MUNCIE — In his latest State of the City address, Mayor Dennis Tyler touted economic development efforts and improvements to downtown Muncie, and again expressed support for students and teachers at Muncie Community Schools.
"Muncie will find a way," Tyler said in a portion of his speech about job creation efforts. "We'll always find a way."
Tyler's remarks came Tuesday morning at the Horizon Convention Center in a breakfast speech attended by his city department heads, local elected officials and business and community leaders.
The mayor cited developments since he took office in 2012, including the Courtyard hotel downtown, home to the Erskine Green Training Institute, which opened in 2015. Erskine Green trains people with disabilities to work in hospitality, restaurant and medical professions. Tyler noted that Erskine Green graduates have a 63-percent employment rate, far higher than typical for that part of the population.
Another educational system, Muncie Community Schools, factored into Tyler's speech as he once again expressed support for the school system, which is facing serious financial troubles and takeover by the state.
"Those kids want to learn," Tyler said. "Those teachers want to teach."
Tyler, 74, has grandchildren in local schools and has several times over the past few years voiced support not only for students and teachers but for keeping school buildings open. The closing of at least three buildings is planned by MCS because of the district's finances.