Starke County Awarded Broadband Readiness Planning Grant

OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden, Starke County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessica Craig, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Director of Broadband Opportunities Scott Rudd (Photo provided by the Indiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office)

Starke County is getting $50,000 to develop ways to expand broadband access. Starke and Marshall counties were among five rural Indiana communities awarded a Broadband Readiness Planning Grant.

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Lieutenant Governor Discusses Regional Approach to Stellar Communities Program

The State of Indiana hopes to encourage collaboration with this year’s round of Stellar Community designations. Each year since 2011, the program has designated two cities or towns as Stellar Communities, making them eligible for millions of dollars in seed money from the state and federal government, to improve quality of life. This year, the state’s taking a slightly different approach, picking two regions, instead.

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Lieutenant Governor Discusses Next Level Veterans Initiative with Culver Officials

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch meets with Culver officials and Stellar project partners before touring projects

Indiana is looking to the military to help boost its workforce. Earlier this year, the state launched its Next Level Veterans initiative to try to entice those leaving the military to move to Indiana. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch discussed the program during her visit to Culver last week.

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Lieutenant Governor Visits Culver’s Sand Hill Farms Housing Development

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Sand Hill Farms Developer Kevin Berger

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch got an update on the progress of Culver’s Sand Hill Farms workforce housing development Thursday. Developer Kevin Berger gave the lieutenant governor and several town officials a tour of the construction site. “We have a lot of part-time residents here, and it has just kind of pushed out the workforce,” Berger told Crouch. “Our biggest employer for workers is Elkay cabinet manufacturing, and less than 50 percent of their 300-plus workers even live in Marshall County.”

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Stellar Communities Designation Program Widens Scope to Encourage Regional Collaboration

Once geared toward individual towns and cities, the Stellar Community Designation Program will now be asking communities to come together to propose regional development plans.

The Stellar Community program, which is offered through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, will now focus on encouraging towns, cities and counties to form partnerships to develop comprehensive solutions to regional and local challenges throughout rural Indiana.

“We believe that it is extremely important that communities work together and that we utilize and combine resources.” Continue reading

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch Visits AREM Lab at Knox Middle School

Instructor Bob Gregor, Lt. Gov Crouch, Students Explaining a Demonstration

Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch got a behind the scenes look at the newest program offered by the SCILL Center. Crouch had a chance to speak with instructors and students about the Automation, Robotics and Equipment Maintenance (AREM) classroom and lab.

Director Ron Gifford explained that this specific program is now in its second year. He mentioned that the program is not only available to high school students, it is also open to adults looking to improve their skills in order to obtain more meaningful employment.

Through OCRA and Department of Education grants as well as contributions from the city of Plymouth and city of Knox, SCILL was able to purchase all the necessary equipment for a total cost of approximately $450,000. Continue reading

Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor is Visiting the SCILL Lab at Knox Middle School Today

Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch will be making a stop in Starke County today.

This afternoon, Crouch will be visiting the SCILL Automation, Robotics and Equipment Maintenance Lab at Knox Middle School. Knox Mayor Dennis Estok will also be in attendance.

According to Communication Specialist Jessica Baker, the lab is the result of a grant received from The Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which is overseen by Lieutenant Governor Crouch. Baker explained that the OCRA grant was for $250,000 with a match of $118,277. Continue reading

Culver Stellarbration and Sand Hill Farm Groundbreaking Today

The Town of Culver’s Stellarbration event is set for today at the Culver Beach Lodge. The town was named a Stellar Community in the state’s Stellar Communities Designation Program on Oct. 18 after two years of hard work to achieve the status.

Prior to this event, officials will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony on the Sand Hill Farms workforce housing development which is a project detailed in the Stellar Communities application. Construction of this structure will provide housing for those seeking one, two or three bedroom apartments who want to make Culver their home. The project helps complete goals of increasing housing and population, plus an increase in enrollment and economy in Culver. Continue reading