits.

Indiana Ranks High on "Best States to Make a Living" for 2013

by rgifford Tue, April 30 2013 16:48

MoneyRates.com recently issued its listing of the best and worst states to make a living for 2013.  This list combines average wage and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cost of living data from C2ER, state tax rate information from Tax-rates.com, and workplace environment rankings from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index poll to arrive at their rankings.

Indiana was ranked 15th on the best places listing, bettering neighboring states Michigan (#16), Ohio (#21), Illinois (#22), and Kentucky (#30).

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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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