Melinda Grismer is the Community and Regional Development Specialist at the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), joining the staff in 2016. Primarily, she works with Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) counties and regions affected by defense downsizing to minimize the impact of lost jobs/quality of place by implementing economic strategies, workforce planning and revitalization efforts. She also coaches identified Stronger Economies Together (SET) regions across the state to build local coalitions and write high-quality plans of action. In addition, she serves on a team with the Community Development Regional Educators to create/refine curriculum for the BR&E (Business Retention & Expansion), Community Leadership, Enhancing the Quality of Public Spaces and Grant Writing Workshop programs. In her role at PCRD, she leverages the experience she gained while working with her local community and expands it into regional impact for the state of Indiana.
Melinda graduated from Ball State University with her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Secondary Education, earning her Indiana teacher’s license. She spent the first 10 years of her career working as a teacher and a journalist in South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana, authoring a book and numerous articles. Between 2004 and 2007, she developed a successful Latino Community Learning Center/Pl@za Comunitaria in Frankfort, Indiana. During the following three years (2007-2010), she directed the Learning Network of Clinton County, building local educational and workforce capacity through grant funding and fee-based revenue. Upon completing her Master’s degree at Purdue University in Extension/Adult Education in 2010, she became a Community Development Educator in Clinton County, trailblazing such spotlight programs as Breaking Back into the Workforce, Reality Language instruction for manufacturing/service industries, Local Government: Closest to the People, Industry Leader Lunch Series, Small Business Networking, Summer Kids Workshops, the Clinton County Tutoring Program and Leadership Clinton County. In 2013, Melinda earned her English Language Learner teaching certification, professionalized her teaching license and became the Clinton County Extension Director.
- Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces
- Industry Leader Lunch Series 2011-12
- Latino Community Learning Center
- Reality Spanish for the Workplace
- Small Business Networking 2012-13
- The Value of a High School Diploma
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