Volume 8 - The SCCF Supports Community Development

posted Sep 16, 2016, 8:32 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Oct 20, 2017, 10:51 AM ]
At the Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF), we believe that Starke County is a great place to live. We also believe that giving our support to organizations that focus on community development will continue to better the quality of life in Starke County. Community development involves people working together to enhance our community in various ways. There are many of these organizations right here is Starke County, and we are happy to offer them our support.

The Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning (SCILL), a not-for-profit in Knox, saw an area of need in the county and worked to address it. The organization itself was created to help train Starke County residents so that they could obtain employment. SCILL created a committee to seek out what the training needs were locally. They found that not just locally, but statewide and even nationally, employees with welding skills are critically needed.

SCILL has received over $ 273,000 in grants from the SCCF. The largest grant was $250,000 for a graphic arts lab and expansion of the computer lab. Most recently the SCCF supported SCILL’s Welding Technology Program with a $10,000 grant. More than 75 high school students have attended the welding class, and more than 100 people from at least 12 northern Indiana counties have attended the adult class in just the first three years. This program gives its students the skills to obtain high-paying jobs and meet the local industrial needs.

Starke County 4-H is another program that supports lifelong learning in Starke County. The 4-H program is nationwide. Through the program, kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and citizenship. In 2002, the Starke County Fair Board, Inc. received a grant from the SCCF for the expansion of the 4-H Exhibit Hall. In 2006, the Starke County 4-H Council also established a fund with the SCCF to support the Starke County 4-H program forever. The 4-H program has the added benefit of bringing the community together through the yearly Starke County 4-H Fair.

The Yellowstone Trail Festival Association, named after the historical roadway known as the Yellowstone Trail, also works to bring community members together. The Association formed in 2009 with the purpose of celebrating the first transcontinental roadway in the U.S. It celebrated the 100th anniversary of this roadway in 2012. The celebration was supported by a grant from the SCCF. Local businesses serve as vendors at the Yellowstone Trail Festival, which also supports the local economy!

Another aspect of community development is enhancing the appearance of the community and ensuring that it is welcoming to visitors. The SCCF has promoted the beautification of Starke County through the support of many organizations, including the North Judson Main Street Committee. The Committee was awarded grants to place banners throughout the town and also to put up the Main Street Clock that stands proudly in downtown North Judson.

Finally, in order to welcome visitors to Starke County, the SCCF helped to create the first tourism position with the Starke County Development Foundation through a grant of $76,000! This grant was key to the creation and promotion of the Starke Community Poster Series.     

Community development is certainly important to the SCCF. Through grants to organizations that work toward community development, the SCCF helps to enhance the quality of life in Starke County. Join us next week to learn about how the SCCF supports Starke County organizations that take care of residents. 

The second poster of the Starke County Poster Series, 
created by renowned local artist, Mitchell Markovitz and commissioned by the SCCF.

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