Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Inc.
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Starke County Economic Development Foundation Hosts 2018 Manufacturers Day Event & Career Fair

Starke County, Indiana – The Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF), in partnership with Oregon-Davis School Corporation, North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation, Culver School Corporation, and Knox Community School Corporation, is holding their annual Manufacturers Day celebration on Thursday, October 4, 2018.  During the day, the Foundation will host approximately 350 7th grade students from all four school corporations at the Knox Middle School.  Many area industries, including Callisons, Elkay Manufacturing, Knox Fertilizer, Kruz, Inc., MPI, Toll Integrated Systems, Traffic Control Specialists, White Flyer, and several others, as well as the Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning (SCILL) will be in attendance for the event. 

This year’s theme is “Cultivating Manufacturing Careers.”  Students will learn 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.  At the conclusion of the tour, the student will receive a “goodie bag” that includes items for them to take home, that are based on the theme, a brochure highlighting SCILL and each of the industries they visited, and a word search puzzle for the students to complete related to their visit. 

The goal of this program is to make sure that students are aware of what is available in their local communities, and the skills and education it will take for them to be able to work for one of these companies in the future.  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 graduation pathway.  We learned through past surveys that including seniors in the event was a high priority, especially those seniors who may not have a clear career path in mind at this point in time.  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 or going straight into the local workforce.  This year seniors and their parents are invited to a “Career Exploration” event to meet one-on-one with local manufacturers to learn about what they make, the education and training required for current open positions, and to meet with manufacturing employers who are hiring.  The event will be held in conjunction with a Career Fair on Wednesday, October 3, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Knox Middle School Auxiliary gymnasium.  Job seekers are also encouraged to attend the Career Fair.

This event is now in its sixth year and has proven to be well received by all who have participated.  Our current seniors were the first 7th grade class to attend Manufacturers Day six years ago.  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, engaging students in opportunities their home community can provide if they have the skills employers need.  According to Foundation Executive Director Larry Wickert, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our local manufacturers to share their story with students.”

Again, if you are interested in attending this year’s Career Fair, it will be held on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, in the Knox Middle School Auxiliary Gymnasium, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Please enter through Door #5 (Culver Road entrance across from library).  This event is co-sponsored by WorkOne and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.


The Starke County Economic 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 the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, visit