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Knowledge is power.
And in South Bend, the knowledge industry translates into economic power – a lot of it.
Specifically, the eight institutions of higher education in and around South Bend have been making a huge economic impact, which manifests itself in a variety of ways.
All totaled, these South Bend’s post-secondary educational institutions have more than 7,045 faculty and other employees serving nearly 30,000 students, which constitute a significant economic force locally.
The local economic impact of these schools individually is remarkable as well.
For its part, the University of Notre Dame alone pumps $873 million annually into St. Joseph County, according to an economic impact study done by the university in 2007.
And then there’s the cumulative effect of building and development. The various construction projects dotting South Bend’s cityscape – some of which involve close collaboration with the City – are pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.
South Bend’s institutions of higher learning also attract a range of public and private research funding, which also fuels economic growth.
And, of course, South Bend’s institutions of higher education generate well-educated workers for the local labor force, contributing to the productivity of local businesses.
Each of these institutions builds the local economy in unique ways, too. Following are brief snapshots of the different ways South Bend’s post-secondary educational institutions boost the area’s economy. Read more ...
Ivy Tech Community College-South Bend, one of three campuses in Ivy Tech’s North Central Region, is bursting at the seams.
“Yes indeed,” says Chancellor Virginia Calvin. “We are growing fast.”
So fast, in fact, that enrollment has doubled since it opened in 2000. Currently, about 6,000 students attend Ivy Tech-South Bend, taking advantage of a wide range of programs in applied science and engineering technology, business, health sciences and more.
To meet its state-mandated role as an “engine for workforce development,” as much space as possible on the campus has been converted into dual-purpose labs and classrooms, and courses have been added on Friday nights and Saturdays.
To handle further growth, Ivy Tech plans to expand along Sample Street. Working closely with City officials, Calvin says Ivy Tech developed a 25-year master plan that would add nine buildings and spend $270 million on the new structures by 2035. Read more ...
Steve Hartz was frustrated that many job applicants were unqualified and lacked even basic skills for openings at his company, Value Tool and Engineering Co. in South Bend.
Apprentice Academy is unique, Hartz says, because students do not need to have high school diplomas to enroll. They can take entry-level math and reading classes as well as courses in precision machining, industrial maintenance, phlebotomy (drawing blood), medical transcription and how to be a home health aide. They range in length from four weeks to 18 months. Read more ...
By Phil D’Amico, director of business growth, the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County
Former C.E.O. of General Electric, Jack Welch, once said, “Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the organization into total confusion for a while.” Change is exactly what our educational system requires to transform a community in economic development and workforce readiness. We must find ways to better connect with our K-12 students; we also must find new ways to inspire, challenge and motivate students to want to attain success in school.
Not all kids learn the same way today as we did as students. Tony Bennett, Ph.D., superintendent of public instruction for Indiana, recently stated, “If Rip Van Winkle fell asleep in 1950, and awoke today, the only thing that would be the same would be our educational system.”
The New Technology High School is a model that can help reform our educational outcomes. Read more ...
By Phil D’Amico, director of business growth, the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County
Louise Stienkeoway, President of Brown Mackie College – South Bend, has guided the college through enormous growth and prosperity. Literally, in the nearly two years she has been President of Brown Mackie College – South Bend, she has seen student enrollment go from 700 students to nearly 1,300 students. I recently chatted with President Stienkeoway about her experiences here in South Bend. Read more ...
Why are technology companies taking an interest in South Bend as an emerging center of research and technology? This video explains it all – click here!
EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
Mayor urges residents to make census count
When census forms begin arriving this month, Mayor Stephen J. Luecke urges residents to respond promptly and encourage friends and neighbors to stand up and be counted.
South Bend grew by 2.2 percent to 107,789 people in the 2000 Census – its first increase in 40 years. But Luecke says data suggests that the city may have been undercounted by as much as 2 percent, costing residents more than $18.7 million in assistance over the decade.
Population data are used to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives, re-district each state and determine the Electoral College distribution. They are also used for drawing state and local political districts, such as Common Council districts. They directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed. Finally, census data is critical in day-to-day planning activities for both local governments and private entities, like businesses considering South Bend for relocation.
“There are just 10 questions. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Filling out this form is essential to ensuring a brighter future for our community,” Luecke said. “We believe every person counts, and every person should be counted. Please help us get an accurate count of South Bend’s population in 2010.”
Join us for the Premier Women's Event of 2010!
Tickets: $7, or $5 with donation / children 10 and under free
The 2010 Expo for Women is just around the corner and it feels like spring is too! The Century Center will be loaded with exhibitors, activities, participants and even pets. You'll enjoy seminars, demonstrations, dancing, music, shopping, information gathering and appointment setting. More info here ...
From 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, downtown South Bend businesses open their doors to host entertaining events, including: live musical performances, special one-night promotions and sales, demonstrations and classes, activities and experiences for kids, adults and families. Explore downtown South Bend for one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, art galleries, studios, museums, salons, clubs, cafés, restaurants and more. Movies, concerts on the Key Bank Plaza and other entertainment is hosted by Downtown South Bend, Inc. (DTSB) each month. More info here ...
For tickets and information, click here.
Find your inner inspiration. Local artists and galleries offer a creative experience full of food, entertainment, and – of course – art! More info here ...
TECH PARK UPDATES
They say “good luck comes in threes.”
For Innovation Park at Notre Dame, it comes in fours.
In January, Innovation Park announced that four companies have chosen the Park as their base of start-up operations. These are Innovation Park’s very first clients to make their home at the park’s state-of-the-art building on 1400 East Angela Boulevard, which opened its doors in October 2009. Read more ...
As microprocessors have gotten faster, and as computer chip companies place more and more processors on a single “multi-core” chip, a bottleneck has developed that clogs the flow of data between processors and memory.
Emu is developing innovative solutions for reducing or eliminating the data bottleneck through their proprietary “Enhanced Memory Utilization (Emu)” hardware and software technology.
Founded in 2004 by Notre Dame computer science and engineering professors Peter Kogge and Jay Brockman, and California Institute of Technology researcher Ed Upchurch, Emu’s technology draws on patents that Kogge and Brockman obtained through Notre Dame for their work in computer architecture and systems design. Read more ...
City explores overlay zone
As the City of South Bend works to create Ignition Park as a place suitable for high-tech companies, including nanoelectronics enterprises, it is taking steps to protect the state-certified technology park from uses that might diminish its marketability and ability to fulfill its sensitive specialized technology functions.
The South Bend Redevelopment Commission recently approved a contract with The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based planning firm, to create a land use planning and zoning strategy for Ignition Park.
The strategy could create an overlay zone around the park in an area bounded by Michigan Street on the east, Calvert Street on the south, Walnut Street on the west and the railroad tracks along the north.
Within this Ignition Park Technology Planning Study Area, the City and Area Plan Commission could regulate uses and landscaping around Ignition Park, the emerging high-tech park near Chapin and Sample streets. In particular, the strategy would protect Ignition Park from uses that would impact its viability, such as from sources of vibration, electromagnetic fields or excessive dust particles.
“With the demolition of the last two Studebaker buildings on the site soon to begin, we are looking at the possibility to expand the park from 83 acres to as much as 140 acres,” Mayor Stephen J. Luecke said in his 2010 State of the City address. “We are also fostering compatible development nearby through the creation of overlay zoning that will regulate uses and landscaping.”
Existing businesses would be exempt from new restrictions, unless seeking to expand or modify facilities. The strategy will have little impact on most residential areas within the planning district. A final zoning strategy is expected to be ready by summer.
NEWS & HEADLINES
South Bend’s progress in spurring business and promoting technology-based economic development figured prominently in Mayor Stephen J. Luecke’s State of the City address on Feb. 15, 2010. The speech featured South Bend’s top 10 accomplishments, top 10 challenges, top 10 reasons for optimism and top 10 big ideas for 2010 and beyond.
The opening of Eddy Street Commons was listed as the number one accomplishment, while the economy was listed as the top challenge. The top reason for optimism was the fact that South Bend was named the number one U.S. city for home value. And finally, the top big idea for 2010 and beyond was South Bend's research-powered economy.
For the full text of the State of the City speech, click here.
City to apply for Google network
Mayor Stephen J. Luecke has instructed City of South Bend staff to work with regional partners to apply as a potential pilot site for Google’s proposed ultra-high-speed broadband network.
In early February, Google announced plans to build and test an ultra-high-speed broadband network in one or more trial locations, serving between 50,000 and 500,000 people. Google’s goal is a faster broadband network, fully open to other companies wanting to offer Internet service.
“That approach is similar to what we’ve created locally in our high-speed data network, the St. Joe Valley Metronet,” Luecke said in his 2010 State of the City address. “We believe the Metronet will give us a competitive edge as Google evaluates communities.”
South Bend became the nation’s first city to create a secure network in the steel-encased conduit of a traffic-signal network. This 50-mile loop of fiber-optic cable already connects dozens of South Bend area businesses, medical facilities and colleges. Founded by a public-private partnership, the Metronet offers unlimited bandwidth.
“Because it’s carrier-neutral, it has brought down the price of broadband to a fraction of its previous cost,” Luecke said. “Not only does this put South Bend on a level playing field with much larger cities, but it also gives us significant advantages for data connectivity.”
On Feb. 24, 2010, the City of South Bend closed on the transaction refinancing a 2001 bond, which financed construction of the Street Department garage. The action enabled the City to achieve two significant benefits for South Bend taxpayers. More info here ...
Crime incidents reach 40-year low
Total major crimes reported in 2009 in South Bend were down 12 percent when compared to 2008 and are at record low levels dating back to at least 1970.
The 6,925 major (Part 1) offenses recorded by South Bend Police in 2009 also are 29 percent below the average crime-incident level for the past 40 years.
In five categories – arson, larceny, motor-vehicle thefts, non-residential burglary and rape – the number of reported incidents is at the lowest level since Mayor Stephen J. Luecke took office in 1997. Incidents of larceny and non-residential burglary are at record lows since at least 1970.
“These accomplishments are worth celebrating,” Luecke said in his 2010 State of the City address on Feb. 15. “We know that many factors influence crime statistics, but I want to commend our police department for making South Bend safe through innovative strategies, the use of technology, community outreach and good old-fashioned police work.”
Only the number of aggravated assaults – 353 – increased from 2008 (by 9.6 percent). But the level of aggravated assaults remains below levels when Luecke took office.
“It is heartening that the level of crime has fallen 37 percent during my time as mayor,” said Luecke, noting that the new Public Safety Tax and a federal COPS stimulus grant will help restore the force to full strength.
A prominent downtown site could see the opening this fall of the first of 10 townhouse-style condominiums along the East Bank of the St. Joseph River, following a unanimous action on Feb. 19, 2010, by the South Bend Redevelopment Commission. More info here ...
A Department of Code Enforcement crew headquarters will become the new South Bend Animal Care and Control shelter, following unanimous support by the City’s Redevelopment Commission of a $1.5-million rehabilitation and construction project. More info here ...