Labor has rich history in Northwest Indiana

Steelworkers during the 1986 labor negotiations.

We've done it better than many other regions throughout our nation and world, and it should be a source of great pride for all of us.

The hardworking men and women of Northwest Indiana's labor force have been the envy of many business sectors for generations.

Our past greatness and present tenacity should inspire everyone in the Region — from laborers to corporate CEOs — to bolster our future planning to preserve this labor greatness.

Labor Day offers us no better time to recognize the sterling qualities of Northwest Indiana's labor force while reminding all of the need to train and solidify the quality of future workers.

We see our Region's stellar labor story etched in places like the Industrial Revolution restaurant in Valparaiso — an ode to the men and women of industry who put the South Shore on history's map.

We see it in the hundreds of men and women who continue laboring at our Region's steel mills, keeping alive a major source of commerce that's had its challenges in recent decades.

We also see it in the Region folks who work in local offices or doggedly commute to Chicago for work every day, choosing to live in an area in which their hard-earned dollars go further because of lower taxes.

Workers and laborers of all varieties occupy the highest positions on our list of Region assets.

To keep these assets, we must continue to cultivate the qualities and amenities that attract them.

Our Region is showing strong, necessary resolve in continuing its push for expanded commuter rail service and double-tracking to speed commutes. The ability of such assets to attract and retain residents should be undisputed.

Both corporate and nonprofit Region entities also know of the growing need for skilled labor training to keep pace with the changing demands of industry and the job market.

Our Region colleges and universities must continue to play a vital role in offering education and trade programs commensurate with the demands of emerging job markets.

We all should take great pride in the working-class spirit that continues defining Northwest Indiana.

Our legacy is of the consummate hard-working men and women, many of whom labor away to feed families and improve lifestyles, all the while feeding our local economy.

On this Labor Day, let us all resolve to nourish their efforts with the quality-of-life amenities and training they deserve.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.