Education and Economic Impact


Education is a major player in South Bend’s economy

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.


Ivy Tech grows by leaps and bounds

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.

An interview with Brown Mackie College-South Bend President Louise Stienkeoway

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.

Apprentice Academy fills a gap

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.


It’s all elementary

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.


South Bend: the next great place for innovation

Why are technology companies taking an interest in South Bend as an emerging center of research and technology?


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.”

Women’s Expo, March 12-13,

Join us for the Premier Women’s Event!

Tickets: $7, or $5 with donation / children 10 and under free

The 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.

First Fridays Downtown

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.

Coveleski Stadium Opening Night, April 8

Spring Art Walk, May 1

Find your inner inspiration. Local artists and galleries offer a creative experience full of food, entertainment, and – of course – art!