Purdue University Calumet is hoping to begin the first two phases of a new Commercialization Center this summer in Hammond. The project will include a radio station along with manufacturing and training facilities. A third phase will begin once the university raises another $1.5 million. A $2.7 million grand from the U.S. Department of Labor will help the university consolidate job training a a Center for Manufacturing Excellence and Competitiveness inside the business incubator.

Although plans call for work to begin in the summer, WJOB radio intends to be operating of of the commercialization center in about one month.

Source: Lakeshore Public Media

News Release

Originally Posted October 29, 2013

HAMMOND, Ind. – Purdue University Calumet and WJOB have entered into a partnership in which the Hammond radio station will move its broadcasting operations and streaming media center to the university's emerging Commercialization Center.

Terms of the agreement call for WJOB to lease and renovate nearly 1,700 square feet of space in the 18,000-square-foot Commercialization Center at 7116 Indianapolis Blvd., located one-half mile south of the radio station's current location at 6405 Olcott Ave. According to university and station officials, WJOB will occupy space in the Commercialization Center March 1 and begin broadcast operations there in mid-April.

“The vision for our Commercialization Center is to encourage small business development that benefits our region,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said. “The opportunity to partner with a small, respected company and longtime friend of Purdue Calumet is appealing to our university from business and educational perspectives.”

WJOB is co-owned by Alexis Vazquez Dedelow and her husband, Jim Dedelow. Jim Dedelow, who manages WJOB day-to-day operations while also hosting the weekday, morning drive program, JED in the Region, said the partnership with Purdue Calumet will help WJOB build on its reputation as one of the most high-tech radio stations in America.

“We plan to create state-of-the-art broadcast studios and relocate our streaming media center,” he said. “In doing so, we will engage Purdue Calumet students in cutting edge learning opportunities, which will benefit them and WJOB. We feel very good about this business opportunity.”

Keon added, “Purdue University Calumet and WJOB share many of the same views about the value of collaboration and building on educational opportunities to advance our region.”

The announcement of WJOB's projected $250,000 investment in this project comes within days of the station's 90th anniversary. For nearly 60 of those years, WJOB has operated at its current location. Alexis Vazquez Dedelow indicated WJOB will continue to maintain a presence there.

“As a business owner and graduate of Purdue Calumet, I am excited about this partnership,” Vazquez Dedelow said. “Mutually beneficial opportunities like this one open doors and enable our region to move forward. Everyone wins when private business leverages the resources of northwest Indiana's largest university.”

Purdue Calumet announced in December 2012 its purchase of the former Kaplan Commons building, half a mile west of campus, for conversion into a Commercialization Center. Keon and his leadership team envision this center serving as a catalyst for regional economic development and technological transfer through collaboration among enterprising business entities, faculty experts and students. The university has been active in fundraising efforts to support renovation of the building.

Source: Purdue University Calumet

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