Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Back from Kansas

July 1st, 2009 No comments

On the lighter side of the Nisly farm.

Categories: Misc

Education Attainment & Unemployment Rate

June 7th, 2009 7 comments

For the past five years I have repeatedly spoken about the correlation between Education Attainment and the Unemployment rate and what that means for East Chicagoans. But first some data on East Chicago:

  • Today <2% of East Chicagoans hold a college degree, well below the national average of 24%.
  • ~40% of the Adult population is considered functionally illiterate, with ~70% of adults incapable of attaining a professional job based on reading attainment.
  • Today the unemployment rate in East Chicago is >24%. Despite the efforts of the city to employ ~12% of those in the workforce, serving ~18% of households with a paycheck and ~28% of the electorate with a city job.

For a community like East Chicago the data presented in the graphs below are especially poignant. What I find rather remarkable about the graph is that you can clearly see, in the last 17 years, as educational attainment increases the less vulnerable you are to market fluctuations. You can see how the red line is so much more eradicate with a steep increase in reaction to todays recession. This may begin to flatten out as America rededicates more of it economy to manufacturing. Yet, unlike 20 years ago manufacturing has become an educated affair, requiring at minimum an associates degree.

Forty years ago when nearly 70% of jobs were found in unskilled labor, most East Chicago graduates were able to go to the Mills for one of a 100,000 steel or steel related jobs in East Chicago. Today 70% of jobs are found in professional services that require a College education. With the advances in technology and globalization East Chicago now employs less than 5,000 workers in steel and steel related jobs, all while production has increased a hundred fold. So, if you are preparing a population for where the vast majority of the jobs are (70%), then you are preparing them to receive a College education. That is the easiest solution towards employing a population. The more difficult solution is to find jobs for the under-educated.

via [ Calculated Risk ] In today’s employment market:

  • Those without a High School Diploma face an unemployment rate of ~16%
  • Those with a High School Diploma, but no College face an unemployment rate of ~10%
  • Those with some College or Associates Degree face an unemployment rate of ~8%
  • Those with a Bachelors Degree and higher face an unemployment rate of ~5%

Based on the BLS 2008 data: Education pays

This data does not bode well for East Chicago’s education system (here, and here) which ranks last in the state of Indiana on multiply measures. Indiana has also instituted a Core-40 program to track students and to ensure they receive the necessary skills to succeed. However, Core-40 will leave most East Chicago students without the proper credentials to apply to universities such as Purdue or Indiana University which now require Core-40 Honors. Despite the efforts of non-government agencies most parents of East Chicago freshmen are unaware of these requirements and the process for applying into the proper program. The Challenge is to set up an education system that incentives populations like East Chicago.

Categories: East Chicago, Economics, Misc

Seth Godin Talks About Tribes at TED

May 18th, 2009 No comments

Categories: Misc

Harley Wagler Googled: An Odyssey of the Heart for Russian Students

March 15th, 2009 No comments

  • “Harley, our program director, recites Pushkin the poet with tears in his eyes. I can’t wait to read his stuff now”
  • “Heroes: Harley Wagler (you had to be there)”
  • “…following close behind our enigmatic leader. Harley Wagler, the fastest walking, sixty year old Mennonite I had ever met.”

– Student’s of the Russian Studies Program


  • “Harley’s so culturally adept, even Russians sometimes forget he’s not a Russian,” 

– Amber Palmer, assistant director of student programs.


A little insight into the enigmatic powers of Harley Wagler can be found in his Sermon at Plainview Mennonite Church Truth and martyrdom July 2007

Categories: Misc

Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

March 5th, 2009 No comments

I knew that.

[ Time Article ]

Categories: Misc

Black Geography

March 3rd, 2009 4 comments

“Black Geography” is a term I never heard until I came to this region. It is often spoken by whites in regional leadership position and is used to describe all sorts of things, from behavior, to business practices, and governance. I guess if there is “Black Geography” there must be a “White Geography”, a “Hispanic Geography”, and a “Serbian Geography”, etc.

– Just saying

Categories: East Chicago, Misc

Figure Drawings

February 24th, 2009 3 comments

A few figure drawings. I am really enjoying pulling this work out.




Categories: In My Studio, Misc

Lisa & Dave

February 14th, 2009 No comments

Jazz and Blues provide a space large enough for an entire life. My neighbors have done the same in their music. Lisa and Dave invited my wife and I out last night to the Anchor Inn, in Hammond where they performed.

Categories: East Chicago, Misc


February 14th, 2009 No comments

My son: “It is both Summer and Winter today”

Categories: Misc


February 9th, 2009 No comments

My daughter says she has an Antipoligist visiting her classroom today.

Categories: Misc

This is a Re-org

January 22nd, 2009 No comments

Be patient with me as I set up this blog and migrate content from other sites.

Categories: Misc