Whitley County Celebrates Local Manufacturing

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (October 26, 2021) – The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Whitley County schools, and 13 local manufacturers, 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 1, 2021, 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 local schools partnered to bring students and local manufacturers together throughout the month. Several manufacturing companies in Whitley County provided tours to TROY School students and several more gave presentations to students at Indian Springs Middle School and Whitko Career Academy due to COVID-19 protocols.
Participating Whitley County manufacturers included: Breyden Products, Fox Products, Lear Corporation, Mach Medical, Micropulse, Numerix, PDQ Workholding, Precision Plastics, Red Star Contract Manufacturing, Reelcraft, Restoration Medical Polymers (RMP), Ultra, and Warner Electric.
“The goal of bringing manufacturing to students was to introduce them to the products and the careers in Whitley County. Students were exposed to a variety of products and careers that are made in Whitley County, which supply global markets,” said Kennedy Saggars, marketing director for Whitley EDC.
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 industry guest speakers, 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 Whitley EDC with a $2,000 micro-grant to help support efforts in promoting events throughout the month.
“Students at TROY participate in various career exploration activities throughout the year, which includes touring local companies, job shadowing, guest speakers, and internships. We believe these opportunities allow our students to identify what careers match their specific values, leading them to a rewarding future,” said Lauren Fuller, TROY Schools career and college coordinator.
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 $58,000 a year.

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About Whitley EDC
The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The Whitley 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 strategy that builds and retains wealth, expands opportunities and attracts capital investment to Whitley County.  The Whitley 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 Whitley EDC visit whitleyedc.com.
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:
Kennedy Saggars (Whitley County EDC) – 260.244.5506 or ksaggars@whitleyedc.com
Lisa Deck (Purdue IN-MaC) – adeck@purdue.edu