Starke County, Indiana – The Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF), in partnership with Oregon-Davis School Corporation, North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation, and Knox Community School Corporation, is holding their second annual Manufacturers Day celebration on Thursday, October 2, 2014.During the day, the Foundation will host approximately 360 7th grade students from all three school corporations at the Knox Middle School.There, many Starke County industries as well as SCILL will have displays of what their company manufactures, the skills and training required for each job at the company, and the kinds of jobs they have.Each company display will include representatives of the company to explain and answer questions.
Each student will be provided a crossword puzzle which will require knowledge about several of the presenting companies. As each student goes from company to company, they will hear what each company manufactures, who they sell their products to and for what use, what types of jobs are available in their company, and most importantly, what job skills and education are necessary to secure employment at the company.The students will then be able to complete their crossword puzzle card. When the student presents that card at the end of their tour, they will be given several additional items to take home with them.
The goal of this program is to make sure that students are aware of what is available in their home county, and the skills and education it will take for them to be able to work for one of these companies.The 7th grade was chosen as the best age to present this program to, as what they learn can be used the following year when they start preparing their high school schedule of classes.With knowledge of what is at stake, it is hoped that students properly prepare for their future, whether it be college or a vocational program.
This event was first held last year and proved to be well-received by all who participated. The Foundation is using this event in part as a way to answer industry’s cries for help in finding workers with proper job skills, and at the same time, engage students in what opportunities their home community can provide if they have the skills employers need. This year, SCEDF summer intern Rachel Mullins, a graduate of North Judson-San Pierre High School and currently a senior at Huntington University majoring in education, designed an entire curriculum that can be used by teachers in all three school corporations to help students understand the importance of manufacturing to the local economy.This curriculum will also provide them with additional information about why Manufacturers Day is being held prior to actually attending the day’s events. According to Foundation Executive Director Charles W. Weaver, “We are excited to have this opportunity to showcase our local industry. We hope this event will make what they do here more readily apparent to people in the county, and in this case, especially to the 7th graders who will someday be working for these companies.The cooperation of the three school corporations has once again been amazing and we look forward to another successful event this year.The addition of a full curriculum should really assist these students in making intelligent career choices.”
The Starke County Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure and workforce development. For more information regarding Starke County Development Foundation, visit www.starkecounty.com.