The Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City continues to show its dedication to bringing employment to the county. An example of that dedication is the partnering with local educational institutions to develop a higher level of education and training in the trades industry. The EDCMC had formed a Workforce Development and Education Taskforce, which met for its quarterly meeting onDecember 11 at Maxine’s Restaurant in Michigan City.

In a Michigan City Labor Force Update, it was reported that there was a 2% increase in the labor force over the previous month. This is considered promising since there was a downward trend observed last year in Michigan City.

Representatives from Michigan City Area Schools, Purdue University North Central, A.K. Smith Career Center and Ivy Tech Community College discussed how they are implementing programs and classes to help struggling students as well as honor students and those that would like to learn a trade. They all expressed that the programs implemented are showing signs of success.

Betsy Kohn, Communications Manager with Michigan City Area Schools proudly shared the progress in the grading of many schools in the system.

“On our academic scores we are on the uptrend. We had five schools that were given an “A” grade on our grading period, and we had a four-star school for the first time in memory,” Kohn said.

Clarence Hulse, Executive Director of the EDCMC, expressed how important it is for economic development to have successful educational systems.

“Having grade “A” schools is a big deal. That’s what people ask about when they are talking about bringing in industry or other business to the area. They ask about our schools,” Hulse said.

PNC and Ivy Tech also talked about programs they offer or will be offering in the near future that are focused on trades and continuing education. One topic in which everyone on the panel agreed, is that it is not necessary to get a four year degree, but even a certification in a certain field is very important. Also, to attend a class on a campus just to get the feel of an academic atmosphere is very important, and could encourage a student in high school, or even someone that has been in the workforce for thirty years, to continue education.

Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer spoke of the positive strides the EDCMC and the educational systems are taking to make Michigan City attractive to potential businesses.

“We have had a plan in the works for some time and now we are actually seeing those plans come together. These programs being put together will only make Michigan City even better,” Mayor Meer said.