MITO Corporation Partners with Elkhart Schools, Notre Dame

Elkhart, Ind.-based MITO Corporation, innovators in bringing mobile technology for comfort, convenience and safety to the RV, marine, automotive and bus industries, announced its collaboration with Elkhart Community Schools and the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) Summer Internship Program at the University of Notre Dame, to outfit at least 25 buses with WiFiRanger Teton C-19 broadcast units and Core interior routers to provide internet access for several hundred students in the Elkhart area, according to a press release from the company.

Jason Inman, director of Technology Services for Elkhart Community Schools, who oversees the deployment of technology used within the school district, began working with the CCI interns to identify a solution for distance e-learning challenges Elkhart faced in the last few months of the previous school year due to COVID-19.

Four interns, representing Elkhart High School and Goshen College, worked on the project through CCI, including Irving Suarez, a senior psychology and biology double major at Goshen College. Jose Chiquito Galvan, CCI internship program manager for Elkhart, managed the team.

“Anecdotally, we knew there was a need (for affordable WiFI), and even more so now with the pandemic. But we didn’t know exactly where it was concentrated.” Galvan said. “The goal of the surveys was to get an understanding of the overall need for WiFi access.”

“Once we saw the results of the surveys, the primary goal was to provide reliable internet to students in South Central Elkhart,” said Suarez, who was born in Elkhart and grew up in Goshen.

Coincidentally it was their survey that ultimately led MITO Corporation to reach out with a solution that fit their mission.

“While we had been marketing our WiFiRanger C-19 bus product line since the start of the pandemic, it wasn’t until we received the intern’s demographic survey of Elkhart County that MITO learned of this initiative.” said Dan Maloney, president of MITO Corporation. “I approached MITO owner, Mike Stock who is an Elkhart high school graduate and he was 100% on board for doing whatever we could as a company to help our local community and his alma mater.”

The outdoor WiFi hotspots Elkhart Community Schools will be deploying through the CARES Act, will have an omnidirectional range of about 2,000 feet. Verizon will provide the internet service for the hotspots under a program that offers discounts to school corporations. MITO is offering its own discount on the broadcast hardware, which, according to Inman, is already more affordable and reliable than competing products that are being used elsewhere in the area.

The outreach by MITO was facilitated by Andrew Tate, owner of Three Fires Creative and the marketing representative for MITO Corporation.

“We immediately knew this would be a golden opportunity for MITO to do some goodwill in our own backyard in these uncertain times. We knew we had a hyper-competitive product that could translate the Notre Dame CCI interns’ hard work and study into a real-world solution.” Tate said. “It gives myself, and I’m sure, all other parties that came together, great satisfaction to help our community, but also by showing North Central Indiana entities can come together to solve major problems will reinforce the innovative strength and economic development of the Norther Indiana area as a whole.”

For more information on the WiFi Solution, visit www.student-wifi.com, email oem-sales@mitocorp.com, or call 574-295-2441.

By: RVBusiness|Published on: Sep 10, 2020|Categories: Today’s Industry News| https://rvbusiness.com/mito-corporation-partners-with-elkhart-schools-notre-dame/

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$3M in fiber projects part of $7M plan, RDC hears

By JORDAN FOUTS jfouts@elkharttruth.com

Apr 11, 2020

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.”

Source: https://www.elkharttruth.com/hometown/3m-in-fiber-projects-part-of-7m-plan-rdc-hears/article_fb162eda-e356-5e14-aa6b-6ff88a948ee1.html

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South Bend-Elkhart earns Talent Region designation

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.

Source: https://www.elkharttruth.com/hometown/elkhart_county/south-bend-elkhart-earns-talent-region-designation/article_14bb4500-c399-58c6-9128-1656f36c4038.html

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Elkhart County 4th Largest Growth in Manufacturing

Elkhart County has one of the fastest-growing manufacturing industries in the country.

In 2014, the county ranked fourth in the nation for manufacturing job growth, with 3,194 new manufacturing jobs added, according to Headlight Data, a firm that aggregates and analyzes economic and workforce data released by the federal government. For this study, Headlight Data looked at data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through its Quarterly Census of Employment and WagesRead on…

(source: Elkhart Truth, 07.23.15)

 

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5 Years Later Part III: Elkhart County’s future after the Great Recession

Posted on Dec. 14, 2014 at 4:00 a.m.

Elkhart County is approaching a crossroad.

When looking back on how the Great Recession affected the local economy, three things become clear:

First, at five years later, there’s little doubt Elkhart County has shed its title of “the white-hot center of the meltdown of the American economy” as few believed it could.

Second, while we’re grateful for the robust RV industry, a diverse local job market is necessary.

Third, those hit hardest by the 2007-2009 recession — the workers in the manufacturing sector — expect another downturn.

In the third and final installment of our 5 Years Later series, we look forward to where Elkhart County might go from here by getting stories from the people who could take us there — businesspeople, workers and students.

But, before that, what have we learned?

In Part I, published last July, we looked at how things are today, five years since the “official end” of the recession in June 2009. Things are better but bruises dealt by the blow of the downturn are still evident. The unemployment rate has gone from a peak of 20 percent countywide back down to pre-recession levels, and the RV sector is on more solid footing. Wages, however, have yet to catch up for many, and RV shipments have yet to reach pre-recession highs.

In Part II, published in October, we revisited those rough years. Unemployment rates were among the highest anywhere in the nation and Elkhart County clung to pipe dreams of electric car production and economic diversification to survive.

As projections for RV production climb, most look on with a mixture of anxiety and pride. The push for diversification isn’t as strong as it was in 2009-2012, but fears of another collapse prevent it from being forgotten.

Some say economic diversification means we don’t have to live by the boom-and-bust nature of RV manufacturing forever, that we can learn from our past and make the future a little easier on our children and grandchildren.

Others proudly extol the indelible spirit of the American worker, and no doubt contribute to Elkhart County’s resilience. With a little planning and a little luck, surviving the cyclical nature of the industry isn’t as bad as it seems.

Only time will tell.

Source: http://www.elkharttruth.com/hometown/2014/12/14/5-Years-Later-Part-III-Elkhart-County-s-future-after-the-Great-Recession.html

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