Starke County Commissioners Approve SCILL Draft Grant

The Starke County Commissioners discussed a contract with the SCILL Center for county support for programs.

The commissioners annually support the SCILL Center with an $80,000 amount each year for the programs offered.  Commissioner Kathy Norem commented that they asked for an additional $75,166 which was not included in this agreement. 

As part of the agreement, if SCILL can show an analysis of how the organization enhances economic and social conditions in Starke County, improve employment opportunities, along with enhancing locally marketable skills in the workforce, the commissioners may consider an increase in support next year. 

Norem noted that these goals were discussed with SCILL Center officials in detail in previous negotiations.

The commissioners commented that they are grateful for the companies, businesses and industries that are located in Starke County and who employ many residents here, but salaries and wages just aren’t competitive.  Money earned in surrounding counties appears higher and the commissioners want to be competitive in attracting workers to work locally and improve the economy in Starke County.  They hope that SCILL can be instrumental in making the change, as well as officials from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.    

The agreement was unanimously approved by the commissioners.  It will now go to SCILL Center officials for their consideration. 

Members of the public encouraged economic leaders to do more to attract business and opportunities to Starke County.  The commissioners commented that lengthy discussions have been held with economic leaders to help improve the forecast of employment in the county.