U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit Northwest Indiana, delivering keynote remarks at the Northwest Indiana Forum quarterly meeting in partnership with One Region, One Vision on Sept. 8.
The focus of the summit, co-sponsored by the Quality of Life Council and the Valparaiso-based Center for Workforce Innovation, is "Education and the Economy: Investing in Our Future." The event will be at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville.
Duncan, possibly one of the most assertive and outspoken education secretaries in the nation's history and well known for his support of school choice, will be flanked by other education officials, including undersecretary Martha Kanter. Education officials also will use the visit as an opportunity to visit local schools.
Mark Maassel, Northwest Indiana Forum president and CEO, said organizers are thrilled Duncan agreed to speak to business and community leaders as well as educators at its quarterly meeting.
"The Forum recognizes the important role education plays in building a strong capable work force which is an integral component to economic development, attracting jobs and investment to Northwest Indiana," Maassel said.
Bill Masterson Jr., publisher of The Times Media Co. and chairman of One Region, One Vision, said the secretary's office had heard about the One Region movement and "the education component that has really taken off," deciding to make this a stop on a tour he may be making.
Other state and federal officials are expected to attend the event, including Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett and Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.
Local business and community leaders, elected officials, educators and school administrators are encouraged to attend. Though seating is limited, the event is open to the public.