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Monday, April 27th 2020, 9:21 AM EDTUpdated: Monday, April 27th 2020, 1:37 PM EDT
By Reed Parker, Writer/Reporter
GOSHEN – A COVID-19 Response Fund has been established by Goshen Health Foundation to meet the needs of local workers and families affected by the pandemic.
“We’ve had so many requests from people in the community who wanted to know how they could help, we felt it was critical to help match such heartfelt generosity with some of the areas of greatest need that otherwise might go unmet,” said Jim Caskey, Vice President, Goshen Health Foundation and Campaign Director.
All funding raised will be used to help medical professionals with supplies, building emergency care structures or for critical support of frontline workers, and also to aid families who have lost employment.
Donations will be accepted online, or by calling (574) 364-2701.
During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, many companies have been an aid in gathering materials and making masks for heath care professionals to use; Dometic is doing their part as well, the company announced today (April 23).
Two Dometic engineers have been using this time to create mask straps on 3D printers. The idea came from a student who sent a request for help creating these mask straps that help relieve pressure from behind the ears when wearing them all day.
Clayton Meyers, an engineer at Dometic’s Elkhart, Ind., Verdant office has been able to produce about 300 mask straps so far. A portion of the masks have gone to a local school system as they have been providing free lunches to students. The rest of the masks are intended for local hospitals and nursing homes.
Bill Rimel, an engineer located at one of Dometic’s manufacturing sites in Big Prairie, Ohio, has also been making mask straps, which have also gone to area hospitals and nursing homes.
”We want to do as much as we can to support our healthcare and essential workers during this unprecedented period,” says Scott Nelson, president of Dometic Americas. ”Our Engineers have been dedicating their time and talent for producing these mask straps. They have been able to utilize the resources that Dometic has available and provide relief from the current shortage of masks.”
With much of the country locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic, RV/MH Hall of Fame President Darryl Searer is urging members of the RV and manufactured housing (MH) industries to consider using this time to nominate someone for induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
“Most members of the two industries know someone who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and this downtime would be an excellent opportunity to nominate that person. When the industries get back to work, you may be too busy to think about it so I’m hoping those considering nominating someone that they should start working on their nomination,” Searer said. “Even though the deadline for nomination is still months away (Oct. 31), it’s really not too early to start the process of nominating a deserving individual, so I urge those who are considering a nominee to download the guidelines and forms, so their nominee can be considered for the Class of 2021.”
According to the guidelines, anyone can nominate a person to the Hall of Fame that meets the eligibility requirements. To be eligible, the nominee must be, or have been, an active participant in any segment of the RV, MH or campground industries for a minimum of 25 years. Canadians can also be nominated. The only people who may not be considered are those who currently serve on the Hall’s Selection Committee.
Also, the nomination form must be filled out in its entirety and must be accompanied by three supporting letters (no more, no less) that meet the Hall’s guidelines for these letters. Incomplete nominations cannot be considered. When evaluating a potential nominee, the selection committee will consider the nominee’s overall contributions to the good of the industry, to include both his or her positions, accomplishments, and innovations on the job as well as volunteer work both inside and outside the industry, with special emphasis on volunteer work done on behalf of state and national associations and owner groups, the Hall of Fame itself and other industry-related organizations and causes.
If a completed nomination form and three properly-prepared seconding letters are received by Oct. 31 of any year, the nominee will be in the pool of candidates considered for the following year’s class and for four years beyond that if not selected that year. If the nominee is not selected within five years, he or she remains eligible only if the nomination is resubmitted and refreshed with additional information.
The Hall’s Selection Committee will announce its selections in January 2022 and those chosen will be inducted at the Hall’s annual Induction dinner in August. The Hall’s bylaws allow for up to 10 inductees per year.
“The Hall welcomes nominations from all RV and manufactured housing sectors – manufacturers, dealers, campgrounds, housing communities, suppliers, user groups, trade media, associations, etc. – for the class of 2021 and beyond,” Searer said,.
The nominating committee is especially interested in receiving nominations for deserving early pioneers who may have been forgotten, passed over or overlooked in the past.
“The Selection Committee is made up of an equal number of members of the RV and manufactured housing industries, and members will only vote on nominees from their respective industries,” Searer said.
Once the nomination form and supporting letters have been completed, the nominations may be submitted by mail, in person at the Hall, or by fax at 574-293-3466.
Amber Ruszkowski, department chair and associate professor for the School of Business, Logistics & Supply Chain at Ivy Tech Community College South Bend-Elkhart, has been selected as the 2020 Associate Degree Award Recipient by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), according to a release. One individual in each region is chosen by the ACBSP for this award among all associate degree schools in the country.
Ruszkowski began her career with Ivy Tech in 2010 and has held a variety of roles including project manager/corporate trainer, academic advisor, and faculty member. She has achieved many accomplishments over the past few years, including earning a coveted position in Ivy Tech’s statewide teaching excellence training program and was named one of Michiana’s 40 Under 40 recipients by the South Bend Regional Chamber in 2019. Ruszkowski is described by her peers as caring, patient, supportive and inspiring.
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund, created by United Way of Elkhart & LaGrange Counties and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, has received a gift of 10,000 N95 respirator face masks, donated by Bill and Kristin Fenech, according to reporting in the Goshen News.
Bill Fenech is a former Thor Industries Inc. executive and co-founder of Grand Design RV. He currently serves as president and co-owner of Barletta Boat Company LLC, a pontoon boat manufacturer located in Bristol, Ind.
The protective face masks will be distributed to Elkhart General Hospital, Goshen Health and local nursing homes to protect health care workers from contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus, United Way officials state in a news release. Demand for the masks is outpacing supply nationwide.
Representatives from both Beacon Health System and Goshen Health indicated they welcome the gift of masks, which are essential items of personal protective equipment to help fight the spread of COVID-19. United Way and the Community Foundation began distributing masks Tuesday in accordance with the donors’ request.
The RV Technical Institute (RVTI) launched a new website today, a key component of which is the opportunity for prospective students to register for online classes as part of the program’s Learning Management System (LMS).
RVTI announced April 8 it would begin offering the Level 1 training course online later this month. The online, interactive classes will be virtually taught by RV Technical Institute trainers through Zoom. The rollout of this new curriculum delivery system will allow RV technicians to continue to be trained and receive the only industry-wide certification while following appropriate social distancing guidelines.
The first online Level 1 class starts on April 20 and will be delivered in four-hour increments on a daily basis from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. As RVTI moves to this virtual setting, hands-on training remains a cornerstone of the brand-new curriculum. The hands-on labs will be demonstrated during the online instruction class and students will then perform these labs on their own.
Textbook support materials will be distributed electronically through the Institute’s LMS.
Class participants will be given two weeks to complete their certification testing (included in the $275 course fee) via an on-line system using Proctor U. Those who pass the test will then become RV Technical Institute Level 1 certified.
Additionally, the online test will be available to experienced RV technicians who choose to test after reviewing the Level 1 curriculum without participating in additional training. This will allow experienced RV technicians to use their existing knowledge and skills to obtain the Level 1 certification.
GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Redevelopment Commission has approved $3 million in funding to install nearly 40 miles of fiber optics around Elkhart city.
Board members voted to appropriate $3 million and $10,000 from two special taxing districts toward the installation of backup fiber lines, in preparation for putting the two projects out for bids. The work is part of an estimated $7 million worth of installations planned for the Elkhart area in the next few years.
They authorized the money Thursday during a meeting held over videoconferencing. Their share of the money comes from two tax increment finance districts that border the city.
Natasha Kauffmann, redevelopment program coordinator, said they were asked to contribute funding toward one part of the larger, long-term fiber goals held by the county. The plan prioritizes public and commercial users but will eventually reach residential customers.
She remarked on the sense of urgency behind the fiber builds.
“These are projects that are, because of the way that the fiber team is focusing their work, they’re trying to get as much built in the next two, possibly three years, as possible,” Kauffmann said. “So these aren’t amounts that they’ll be asking for us in the next four or five years – they’re asking for our help now, up-front, because they’re trying to get as much infrastructure built now, as we’re really seeing a need for digital connectivity in these times.”
She said one project area is the Middlebury Street industrial area off C.R. 17, estimated to cost about $1.5 million. The other is a redundancy build connecting the county’s Northeast Corridor and Northwest Gateway TIFs, estimated at just over $1.5 million.
“And that helps to not only connect between the two TIFs, but it allows so that there’s a redundancy loop for the overall system going through,” she said of the second project. “It will also allow, over time, for the county to have more users of the county dark fiber over time in that area. This is a county asset being built within the area of Elkhart City and overlapping with areas of county jurisdiction.”
Elkhart County has been expanding its fiber network in recent months while also developing the infrastructure needed to manage it. That includes writing new policies for companies that lease strands of fiber and hiring staff to oversee daily operations.
Ben Miller, who was hired as dark fiber consultant for the county, said they’re preparing to deliver monthly reports to show things like the number of subscribers, usage, growth and revenue.
He noted that about 38 miles of fiber will be installed between the two projects that the RDC was asked to help fund.
That includes 20 miles going along S.R. 19, from Jeanwood Drive in the north to just past Mishawaka Road in the south, with a loop at California Road and Bypass Road. Another 18 miles will go into the Middlebury Street and C.R. 17 industrial area.
He explained how the build-out will benefit some City of Elkhart and county facilities, as well as making it possible for more users to connect in the future.
“We have a lot of customers that have approached us, potential users that want to use dark fiber directly, that are on the commercial side. There are some new internet service providers who want to start providing service in those areas, and they have asked us as well,” he said. “We also are rolling out a plan for small businesses now, not just the medium to large commercial customers.”
Effective March 19, 2020, the Department of Workforce Development is delaying the NextLevel Jobs: Employer Training grant until July. They will continue to process reimbursements to employers completing training and will extend “Active” funding obligation agreements from nine to twelve months when applicable.
On a case-by-case basis they will process current employer applicants in “Pending” status but will no longer accept new employer applicants. DWD remains excited to move into NLJ 4.0 this summer and hope to do so in advance of July 1st.
Area recognized for efforts to attract, develop and connect talent.
– TRUTH STAFF | Jan 17, 2020
SOUTH BEND — The South Bend-Elkhart Region has been named a 21st Century Talent Region by Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo.
The designation is given to Indiana communities focused on working collaboratively to attract, develop and connect talent, the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnerhship said.
“The South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership has been instrumental in driving innovation across northern Indiana, partnering with local, regional and state leaders through various education and workforce development opportunities such as the Regional Cities initiative,” Milo said. “As a 21st Century Talent Region, the South Bend-Elkhart Region continues to build upon these partnerships to further connect the cities and towns of Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, working to create a more talent-driven region.”
The Office of Career Connections and Talent, with support from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and technical assistance from CivicLab, launched the 21st Century Talent Region initiative to encourage local governments, businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits, and economic and workforce development partners to create and implement plans to increase educational attainment, raise household income and grow the population in a region.
Through a comprehensive approach, these regions should be able to improve quality of place, upskill their workforce and connect Hoosiers with businesses seeking to fill high-wage jobs.
Regina Emberton, president and CEO of the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, accepted the award Friday on behalf of the partnership that spans Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties.
“The South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region work together to achieve what cannot be done individually,” Emberton said. “The tools and resources provided through the 21st Century Talent Region designation process have been instrumental in creating a common framework and set of metrics for use as we implement our talent attraction, development and connection strategies.”
According to a news release, the 21st Century Talent Region initiative builds on the momentum created by the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, which dedicated $126 million in matching funds to three regions in order to advance long-term plans focused on talent attraction and quality of place investments. The funds support 65 projects, leveraging $1.22 billion in additional co-investment from other public and private sources.
Spearheaded by the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, the region identified key priorities through the 21st Century Talent Region initiative, including:
Establish a digital Center for Work-Based Learning through the development and launch of a Regional Innovation Asset Portal in support of regional industry advancement, entrepreneurship and talent development initiatives.
Grow student and adult career coaching through Career Pathway initiatives.
Launch a regional brand and implement talent retention and attraction marketing strategy.
Adopt a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus with the intention of narrowing the opportunity gap for disadvantaged and/or minority populations that have been historically underserved across the region.