Manufacturing is one of the drivers of the Jay County economy.

Efforts are being made to continue to highlight opportunities in that sector.

Executive director Travis Richards reported at Tuesday’s Jay County Development Corp. meeting that a “Signing Day” event is being planned for this spring.

The new event is meant to be a partner with October's Manufacturing Day, during which students tour local manufacturing operations.

The goal is to create something similar to National Signing Day for college athletes.

“We would like to publicize students that are graduating that are getting a job with a local company,” said Richards.

JCDC, in partnership with other local organizations, will work to set up Jay County High School seniors with at least one interview with a local business either for a summer job or long-term employment. The process will provide resume writing and interview experience for the students, Richards said, along with introducing local talent to employers.

The event will also make use of the Hoosier Opportunity website, a partnership between Jay, Randolph and Wayne county development corporations.

Richards also noted that JCDC was involved in the transfer of Pennville Elementary School to Pennville Community Center Inc. and that Indiana Michigan Power has approved a $4,000 grant to update a housing study that was completed in late 2016.

Ami Huffman of Jay County Community Development updated the board that details about the 2020 Stellar Communities program were released last week.

The county’s Stellar leadership team is working on plans for this year if the region chooses to apply again. The Jay! Region was a finalist for the designation last year. Despite not being selected, the region still received $333,000 to put toward a local project.

Huffman also noted that the county is involved in Indiana Bond Bank’s “Flipping Finance” challenge, an event in which communities present challenges to entrepreneurs, MBA students and others in an 18-hour “think tank” format. Solutions and suggestions are presented at the end of the overnight event scheduled for Feb. 28 and 29 in Indianapolis.

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