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NEWS | Whitley County Recognizes and Celebrates Local Modern Manufacturing

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (Oct. 8, 2019) – 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 4, 2019, 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 Indiana Spring Middle School sixth graders and high school students from Churubusco and TROY Center.

“Modern manufacturing is so much more than what a lot of students expect,” said Riley Hollenbaugh, Whitley County EDC director of workforce and community development. “It’s a great opportunity for students, parent chaperones, teachers and community leaders to learn about the products made in Whitley County that supply the global markets.”

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.

“Students in middle school are beginning to think about their futures. Manufacturing is a large part of our Whitley County economy, yet most students do not have a clear understanding of what manufacturing includes,” said Lori Heuer, Whitley County Consolidated Schools talent development director.  “Through these study trips, we were able to expose students to area manufacturing businesses and the many career opportunities throughout, including production, HR, finance, engineering, marketing, office management, etc.”

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

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.

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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 Contacts 
Kennedy St. George (Whitley County EDC) – 260.244.5506 or kstgeorge@whitleyedc.com
Lori Heuer (Whitley Works Program) – heuerla@wccsonline.com