The challenges facing a rural county in attracting industry will be examined this week in Knox. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will hold its third annual “Prospectus and Achievements Night.” Earlier Thursday, around 350 seventh graders will meet with Starke County companies to find out what skills will likely be needed to secure jobs of the future. September 29, 2013

News Release

KNOX, Ind. – In celebration of Manufacturer's Day and the past year's economic development activities in Starke County, the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) will host its third annual “Prospectus and Achievements Night” on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at the Knox Middle School beginning at 5:30 pm CDT. The public is invited to attend this event. Several activities are planned for this event, including remarks by SCEDF Executive Director Charles W. Weaver on what has transpired in 2013 and what to expect in 2014.

Featured speaker for the night will be Scott Duerkop, Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate brokerage firm located in Chicago. Mr. Duerkop covers the entire Chicago Region, including Northwest Indiana. Mr. Duerkop will use his decade of experience in the industry to shed light on the challenges a small rural county faces in attempting to attract industry.

In addition, John Davies, Director of The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana will acknowledge Kemin Food Technologies and the Edward Lambert Farms for having been named one of five finalists for The Society of Innovator's of Northwest Indiana Chanute Prize for their team innovation in North Judson. The team uses innovative growing and post-harvest processes for patented spearmint varieties unique to Starke County that has both flavoring preservation and antioxidant properties used in a variety of products world-wide.

Finally, Van H. Janovic will be honored for his service to the Foundation as well as other groups in the County by receiving the Robert E. Hamilton Award, the highest honor to be given by the Foundation.

Earlier the same day, approximately 350 7th graders from Starke County's three school systems will meet with representatives of Starke County's industrial companies about what their company makes, what kinds of jobs are available, and what job skills are needed to secure a job with that company. A scavenger hunt will be utilized for students to find out what several of the companies manufacture plus what job skills are important. This event is an effort by the Foundation to help middle school students to become aware of products made in Starke County and more importantly the skills and education required of the students to gain future employment in Starke County.


The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure, and workforce development. For more information regarding Starke County Economic Development Foundation, visit

Source: Starke County Economic Development Corp.

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