Oregon Davis Schools Recognized

From Oregon Davis Jr/Sr  High:


We wish to offer a heartfelt congratulations to the students, staff, and families that make an honor like this possible. We are honored to Be recognized by U.S. News and World Report. Here are a couple links for some additional information.

We are BOBCATS: Bringing Our Best Character, Attitude, Teamwork, and Scholarship!



2017 Session Ends

2017 Session Ends with
Passage of Major Bills


The Indiana General Assembly has adjourned, concluding the 2017 legislative session.

In addition to passing our state’s next two-year budget and a sustainable, long-term road funding plan, here are some of the major bills lawmakers passed this year:

  • Senate Enrolled Act 198 increases funding for high school Career and Technical Education courses in high-wage, high-demand job fields and establishes a new grant program to provide financial aid to adult students working toward a job certificate in a high-value industry.
  • Senate Joint Resolution 7, if approved by a 2018 statewide voter referendum, amends the Indiana Constitution to require each General Assembly to pass a balanced budget.
  • House Enrolled Act 1003 replaces the outdated ISTEP test with a new exam that will take less time away from classroom instruction while providing faster results and giving high school students multiple pathways to earn a high school diploma.
  • House Enrolled Act 1004 expands Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program and promotes parental engagement by allocating funding for home-based early education services.
  • Senate Enrolled Act 1 fixes the unintended consequences of Indiana’s laws on e-liquid manufacturing by eliminating the rules that created unfair restrictions on competition and bringing us into compliance with federal rules.

Nominate that Business!

We are looking for Business of the Month nominations.   The winning businesses can be any local business that has experienced growth, achieved something special, performed a good deed, or contributed in some way to the county.   The winning business will be acknowledged on the Chamber Chatter page, on our website, on our facebook page and in our newsletters.   Please consider a nomination!

Submit the business you would like to nominate and why to info@starkecountychamber.com

Leopold Bench Workshop!

A Place to Nurture Your Spirit: Building an Aldo Leopold Bench

WS050217 — 3D Visual Art 
The Aldo Leopold bench is a simple, classic bench design for any outdoor space. It’s easy to build and uses minimal materials; perhaps this is what makes it a favorite of conservationists. In this wood studio experience you’ll will measure, cut and join the materials to build your own stable bench, creating a place for respite and observation of wildlife in your yard.
  • Saturday, May, 20, 2017; 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT
  • Sr. Mary Baird PHJC, facilitator
  • Includes materials. Please bring your own sack lunch.
  • MoonTree Wood Shop
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to plan in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” — John Muir

Register by Wednesday, May 10!

Knox Schools Recognized

Great news!

KHS has again been recognized as one of America’s Best High Schools for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report! The school is nationally ranked and earned a bronze medal.  Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. KHS has received this coveted honor for four consecutive years! (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

We are so proud of our students and the amazing success they have achieved!

I wish to thank you and our staff for making such an important positive difference in the lives of so many of the district’s students!

Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff

Knox High School Principal

Chamber Membership still worth it’s weight in GOLD!

Some business owners might say their schedule is demanding enough at the moment, and the thought of adding one more activity to their busy calendar is unbearable.

So why should they try to cram time into their already hectic schedules to join and actively participate in their local chamber of commerce?

Because membership in the local chamber offers numerous benefits and keeps business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues and trends within their community and local marketplace.

Not only that, but research points out that consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it’s a member of their local chamber of commerce.

According a research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street Services, when consumers know that a small business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, they are 44 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

If you still don’t think you have time to join and participate in your local chamber of commerce, consider the following:

  • Most consumers (59 percent) think that being active in the local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy overall. It’s 29 percent more effective, however, for communicating to consumers that a company uses good business practices and 26 percent more effective for communicating that a business is reputable.
  • If a company shows that it’s highly involved in its local chamber (e.g., sits on the chamber board), consumers are 12 percent more likely to think that its products stack up better against its competition.
  • When a consumer thinks that a company’s products stack up better against the competition because the company is highly involved in its local chamber of commerce, it is because he or she infers that the company is trustworthy, involved in the community and is an industry leader.
  • When consumers know that a restaurant franchise is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 40 percent more likely to eat at the franchise in the next few months.
  • When consumers know that an insurance company is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 43 percent more likely to consider buying insurance from it.

How does all that sound? If your business is a restaurant or an insurance company, isn’t it fantastic to hear the news that consumers are more likely to choose your business over a competing, non-member business because you’re a member of your local chamber of commerce? Are you convinced yet that you should join your local chamber if you aren’t a member already?

If not, read this top 10 list of reasons why you should join your local chamber of commerce supplied by 10 local chambers across the United States.

  1. Membership brings credibility to your business. You can increase positive perception among consumers and business owners when you’re identified as a member of a chamber of commerce.
    Dearborn Chamber of Commerce in Michigan
  2. Increase your visibility in the community. As a new member of the chamber of commerce, you will be listed in the chamber newsletter, e-newsletter, on Facebook and have the opportunity to be highlighted in other chamber publications. You also can grow your business by advertising with the chamber and sponsoring events. The chamber may also promote your grand opening/ ribbon-cutting ceremony and assist with any public relations efforts.
    Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce in Texas
  3. Create networking opportunities. Chambers have numerous committees and serving on one of them provides numerous networking opportunities as well as professional leadership development. You can build your business while promoting developments of keen interest to local businesses and the community at large.
    – Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in Georgia
  4. Gain a voice in government. The local chamber takes on the tough issues and opposes new regulations, taxes, fees, assessments and costs directed at small businesses. It also helps protect the principles of free enterprise and aids businesses in being treated fairly.
    – Yuma Chamber of Commerce in California
  5. Make business contacts. The chamber’s most fundamental mission is to generate more business activity for the community. The chamber initiates more business-to-business commerce and more opportunities for networking and connecting local professionals than is available through most other local organizations.
    – Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina
  6. Receive chamber newsletters. Newsletters provide new member information, interesting information about operating a local business, articles about the local community, a community calendar and details about up-and-coming chamber events, among other things.
    – Teton Valley Chamber Of Commerce in Idaho
  7. Acquire customer referrals. Every day, your local chamber receives calls from individuals and businesses looking for potential vendors, and chamber members typically recommend chamber members.
    – Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce in Tennessee
  8. Chamber events and programs. Chamber events and programs provide members with great opportunities to get to know new people and expand their prospect base. Chamber events are innovative and fun ways to help members meet potential customers, clients and vendors— and generate new business leads.
    – Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce in California
  9. Promotion and publicity. With a chamber membership, you can reach potential clients through member exclusive advertising and opportunities for business-to-business advertising and publicity.
    – Pike County Chamber of Commerce in Illinois
  10. Access to members-only discounts and services. These differ from chamber to chamber. For example, the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce in Oregon has a member-tomember discount program where a chamber member will receive $10 off any phone or accessory purchased from the local Verizon Wireless retailer in Sandy, which is a member of the chamber.
    – Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce in Oregon

Small businesses represent the largest segment by number of most local chamber membership rolls. Results in the research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street indicate the impact of local chamber membership on small businesses is very powerful. If a consumer knows a small business is a member of its local chamber, the business enjoys a 44 percent increase in its consumer favorability rating, a 51 percent increase in consumer awareness, a 57 percent increase in its local reputation and a 63 percent increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future.

The table shows the impacts among key demographic and geographic subgroups.

Research indicates that chamber membership stimulates business-to-business commerce in the local community. Other businesses in town are more likely to do business with you and your company if you are a member of the local chamber. Because a major part of a small business typically comes from business-to-business services, it is essential to maintain a positive standing within the local business community.

But it takes time for a business to establish its image and reputation in the community, says Dr. Craig Shoemaker, a marketing professor and the chair of the marketing department at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. He says people like doing business with companies they like and trust, but that trust must be earned.

“The more a firm is networked with its community, the quicker and easier it is to establish a trust bond with customers,” says Dr. Shoemaker.

Prior to his time at St. Ambrose, Dr. Shoemaker owned and operated a marketing services business in Phoenix, Arizona, which was a member of the local chamber of commerce. He says chamber membership was very beneficial to him and his marketing business.

“The chamber was a great place to network and meet people who shared a common interest in serving their community and their customers,” he says.

Dr. Shoemaker says all companies face common opportunities and problems. He found the chamber-sponsored “president’s roundtable” to be quite valuable.

“In these forums, you could discuss your challenges and problems to a group of people who understood and had faced many of the same issues,” he says. “There was a comfort in knowing that your situation was not unique.”

Ready to join your local chamber, if you aren’t already? Keep in mind, however, that you can’t just be a member of the local chamber to reap the benefits of chamber membership. Paying your annual dues just isn’t enough. You must also make an investment of time and effort in chamber activities and become involved. Simply put, what you get out of chamber membership is directly relative to what you put in.

“If a firm is to gain maximum value from membership, it must be an active participant in chamber-sponsored events,” Dr. Shoemaker says. “Chambers plan events so that its members benefit. Only by participation, can a firm get maximum benefit.”

Upcoming Employment Events

Upcoming WorkOne Events:
Hiring event with Silver Line Building Products, LLC at WorkOne Gary Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Hiring event with United Property Maintenance at WorkOne Hammond Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Hiring event with Feralloy Corporation at WorkOne Portage Friday, April 28, 2017
FREE Financial Education classes with Northern Indiana Bank On Alliance at WorkOne Portage, next class will be Friday, April 28, 2017
Hiring event with Aerotek at WorkOne Gary Thursday, May 4, 2017
Operation: Job Ready Veterans (OJRV) at WorkOne Morocco May 1-5, 2017
Veterans Only Employer Event at WorkOne Hammond Tuesday May 9, 2017
Community Job Fair at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Training Opportunities
Retail Training is BACK! First session begins with Customer Service & Sales Training May 22, 2017

Tech Talk Meeting

Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM CDT

Avalon Manor
3550 U.S. 30
Merrillville, IN 46410

Join us for an afternoon of Tech Talk that includes Lunch, a Watson Overview and Demonstration, Cyber Security Presentation, (3) Tech Topic Break-Out Sessions along with Tech Industry Booth Displays. Interface with industry leaders and influencers at an end of conference Networking Cocktail Reception.

12 – 12:30 p.m. Registration & Box Lunch
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. IBM Watson Overview & Demonstration

Breakout Session Topics:
1. Internet of Things 2. Building Automation
3. Technology in the Region & Beyond

1:45 – 2:30p.m. Breakout Session
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Breakout Session
2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Breakout Session
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session
4:15 – 5:00 p.m. Cyber Security
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Networking Cocktail Reception

Booth Space Opportunities are available!

Contact Raeann Trakas at rtrakas@nwiforum.org to reserve your space.

Senate Update

Senate Update
April 22, 2017

Lawmakers Conclude 2017 Session

Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session. The new state budget is balanced, has $1

Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session.

The new state budget is balanced, has $1.9 billion in reserves, and provides significant funding increases for education, public safety and fighting drug abuse.

Highlights of the budget include increasing K-12 funding by $345 million and university operating funds by $91.3 million; providing Indiana State Police and other state law enforcement officers with a pay increase to make their salary levels competitive with other states; and investing in programs to help Hoosier veterans.

For the past decade, Indiana has been a national leader in responsible budgeting. In recent years, lawmakers have cut taxes for both workers and employers, reduced state debt and built up our reserves. An important part of our economic climate is creating policies that benefit tax payers and job creators.

This budget reflects these principles that have made Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation while continuing our strong track record of pro-growth economic policies.
Funding Indiana’s Roads for the Future

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed House Enrolled Act 1002, which provides a long-term, sustainable funding plan for building and maintainin

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed House Enrolled Act 1002, which provides a long-term, sustainable funding plan for building and maintaining Indiana’s transportation infrastructure.

The plan focuses on a user-pays approach, dedicating all of the taxes paid at the pump to road funding. This is the fairest system since those who pay the most will also get the most benefit.

When fully phased in, HEA 1002 will provide $1.2 billion per year in new road funding – about $850 million for state highways and about $350 million for local roads.

Under this plan, the average Hoosier driver will pay an additional $5 to $6 per month, which includes a 10-cent gas tax increase and a $15 annual BMV registration fee.

With these funds, Indiana can complete current and future projects while maintaining our roads and bridges for the next 20 years.

Contemporary Embroidery

Contemporary Embroidery: From Surface Design to the Stitched Mark
with Jennifer Gould

PS051817 — 3D Visual Art 
Using stitched marks and textile paints, you’ll create rhythm, movement, and visual and physical texture on fabric–not decorative, but an expression of yourself! Jennifer will guide you with samples, images and other references to pique your adventuresome spirit.
  • Thursday-Saturday, May, 18-20, 2017; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
  • Jennifer Gould, facilitator
  • Includes lunch each day. An additional $10 supply fee will be paid directly to the facilitator.
  • Materials List is provided on our website
  • MoonTree Paint Studio

Jennifer Gould’s life as a textile artist began early–as a child she made doll clothes on a sewing machine and learned to embroider from an elderly British neighbor woman. She made her own unique clothes, and taught herself to weave tapestries and crochet as a teen. As a junior in college, she spent a year in Tokyo, Japan at Waseda University where she studied weaving at the Yukitsumugi Kimono Factory in Ibaraki Prefecture and first saw indigo vats sunk into the ground.

Her exploration of weaving, dyeing, screen printing, textile painting and hand spinning has been a lifelong pursuit; a constant fascination with all things textile. Jennifer is known for her textile figures (dolls) that she began making over 30 years ago.
Register by Wednesday, May 3!