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Manufacturer brings jobs to Gary
Manufacturer brings jobs to Gary

July 8, 2014 |Gary, Ind. -- Superior Truss & Panel, Inc., a manufacturer and installer of commercial building roof trusses and wall panels, announced plans today to relocate its Markham, Ill. operations to Gary, creating up to 52 new jobs by 2016. The company will invest $2.6 million to construct, equip and relocate its operations into two 24,000 square-foot buildings on 8.5 acres at 7592 East Melton Road in Gary. The facility, which will begin Indiana operations this fall, will allow the company to innovate new methods for panelizing light gauge steel trusses and wall panels for non-combustible classified structures. "The Hoosier State remains an attractive place to run a business because it provides the ideal climate for growth," said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. "Indiana has worked hard to build a business environment that lets companies succeed on their own terms, free from restrictive regulations or red tape. With our low taxes, skilled workforce and robust transportation networks, Indiana stands out as a state that works." Superior Truss & Panel, which currently employs 48 full-time associates, plans to begin hiring manufacturing associates this month. Interested applicants may apply at the company’s new Gary location or by emailing a resume to "While Indiana has a business friendly environment, Gary provides easy access to interstate highways, allowing greater convenience in shipping to multiple states," said Bryce Welty, president of Superior Truss & Panel. Founded in 1993, Superior Truss & Panel designs, engineers, fabricates and installs metal roof trusses and load bearing wall panels for the commercial construction industry. The company has manufactured projects for more than 1,500 building projects located east of the Rocky Mountains, specializing in construction for nursing homes, hotels, schools, office buildings, churches, apartments and government buildings. Superior Truss and Panel has repeatedly been the recipient of Aegis Metal Framing’s President’s Council Award, presented to the top 10 fabricators using the company’s MiTek System. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Superior Truss & Panel, Inc. up to $425,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Gary approved additional incentives at the request of the Gary Economic Development Corporation. "As I've said on countless occasions, 'The city of Gary is open for business,’" said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. "Superior Truss & Panel's commitment to relocate to Gary further proves this fact. We thank them for their investment and the job opportunities this will create for Gary residents to support their families and improve their quality of life." Illinois companies continue to make the move to Indiana, where they find a low-tax, pro-growth business environment. Superior Truss & Panel’s announcement follows news just last week that Lemont, Illinois-based llini Hi-Reach, a rental provider of aerial work platforms and material handling equipment, would invest $13.6 million to relocate its corporate headquarters and service hub to Crown Point. About Superior Truss & Panel Superior Truss is America's largest fabricator and erector of light gauge steel trusses and loadbearing wall panels. Our primary philosophy is to provide the highest level of design, engineering and installation at the best value in the industry. For more information, visit About IEDC Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC. The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp.  

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Young workers gain much more than just income
Young workers gain much more than just income

May 25, 2014  | Along with some extra spending money or savings for college, teens learn valuable lessons from their early work experiences that stay with them for years to come. “Over the last 5-8 years, we’ve seen a declining opportunity for young people to be employed,” President and CEO of the Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) Linda Woloshansky said. “These jobs are being taken by more experienced workers who have been displaced for one reason or another. One thing that we know for sure is that you don’t know how to work unless you work. This summer, we’re asking not just employers, but adults in our communities, to remember their first job opportunity and give someone a chance.” Citing the many advantages of youth who are work ready, Woloshansky is concerned that too many students leaving high school or even into their college years are shunning work for academic and/or athletic pursuits. “Young people need to know what the trade is – I come in on time, do what is expected of me and get paid a fair wage,” she explained. “Along the way they get some feedback about their performance. They need to experience that so there will be something on their resume to sell to employers that sets them apart. Something that shows they have the initiative and energy to balance work while getting an education.” Chairman of the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board’s Youth Employment Council, Keith Kirkpatrick works with CWI to help create pathways to employment and self-sufficiency for young people. “What we’ve found is that everybody has story when it comes to how important that first job was,” he said. “Whether it’s the first yard they mowed, the first time babysitting or the first time with a boss or employer, there is almost always an important impact, something that made a difference, an experience that they carried with them for the rest of their life.” In order to put young people in a position to learn, they need an opportunity to earn, according to Congressman Pete Visclosky, who represents Indiana’s First Congressional District. “After paper routes, my first job was in my junior year of high school. I worked for Ugo Angotti and his wife Margaret at Margo’s Catering Service. They had a storefront at 36th and Broadway in Gary. It was a general catering business – they provided food for the employee cafeterias at Wards and the Village Shopping Center, the concessions at Gilroy Stadium, at wakes, for New Year’s Eve parties at the KofC, at Marquette Park and the Gary Armory. On Friday’s they had their own fish fry. I did just about everything – from cleaning the dishes and scrubbing the floors to short order cook and delivering the food. The pay was .75 an hour and all you can eat,” he said. “Ugo and his wife were just wonderful – school always came first, and if I had a debate meet or something else they would always work around it. They always treated me with respect. One time when I had to deliver an order to a wake, coffee and sweets, I got back to the store and Ugo asked me if I put coffee in the pot. He didn’t say anything else, but apparently the people had called so I ran back there with two pots full of coffee. I have just been blessed in life with the employers I have had. Looking back, it wasn’t so much about the money I made, but how they treated me. I learned to always try and do my best. When you are working for someone, you need to work hard for that person, and if you make a mistake, you need to fix it and move on.” Even if a young person runs into roadblocks on the job, Kirkpatrick points out the importance of the experience. “I’m surprised by the number of people who come into my office that are 19-22 years old and have never had a job,” he said. “We had one young man help us with a mailing who wasn’t doing a very good job – the labels were crooked and the papers were folded unevenly. His response when asked if saw a problem was that no one had ever criticized what he’s done or told him it needs to be done a certain way.” President and CEO of the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce Sue Reed can relate. “My first job, at the age of 16 was a hostess for a Golden Bear Restaurant in Tinley Park, Illinois,” she said. “My lesson learned was that the restaurant environment was not my forte! Although I loved working with the customers, I could never figure out how to seat people so one waitress wasn’t overloaded and another had no one in her section. I was fortunate in that the manager was very patient and provided as much training as possible – it just never clicked. He was very kind when he suggested that this was not my field, and we would need to part ways. So yes, I was fired from my first job. He did it in such a way it didn’t feel like I was fired. That stayed with me through my years, and I have tried to remember that experience when faced with similar situations.” On the other hand, an early work experience can reshape preconceived notions about a young person’s career path, according to Bar Louie’s Merrillville General Manager Lester Young “My first job was at 15 years old bussing tables in a restaurant where I worked my up from there – in the kitchen and then through management,” he said. “A lot of young people look at summer jobs as kind of a dead end thing. It’s called entry level for a reason – you start out and progress your way up - whether it’s your chosen career or not, it’s a way to learn responsibility and work ethic. To be honest, I thought I was only going to be at that restaurant for the summer – the big plan at the time was to earn enough money for a trip to Cedar Pointe. As it turned out, I ended up changing my college major from marketing to management because I discovered it was a good way to make a living. I learned that you always want to keep your eyes open and take advantage of opportunities as they come up.” “What we’re really hoping is that when people think about their own first work experience, they will realize how more they got from it than just money in their pocket,” Kirkpatrick added. “We need to show young people that work is important, that they are important, and that they can learn something.” Even people who follow a pre-destined career path have the opportunity to gain important insight for the future from a first job like City of Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “My very first job was as a part of Gary’s Manpower Summer Jobs Program. It involved outdoor beautification, cleaning lots and pulling weeds. It taught me the value of the youth being a force in working towards a clean community,” she said. “My first professional job was as a Deputy Prosecutor in the Lake County Prosecutors Office. It underscored my parents' early lessons on the importance of public service.” Look for more people to share their “First Job” lessons in the Business section of The Times in future editions. Source:  May 25, 2014 – Northwest Indiana Times.  Written by Michelle Krueger

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Local Jag Program Students Capture over $215,000 in Scholarship Awards
Local Jag Program Students Capture over $215,000 in Scholarship Awards

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | (Northwest Indiana) Many local students who participate in the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program, left this past school year with scholarship awards to help them move on to their next chapter of their lives—post secondary education. Miche Grant, Vice President at the Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) and the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, oversees the local JAG initiative and explained that 36 JAG students from nine area schools received awards totaling $215,434. “They earned their high school diploma despite the many challenges they faced; and their hard work, perseverance, and desire to succeed was recognized and awarded,” said Grant. JAG students are considered at-risk students who need assistance in completing high school and transitioning to employment or post-secondary education. Students are taught up to 88competencies while in the program such as team leadership, critical thinking, and effective communications skills that will increase their marketability to employers. While in school and through the program, JAG students receive adult mentoring and includes one year of follow-up counseling after they graduate, which is intended to help keep them on track for post-secondary education or training. The local JAG program is funded by grants through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The following Northwest Indiana schools are part of the JAG program: AK Smith Area Career Center-Michigan City, Calumet New Tech High School-Gary, East Chicago Central High School, Gary Lew Wallace STEM Academy, Gary Roosevelt College & Career Academy, Gary West Side Leadership Academy, Hammond High School, and Knox High School. For further information about the local JAG program, contact Miche Grant at 219-462-2940, ext. 30 or email

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Tonn & Blank
Tonn & Blank

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20 Nov

Workforce Summit

Avalon Manor-Merrillville, Indiana | 8:00-11:00 AM

What to Expect

  • Workforce (attendees will receive a copy of the new State of the Workforce Report)
  • Efforts of collaboration
  • Engaging Breakout Sessions on work-based learning, value of career pathways, how educators are preparing students for college and career, and more!
  • Valuable Networking
  • Employer Challenge

Guest Speaker Indiana Lt. Governor, Sue Ellspermann

Cost: $20 per person-Make checks out to Center of Workforce Innovations and mail to: CWI 2804 Boilermaker Ct., Ste E. Valparaiso, IN 46383   OR Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.34.39 AMpay with Paypal and send payment to   You can also download the registration form here: Workforce Summit 2014 Registration deadline is November 14, 2014 NO SHOWS who have not paid will be invoiced. Sorry no refunds available after November 13, 2014. [gravityform id="1" name="Register" description="false"]

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