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News Release – Whitley County Recognizes and Celebrates Local Manufacturing

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (October 8, 2018) – The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Whitley Works program, with support from Purdue’s Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC), are celebrating the role of manufacturing in our local economy throughout the month of October.

The National Association of Manufacturers, the nation’s largest industrial trade association, deemed Friday, October 5, 2018 as National Manufacturing Day. Manufacturing Day was created to celebrate modern manufacturing and inspire the next generation of manufacturers. It’s an annual celebration that brings together manufacturers, students, educators, businesspeople, community leaders and elected officials in a collective effort to promote manufacturing, improve public perceptions and educate the community on the opportunities available in manufacturing.

The Whitley County EDC and the Whitley Works program partnered to bring students and local manufacturers together. Several manufacturing companies in Whitley County provided tours last week to high school students from Churubusco, Columbia City, Eagle Tech.

“It was a great opportunity for staff and students alike to see the diverse manufacturing companies, and options in our county,” said Rob Bell, Columbia City High School Dean of Students. “It was eye opening to learn about the global footprint we have from companies right here in Whitley County.”

Whitley County is home to many manufacturing companies leading the way, and serving a variety of industries from automotive, agriculture, aerospace, defense, medical device, food processing and many more.

“Tours of area businesses allow students to explore career options and see the impact of businesses right here in our community. We can’t expect students to know what they want to do for a career if they aren’t able to explore different possibilities,” said Whitley Works Program Director Lori Heuer.

Purdue IN-MaC awarded the EDC with a $2,000 micro-grant to help support efforts in promoting events throughout the month.

“IN-MaC is excited to partner with Whitley County Economic Development Corporation and Whitley Works program. We know that the best way to introduce students to career opportunities in manufacturing and STEM is to see it firsthand. Through tours, camps, and other experiential learning opportunities such the ones Whitley County is making possible,” said Lisa Deck, Purdue IN-MaC Education Workforce Development Program Manager.

If you or someone you know is looking for a job, manufacturing companies in Whitley County are hiring! Our local manufacturers employ one-third of Whitley County’s workers, and the average manufacturing wage in Whitley County is more than $50,000 a year. You can check out local job opportunities by visiting the “local career postings” page on the EDC website at www.whitleyedc.com.



About Whitley County EDC
The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The EDC works closely with local, regional, and state partners to support our industry clients’ growth and success. Our mission is to lead a comprehensive economic development program that retains and expands employment opportunities for local residents and attracts business investment to Whitley County. The Whitley County EDC was established in 1992 and represents Whitley County, Columbia City, and the Towns of Churubusco, Larwill, and South Whitley. For more information about the EDC, visit: www.whitleyedc.com.

About Whitley Works
Whitley Works is a collaborative program between Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Smith-Green Community Schools and Whitko Community Schools to help better connect students with local employers to provide internship opportunities, training opportunities and employment opportunities.

About Purdue IN-MaC
Purdue IN-MaC creates a stronger, more competitive manufacturing ecosystem for Indiana and the nation. IN-MaC does so by mobilizing its resources, expertise and network to strengthen the relationship between workforce education, technology adoption, and manufacturing research to elevate Indiana as the manufacturing destination of choice. Areas of concentration include Education & Workforce Development (E&WD), Technology Adoption and Transfer (TA), and Research for Future Competitiveness (RFC).



Media Contact:

Katie Dewitt (Whitley County EDC) – 260.244.5506 kdewitt@whitleyedc.com

Lori Heuer (Whitley Works Program) – heuerla@wccsonline.com

Lisa Deck (Purdue IN-MaC) – adeck@purdue.edu


Local students at American Landmaster in Columbia City.


Students toured Red Star Contract Manufacturing in Larwill.