Rep. Susan Brooks Focuses on ‘Connecting Careers and Classrooms’

We at Ready Indiana applaud Congresswoman Susan Brooks for a successful first run of the “Connecting Careers and Classrooms” event series in April. We certainly learned a lot, and it was great to see so many educators and industry leaders gathered to share information.

“Connecting Careers and Classrooms” is a series of workshops convened in Indiana’s 5th District that bridge the gap between industry and educators and fuels the future for our students. The first event focused on agriculture and was held at Beck’s Superior Hybrids in Atlanta, Ind. The next event is expected in the fall, and future sectors of focus will include the life sciences, technology and manufacturing.

Employers such as Red Gold, Beck’s Hybrids and JBS United spoke about their workforce needs, and the running themes through each presentation were the importance of soft skills and the desire for more students to see agriculture as a viable career path.

“I feed pigs. What a sexy profession that is!” Dr. Joel Spencer of JBS United joked at the event. “But what more noble profession is there than feeding the world? People always eat so there will always be jobs.”

“Our work is stable, secure and recession-proof, and that is hard to find,” John Carlson of Red Gold said.

Learn more about the “Connecting Careers and Classrooms” events.

Know Your Red Gold Facts (No Rotten Tomatoes for this Elwood Company)

You’ve undoubtedly seen their ads. You’ve heard the name. But what you didn’t know about Red Gold, the Elwood-based tomato product producer, may surprise you. So here are some fun facts about Red Gold, a company we’re proud to say is part of the Indiana Chamber member family:

  • The company has over 1,100 employees, who work at facilities in four small Indiana towns — Orestes, Geneva, Alexandria and Elwood.
  • Red Gold began in 1942 when Grover Hutcherson and his daughter, Fran, rebuilt a Midwest cannery to provide fresh-tasting canned food products for the war effort. (The company remains a family-owned business.)
  • In Chicago, New York and 36 other major U.S. markets, Red Gold sells more canned tomato products than any other manufacturer.
  • Nearly one-third of all canned tomato products purchased in the U.S. are made by Red Gold.
  • Three out of every four consumers of retailer brand tomato juice drink Red Gold produced tomato juice.
  • The company attracts creative minds to develop some of the industry’s most advanced tomato growing and processing technology — although the Midwestern climate helps quite a bit, too.
  • Red Gold is the nation’s largest provider of retail private label tomato products (with ketchup leading the way).
  • Personal testimony: Their ketchup is really freaking good.

And just think, Super Bowl Sunday is only two days away. Salsa, anyone?