Business news

VTEC and Ivy Tech Valparaiso Host Second Graduation

The partnership between Vocational Training and Empowerment Center (VTEC) and Ivy Tech continues to produce certified graduates, a release said. In a ceremony held in late March at Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso campus, students William Stanford and Thomas Sims were honored as graduates of VTEC. As part of the 12-week program, students also receive a certification in Basic Safety Principles of Production from the community college.

VTEC, a division of Opportunity Enterprises, helps students of all abilities continue their education while preparing their futures, according to a release. The program currently offers five training specialties, including electronics recycling and refurbishment, light industrial, custodial services, food services and hospitality. After completing the 12-week course, students receive a skills mastery, as well as industry accreditation certificates. The partnership with VTEC and Ivy Tech further allows students to engage in a traditional college experience after high school, the release said.

For more information on VTEC, visit

New health care facilities announced

NorthShore Health Centers is expanding into four new communities, marking a significant milestone in its mission, according to a release. In addition to the Gary facility, which opened in March, the other three markets and their opening dates are Crown Point (May 1), Michigan City and East Chicago (both June 28), the release said.

NorthShore currently has 20 locations — full-service clinics and primary care clinics, school-based clinics and locations within other community organizations — that provide medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, mental health and medication assistance through on-site pharmacies, the release said.

Each facility will be fully staffed in the areas of family practice, pediatrics, OB/GYN, dental, endocrinology, mental health and pharmacy while Gary, Crown Point and Michigan City will also have chiropractic, optical and podiatry, the release said.

Organization empowers high schoolers at Black College Expo

The Northern Indiana Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, recently sponsored 28 local high school students at the Black College Expo at Chicago State University, according to a release. The initiative aimed to provide access to higher education and empower students in their academic pursuits. The Black College Expo serves as a vital platform for students to explore various educational opportunities, connect with representatives from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and access scholarship opportunities, the release said.

Community foundation OKs $232K in grants

The Porter County Community Foundation recently approved $232,184 in grants to 33 local nonprofit organizations as part of its first of two
grant cycles for 2024, according to a release.

Grant recipients include: 4th Street Theater, $4,000; Beverly Shores Museum and Art Gallery, $1,700; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, $9,750; Center of Workforce Innovations, $3,780; Dunes Learning Center, $5,050; Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, $10,000; Gabriel’s Horn
Homeless Shelter, $5,000; Hebron Volunteer Fire Department, $9,500; Hilltop Neighborhood House, $6,800; Jacob’s Ladder Pediatric Rehabilitation, $8,829; Kouts Volunteer Fire Department, $10,000; Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana, $3,500; MAKS Corp., $8,000; Memorial Opera House Foundation, $7,500; Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities, $5,000; Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation, $6,000; Northwest Indiana Paddle Association, $6,000; Opportunity Enterprises, $10,000; Our Greater Good, $5,000; Parents As Teachers of Porter County, $10,000; Portage Recovery Association, $7,500; Portage Township YMCA, $10,000; Rebuilding Together Duneland, $5,000; Rebuilding Together Hebron, $5,000; Reins of Life, $9,000; Save the Dunes, $5,000; South Shore Orchestra, $7,000; St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center, $10,000; String-A-Long Stars & Stripes Quilts of Valor NW Indiana, $5,000; Three20 Recovery, $7,000; The Salvation Army of Northwest Indiana, Porter County Corps, $6,275; True North Training Stables, $10,000; United Way Northwest Indiana, $10,000.

More information about the Community Fund and the grant process can be found online at

Gary casino makes Sojourner Truth House donation

Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana recently donated $15,000 to Gary’s Sojourner Truth House, according to a release.

Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, presented Angela Paul, executive director of the Sojourner Truth House, with a check for $15,000. The donation includes $5,000 to fund the June 8 25th Anniversary 1.5-mile Walk around Froebel Park and surrounding neighborhoods in Gary. An additional $10,000 will support annual programs that provide help for homeless and at-risk women and their children in Gary, Hammond, Hobart, Lake Station, Whiting and other parts of Northwest Indiana, the release said.

In addition to assisting women to find a permanent place to live, the Sojourner Truth House helps clients become Transitional Outreach Program Participants and maintain support through therapeutic programs such as basic skills, employment training, addiction and other issues, a release said.

High school students invited for Preview PNW information session

Prospective college students and their families are invited to join Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) Preview PNW campus information session April 27, according to a release.

Preview PNW allows prospective students to explore campus and discover how a PNW experience will help build hands-on skills and create
connections with professors, the release said.

Preview PNW provides prospective students and their families information about undergraduate course offerings, the admissions process, on-campus housing, paying for college and more. Application fees are waived for prospective students who complete an application during Preview PNW. Admissions counselors will be on hand to assist and answer questions.

Registration can be completed by visiting

VU’s Occupational Therapy program listed

The Occupational Therapy (OT) program at Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has ranked No. 126 in the
U.S. News and World Report’s list of top graduate schools, according to a release.

The OT program officially began with its first cohort in August 2023, and is part of the University’s goal of preparing young professionals to make an impact on their community, the release said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 assessment of OT as an employment field emphasized the national need for professionals in the sector, projecting a 12% growth rate between 2022 and 2031, a rate the Bureau’s website describes as “much faster than average,” the release said.

To learn more about the Occupational Therapy Program, and the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Valparaiso University, visit