Over the last three years, I have been a part of many conversations about exciting initiatives and future possibilities that will shape the Calumet Region, and I want to ensure that Calumet College of St. Joseph is also part of the momentum. I have been part of One Region initiatives, the Forum’s Ignite Indiana planning sessions, Calumet Collaborative efforts, various presentations by state and local leaders, and in many conversations with my colleagues in education.
With each, I feel a sense of extreme optimism in Northwest Indiana. The impact of improved public transportation and transit oriented development can be transformative for our cities. Creating walkable cities can be energizing for our communities and local businesses. Having colleges and communities working together, with an eye towards how we can be better together, will help ensure we are stronger together.
I have personally witnessed a renewed vibrancy in Whiting and Michigan City, and I hear about new energy in East Chicago, Miller and other surrounding communities. I know the ambitious plans for downtown Hammond, which could be a hub of activity in 20 years and a destination for Millennials that want affordable housing that is easily accessible by train to Chicago and to cities with unique souls.
The proximity to Lake Michigan, the Indiana Dunes, bike trails, visual and performing arts, festivals, and nature walks through our newest National Park will continue to benefit NWI in the future. I truly believe the Region will experience a revival in the next 20 years and Northwest Indiana will be a case study on how various communities, agencies, institutions, leaders, and residents came together to create a destination for all people to visit and many people to stay and live a meaningful life.
Amy McCormack is the president of Calumet College of St. Joseph. The opinions are the writer’s.
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