Gary Airport Announces Student Career Symposium

As part of the Gary/Chicago International Airport’s broader workforce development initiative, the Airport, public-private partner, AvPORTS, the City of Gary and several other businesses and organizations have partnered together to host a one-day Student Career Symposium to introduce high school juniors and seniors to career opportunities in high-growth sectors, higher education, and the skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce.

The event will be held at the Genesis Convention Center in downtown Gary, Indiana on Saturday, December 13th, 2014.

Exhibitors who would like to share information about careers in their field with High School Students can sign up for free exhibit space. All of the region’s public and charter high schools have been invited. The event is also seeking persons who would consider being a Mentor for the Resume Building & Interview Skills Workshops. For complete details download this informational pdf.

RDA Celebrates International, Regional and Individual Awards

(l. to r.) RDA Executive Assistant Amy Jakubin, RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna, Vice-Chairman of the Board Harley Snyder, Chairman of the Board Don Fesko, board members Bill Joiner and Tom Dabertin, and RDA COO Sherri Ziller.


The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) celebrated several recent honors at today’s meeting of the Board of Directors. These included international, regional and individual recognition of the RDA’s accomplishments.

RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna said the awards are further proof of the value that the RDA has brought to Northwest Indiana. “In the past nine years the RDA has invested $211 million in economic development, transportation and shoreline projects as directed by the Indiana General Assembly,” he said. “This investment has attracted $650 million in additional committed investment and created thousands of permanent and construction jobs. It is these results that have made the RDA a tested and trusted partner in the region, and we look forward to continuing to build a stronger future for Northwest Indiana.”

On the international stage, the RDA was recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its recent shoreline and economic development projects in Northwest Indiana. The award, presented at the IEDC’s Annual Conference in Fort Worth in October, was in the category of Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration for communities with populations of greater than 500,000.
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RDA COO Named an Influential Woman of NWI

RDA Chief Operating Office Sherri Ziller was one of the 25 women recognized at the 4th Annual Influential Women of Northwest Indiana gala in Merrillville on November 6. Sherri was named as the Up and Coming Woman of the year in the category of Economic Development.

“This just reinforces what our staff, board and anyone who has worked with Sherri over the past nine years already knows: she’s an incredibly skilled and talented executive that we are blessed to have with us,” says RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna. “Not only is she a consummate professional, she’s also a terrific person and we are all richer for knowing her.”

Sherri joined the RDA in 2006 as Finance and Grants Manager, and was named COO in November of 2012. During her tenure she has overseen more than $200 million in RDA grants for shoreline, transportation and economic development projects that have resulted in more than half a billion dollars of additional public and private investment in Northwest Indiana.

Gary Celebrates Major Milestone at Airport

The Gary/Chicago International Airport today celebrated a major milestone in its Runway Expansion Project. Monday morning, CN began the 32-hour cut-over process to move rail operations from an existing line to a new route, clearing the way to continue to make progress on the Airport’s runway.

The Runway Expansion Project is a collaborative effort funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the State of Indiana and the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, the Chicago Department of Aviation, and the City of Gary.

“With completion of the runway and relocation of the railroad tracks, the Gary/Chicago International Airport is poised to contribute significantly to the regional economy,” said RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna. “The expansion is expected to create more than 2,000 new jobs in Northwest Indiana by 2025, which will generate an estimated $156 million in personal income annually and have an overall yearly economic impact of more than $420 million.”
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RDA Accepting Proposals for Auditing Services

The RDA is currently accepting proposals from CPA firms to provide auditing services for the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority for a period commencing on January 1, 2014 and ending December 31, 2014. We invite your firm to submit a proposal to us by Friday, October 24, 2014, 4:30 p.m. CST for consideration.

We ask all interested parties to please submit an electronic version of your proposal to sziller@rda.in.gov no later than Friday, October 24, 2014, 4:30 p.m. CST.

For more information, please download the Request for Proposal PDF here.

Another Day, Another Groundbreaking


The revitalization project in East Chicago continues to gather momentum. Just a couple weeks after kicking off construction at Jeorse Beach, the City of East Chicago broke ground at the corner of Main Street and 138th Street on the new Unity Plaza. The plaza project is part of the overall effort to improve quality of life in the city and create a stronger connection to the Lake Michigan shoreline. The initiative is funded in part by a $17 million grant from the Regional Development Authority.

More pictures from the groundbreaking can be seen here. And check out remarks Mayor Anthony Copeland and RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna below.

Whiting Lakefront Park Sets New Standard for the Lake Michigan Shoreline

City, region state and federal officials, area business leaders and residents gathered yesterday evening on Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline to dedicate the new Whiting Lakefront Park.

Click here to watch Mayor Joe Stahura’s remarks at the dedication.
Click here to watch Congressman Pete Visclosky’s remarks at the dedication.
Click here to watch Bill Hanna and Gerry Dick discuss the project and more on Inside Indiana Business.

“It never gets old, looking behind me at one of our most famous suburbs – Chicago,” quipped Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura, referring to the park’s view of the Chicago skyline across Lake Michigan. The mayor extended the thanks of his community to all members of the RDA, past and present, for the financial assistance which made the project possible. “You also deserve much of the credit for the millions of dollars in additional public and private investment being made in our community today,” he added.
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