One of the final topics that local officials took a look at during last week’s asset mapping workshop were moments of excellence in Starke County’s history.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessica Craig spoke on behalf of the group who identified some of these important moments.
One historically significant item that was brought up was the fact that Governor Henry F. Schricker was a Starke County native. Craig also mentioned that there are a few notable festivals in the area that have been around for decades. She said those have become things that people look forward to, stay for and come into town for.
Another moment that the group highlighted was the creation of the Starke County Youth Club which has been around for 17 years. Craig noted that prior to that nothing, similar existed. She also talked about the two trails in North Judson that are a part of national trail systems.
Additionally, the introduction of the SCILL Center was noted as an important addition. Craig mentioned that the recent addition of automation classes is a way that SCILL continues to adapt to the county’s need for local workers.
The construction Starke County Justice Center was also considered as a significant moment in the county’s history. The group specifically mentioned the importance of the Therapeutic Community initiatives such as the Fostering a Recovery Mentality (F.A.R.M.) gardening program.
Craig added that the county was recently awarded a broadband planning grant through OCRA which is going to allow for some major development to take place.
The purpose of this exercise was to identify how these past accomplishments were reached in order to help future progress be made. When asked to explain how these additions were made possible, Craig said it came down to three major things; volunteers, strong leadership and community buy-in.
This asset mapping workshop is just one example of how officials are preparing themselves for the Regional Stellar Process. The local Stellar Executive team is currently in the process of attending a series of other workshops offered by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
If Starke County wants to be considered for the next grant round, a letter of interest would need to be submitted next spring. More meetings that bring in the perspectives of multiple members of the community will be organized by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation in the future.