GUEST COMMENTARY: Merrillville, NWI full of opportunities - March 9, 2019

Courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana • March 9, 2019

By Richard Hardaway

Cultural diversity. Quality of life. Growth. There is no other place like Northwest Indiana to call home, and our people come together in a way like nowhere else.

I’m proud to be in such a family-friendly town with access to so many opportunities. Opportunities and appeal that not only make our back yard a wonderful place to visit, but also a place to put down roots.

If you’re planning to visit Northwest Indiana, we welcome you. You may be here for business or coming to relax on Lake Michigan. Or you are stopping in for a Saturday of shopping and trying new cuisines at one of our award-winning restaurants. Or maybe you are taking your family to one of the many diverse festivals or famous area attractions.

We welcome you to discover our communities, communities like Merrillville, bustling with vision and growth. As Town Council president of Merrillville, I have had the pleasure to meet and talk with our residents who are some of the most friendly, open and caring folks. Having young families with children in the area is so important, and it’s important to young families that there is opportunity in the region.

Along with all our town and surroundings have to offer, we’re excited for what’s next. Our future is bright with plans for a new community center in Merrillville. Land has been purchased at 6600 Broadway, and we’re exploring the vision, plans and funding for a center we can all enjoy.

In Northwest Indiana, we’re proud to be part of such unique diversity, celebrating our many cultures with experience, food and some of the best festivals held anywhere in the nation. Our ethnic diversities bring fullness to our daily lives. Our workplaces and schools have become melting pots as a result of families and individuals coming to the area, looking for a better life.

One of the best selling points NWI has to offer is our easy-access to quality education, especially our local colleges. We have the advantage of having some of the best colleges in the nation right here in our own backyard. We’re also home to great community colleges where students can obtain an excellent education without incurring the high costs that may come with a four-year degree.

As for Merrillville, we’re proud to have Indiana Wesleyan University, Everest College and Kaplan College, along with DeVry University, which has just reopened in our town.

NWI is home to smart, talented and hardworking people, and it’s why we’re proud to have a strong economy and keep great businesses going. Large companies such as Polycon Industries, Modern Forge Indiana, NIPSCO, along with Centier Bank’s headquartersand Methodist Hospitals and have found their home in Merrillville. We’re also home to many of the major labor unions’ headquarters and training facilities. It’s exciting as we see Merrillville continue to grow with plans underway for business developments and locations available for new and relocating companies to build.

Once you’ve had a chance to meet Northwest Indiana, you’ll see we offer a quality of life that’s hard to compare to anywhere else. You’ll want to call Northwest Indiana your home.