Elkhart company wins $8 million contract with US Department of Defense

A small Elkhart company has landed an enormous government contract.

It’s come a long way over the past 20 years when it started with only two employees.

Transhield Inc. on Elkhart’s north side has grown by leaps and bounds since being founded in the 90s.

They make tarps and fitted coverings for use in aviation, boating, rail, automotive and the military.

Each tarp is custom engineered, not off the shelf.

“We started with two employees, originally Greg Todt and myself, and now we’ve grown to over 70 employees here within the community,” said Transhield President Jim Glick.

Their hard work paid off for military products.

Some have unit emblems or logos on them. They’re made for everything from ships and tanks to track vehicles and weapons systems.

The Department of Defense just awarded Transhield a nearly $8 million contract. They’ll make tarps and fitted covers for the Army and Navy.

It’s a contract they’ve been looking into for the past year and a half.

“We’d been working on it, we weren’t sure of the timing on it, and we weren’t sure, you know, exactly how it was all going to play out, but we had had been working on it, so we’re very excited to actually get the award,” said Glick.

He says the new DoD contract runs from now through 2023. Currently there are 70 workers employed, but he new contract could mean that more could be added.

“We look forward to fulfilling this contract and look for further contracts going forward,” said Glick. “We are always looking to increase our employee count here in Elkhart.”

He says the new military contract bodes well for Transhield employees, as well as the future of the company.

Source: https://wsbt.com/news/local/elkhart-company-wins-8-million-contract-with-us-department-of-defense

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Elevate Ventures Awards $20K to South Bend Tech Startup

SOUTH BEND – Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures has awarded $20,000 to a South Bend startup that develops high school curricula on emerging technology.

Digital Leader Academy was started in September 2019 through the IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame. The company says it is trying to make complex topics, such as application development, tangible for high school students.

“We’re excited to move forward and develop new courses that will modernize how our students learn in high schools across the country,” said Ellen Joyce, Digital Leader Academy chief executive officer.

DLA also won a $20,000 pre-seed investment from the Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition in October 2019. The funding allowed the company to create a minimum viable product and begin creating test lessons to send to teachers.

The academy is beta testing a course at Riley High School in South Bend, the district’s computer science and engineering magnet. The course, Data Science in Manufacturing, combines math, computer science, and business entrepreneurship.

Digital Leader says the new funding will allow it to refine the course based on teacher and student feedback.

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020, 10:25 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 24th 2020, 10:04 AM EDT
By Wes Mills, Content Manager
https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/42671232/elevate-ventures-awards-dollar20k-to-south-bend-tech-startup

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Indiana Colleges & Universities Ranked Among Best

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler University has been named the top regional university in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.  This is the third straight year the Indianapolis school has been ranked number one in the category of the publication’s annual ranking of 389 universities and colleges.

“These rankings reflect the ongoing excellence of our academic programs and exceptional student experience,” said Butler President James Danko. “As we continue to pursue our goal of expanding student access and success through the Butler Beyond strategic direction, we are committed to extending this valuable, quality education to a broader set of learners for the good of our community.”

The publication’s annual report ranks institutions in a variety of categories, such as national universities, regional universities, regional colleges, and assorted subcategories. The state of Indiana is represented in many of those fields.

In terms of national universities, the University of Notre Dame finished the highest among institutions in the state, coming in at No. 19. Purdue University comes in at No. 53, Indiana University-Bloomington is No. 76.

In addition to Butler’s No. 1 ranking among Midwest universities, the University of Evansville comes in No. 4. The region covers 12 states that stretches from South Dakota to Kansas and from Nebraska to Ohio.

Among Midwestern colleges, the U.S. News survey places Taylor University in Upland at No. 2. The school said it is the 24th consecutive year for Taylor to be ranked in the top three positions.

Goshen College comes in at No. 7 in the list of best regional Midwest colleges.

Click here to view the list.

Monday, September 14th 2020, 10:46 AM EDTUpdated: Monday, September 14th 2020, 12:39 PM EDT
By Wes Mills, Content Manager

Source: https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/42625066/indiana-colleges-and-universities-ranked-among-best

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Liegl Signs ‘Pledge To America’s Workers’ at VIP Event

As reported yesterday by RVBusiness, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt was joined by U.S. Senator Todd Young and U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) as they highlighted the importance of outdoor recreation and the resurgence of the American economy during a Wednesday (Aug. 19) visit to East To West RV, according to a release from the Interior Dept.

Following a tour of the facility’s manufacturing operations, Forest River Inc. and East To West RV signed President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to invest in their workforce and expand job opportunities in Indiana.

Since 2018, more than 440 companies have signed the Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to support more then 16.3 million job and training-related opportunities for American workers. More Americans are getting back to work as the economy continues to rebound and reopen. Over the past three months, 9.3 million jobs have been added.

“The Trump Administration is working to enhance the visitor experience on our public lands – places like the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge – so more Hoosiers can enjoy recreating in the great outdoors,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “Many recreational visitors utilize RVs to experience national parks, refuges and campgrounds throughout the country. I applaud these business leaders’ commitment to support the Pledge to the America’s Workers and for providing great job opportunities in Elkhart, the RV capital of the world.”

“The Great American Outdoors Act will support tens of thousands of jobs in the state of Indiana,” Senator Young said. “Aside from National Parks themselves, no other industry will benefit as much from the GAOA as the RV industry. When parks are well-kept, when facilities are maintained and improved, and when conservation is prioritized, people naturally will want to visit these national treasures, many of which are right here in Indiana.”

“Manufacturers in Elkhart – the RV Capital of the World – know the importance of investing in the current and future American workforce,” said Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02). “Their commitment to building opportunities and creating jobs for hardworking Hoosiers will be key to our economic recovery. As we continue to rebuild our nation’s economy, the Great American Outdoors Act will improve access to our public lands and give Indiana’s outdoor recreation industry an added boost. I’m grateful for the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt in protecting our national parks, defending the American worker and supporting Hoosier manufacturing.”

“Our country’s iconic national parks are one of the most favored destinations for RVers. We are grateful to the leadership of Secretary Bernhardt in ensuring these public lands receive the funding they deserve,” said RV Industry Association Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Landers. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Secretary and his team as they implement the Great American Outdoors Act to identify projects that will make the biggest impact to improve the access, safety, and enjoyment of RVers for generations to come.”

“East to West RV is excited to sign President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers as we are committed to hiring more great employees and helping them grow with our company,” said Lisa Rees Co-General Manager of East to West RV.

At East to West RV, Secretary Bernhardt discussed the Department of the Interior’s (Interior) role in facilitating outdoor recreation across the country, managing approximately 500 million acres of land, and how RVs help the public visit America’s national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

More than 80 percent of RVs sold in the US are manufactured in Indiana with demand increasing throughout the United States amid COVID-19. In Elkhart County, the RV Industry has an annual economic impact of $14.5 billion and supports nearly 35,000 jobs, 178 businesses and pays $2.5 billion in wages.

Following the tour and signing at East to West RV, Secretary Bernhardt traveled to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to meet with National Park Service employees and inspect facilities that have deferred maintenance needs. The Great American Outdoors Act, recently signed by President Trump, provides $1.9 billion a year for the next five years to address deferred maintenance needs at national parks, refuges, American Indian schools and other public lands throughout the country.

By: RVBusiness|Published on: Aug 20, 2020|Categories: Today’s Industry News|https://rvbusiness.com/forest-river-signs-pledge-to-americas-workers/

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Alliance RV Celebrates Milestone with 500th Fifth-Wheel

At a recent company gathering, Alliance RV, Elkhart, Ind., announced the production of its 500th Paradigm fifth-wheel.

During the gathering, Co-Founder Coley Brady noted, “We launched Alliance RV with a mission of providing a superior customer ownership experience and are thrilled with how the shift in business philosophy is resonating with both our dealer partners and product owners.  To experience the validation that we have seen over the last six months has been very humbling.”

Co-Founder Ryan Brady continued the sentiments with a thank you to Alliance RV’s 150-plus team members as well as the Alliance product owners (known as Allies) who have been instrumental in driving the design of the Alliance RV product.  Ryan went on to say, “A solid foundation has clearly been put in place to responsibly grow Alliance RV into the future.  We will remain resolute in our mission of exceeding customer expectations with a guiding principle of ‘doing the right thing’”.

Located on 112 acres in the heart of Elkhart, Ind., Alliance RV began production in fall 2019 with the first product line focused on the luxury fifth-wheel market. The company’s vision is to “create a product driven by our customers, through their experience and input, and execute on those ideas at the highest level.”

For more information on Alliance RV, please visit www.AllianceRV.com or join the Alliance RV Facebook page at “Alliance RV Group.

By: RVBusiness|Published on: Jul 8, 2020|Categories: Today’s Industry News| https://rvbusiness.com/alliance-rv-celebrates-milestone-with-500th-fifth-wheel/

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Water Monitor Named ‘Coolest Thing’ in Elkhart County

Wednesday, June 24th 2020, 12:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 24th 2020, 12:18 PM EDT
By Mary Willkom, Writer/Reporter

The SonSetLink Water Monitor was voted 'Coolest Thing Made in Elkhart County' (photo courtesy of Made in Elkhart County)

The SonSetLink Water Monitor was voted ‘Coolest Thing Made in Elkhart County’ (photo courtesy of Made in Elkhart County)

ELKHART COUNTY – The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s “Coolest Thing Made in Elkhart County” campaign has named its winner. The SonSetLink Water Monitor, developed and built by SonSet Solutions, earned the top honors.

The water monitor is a universal satellite monitoring system that reports data on the health of water systems in underdeveloped countries. SonSet says the system can track information such as the number of gallons flowing from a single system as well as the levels of chlorination in the water.

Inspired by the Vibrant Communities initiative in Elkhart County, the campaign culminated with a public vote. The bureau says SonSetLink Water Monitor received nearly 25% of all votes.

More than 4,000 votes were cast between June 1 and June 15 for 30 different products from ice cream to RVs. The campaign was first announced in January.

The winner was announced via the Made in Elkhart County Facebook page on Wednesday.

SonSet says it has deployed more than 750 water monitoring units to more than 25 countries across the world so far.

The top ten winners are listed below:

  1. SonSet Solutions: SonSetLink Water Monitors
  2. Janus Motorcycles: Halycon 250
  3. Bonneyville Mille: Grist Mill Flour
  4. Vanilla Bean Creamery: Amish Peanut Butter Ice Cream
  5. Electric Brew: Bald Brothers Coffee
  6. Lizard Loves Mustache Costumes: Fursuits
  7. Antonio’s: Vegas Fortuna
  8. Soup of Success: Mittens on a Mission
  9. Rocket Science: Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
  10. Agdia: ImmunoStrips

Source: https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/42284898/water-monitor-named-coolest-thing-in-elkhart-county

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Two Elkhart nonprofits come together to teach entrepreneurship, lead sanitizer fundraiser

How does hand sanitizer help teach about business?

A well-known Elkhart company and two nonprofits have worked out a deal to make that happen.

They’re teaching entrepreneurship while helping others stay safe. It involves Junior Achievement and Startup Moxie in Elkhart County .

Both teach kids about business and are selling hand sanitizer to benefit both programs and those dealing with the coronavirus.

“It was our thought when we first thought to join together that we would like to continue together to support our programs in entrepreneurship, and one way we could do that is selling hand sanitizer as a fundraiser,” said Jessica Hilary.

The money would go back to both non-profits.

It was made possible with help from Kem Krest, a chemical packaging company providing the hand sanitizer.

“We were able to work with Amish Shah and Kem Krest, who in their true entrepreneurial spirt has pivoted one of their business units as well to produce hand sanitizer,” said Lizzie Sheets. “We do need to raise funds and this is a great opportunity.”

The company had initially started producing hand sanitizer back in March as a response to shortages, especially for first responders and organizations on the front lines of the pandemic.

To help out, they increased production.

Both organizations will be selling a box of 12 bottles for $50 for the fundraiser. Now, if you have enough sanitizer, you can buy an extra box and donate it to Elkhart County schools.

“During this challenging time, we do need to raise funds and so this is great opportunity,” said Sheets.

The fundraiser runs through June 17. Starting June 18, orders can be picked up at Jimtown High School.

You can purchase from the Junior Achievement event page here, or from Moxie’s page here.

By Ed Ernstes, WSBT 22 Reporter | Thursday, June 11th 2020

Source: https://wsbt.com/news/local/two-elkhart-nonprofits-come-together-to-teach-entrepreneurship-lead-sanitizer-fundraiser

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Genesis Launches Luxury Solid Surface Countertops

By: RVBusiness|Published on: May 18, 2020|Categories: Today’s Industry News|

Genesis Products Inc., a leader in RV interior components, has introduced Solid Surface Countertops as the newest addition to its RV Interior product line, according to a release.

“Showcasing an expansive selection of color and textures, the addition of solid surface countertops enhances the flexibility and design options for each RV Interior,” said Trenton Miller, product manager at Genesis.  “We have expanded our manufacturing and technical expertise to provide the highest quality product to our customers.”

Genesis currently provides thermoformed and lightweight countertops to the RV Industry. With the addition of solid surface to the countertop product line, Genesis now offers a complete selection of high-quality, design-forward countertops, creating a unique interior for each RV.

In August 2019, Genesis increased capacity with a 108,400 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing plant as part of its existing campus in Goshen, IN.

“We are remodeling our design center to provide the ultimate one-stop design experience, resulting in seamless and luxurious custom interiors,” explained Miller. “The addition of solid surface allows us to meet all customer needs from design to function to cost.  Creating a unique experience for our customers is what we strive for daily. This takes us to the next level”

To learn more about the Solid Surface line visit www.genesisproductsinc.com or to see the product in the Goshen, Ind., showroom, contact Trenton Miller at TrentonM@genesisproductsinc.com.

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South Bend Startup Wins New Venture Competition

Wednesday, April 29th 2020, 10:19 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 29th 2020, 10:34 AM EDT
By Mary Willkom, Writer/Reporter

(photo courtesy of the University of Notre Dame IDEA Center)

(photo courtesy of the University of Notre Dame IDEA Center)

SOUTH BEND – A South Bend-based technology startup has won the University of Notre Dame’s McCloskey New Venture Competition. Viewtique, which has developed a platform to support locally-owned fashion boutiques, took home the $50,000 grand prize from Startup South Bend – Elkhart and Elevate Ventures.

Viewtique is a website that lets users browse, shop, and earn rewards from area fashion boutiques. The startup says its mission is to make local boutique shopping as accessible as possible to shoppers. The website currently features 11 boutiques, and the startup says it plans to add more soon.

Viewtique says it will forgo any profits while stay-at-home orders are in place, making the website a great way to shop local fashion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Viewtique team is thrilled to have secured the Startup South Bend – Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize,” said Viewtique co-founder, Mike Cali. “We’re putting that money right to work for our boutique partners and for this community by building an online experience that helps local shoppers consider shopping local boutiques first,” said Cali. “We’re so glad SUSBE and Elevate Ventures decided to award their prize to a company dedicated to helping local boutiques thrive.”

Event organizers say 13 teams were awarded more than $400,000 in cash and in-kind prizes during a livestream ceremony of the competition.

“In my mind, Viewtique is creating a double win for the region: a high potential technology startup that also meaningfully supports the continued viability of our local retailers. This value proposition is compelling in general but is particularly meaningful in our current COVID-19 environment as we all do our best to shop locally,” said Susan Ford, Startup South Bend – Elkhart board member and Graham Allen Partners director.

The competition began in 2001 with 70 teams and $30,000 in awards. Since then, more than 2,286 teams with 7,000 participants have been awarded over $1.65 million in prizes.

More information can be found by clicking here.

Source: https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/42069484/south-bend-startup-wins-new-venture-competition

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Ivy Tech’s Amber Ruszkowski Wins National Award

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.

Source: https://rvbusiness.com/ivy-techs-amber-ruszkowski-wins-national-award/

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