COLUMBUS, IN – Ivy Tech Community College has partnered with the Gene Haas Foundation to provide high-quality education and training to align the skills of southeastern Indiana’s workforce with the area’s advanced manufacturing employer needs.
The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded $29,500 to the Ivy Tech Foundation for scholarships and to fund advanced manufacturing training at the Ivy Tech Columbus/Southeast campuses. The Haas Ivy Manufacturing scholarships will enable military veterans, recent high school graduates, and incumbent, underemployed and dislocated workers to transition into well-paying, high-demand careers in the advanced manufacturing industry.
“We’re fortunate to have Ivy Tech on the front lines helping to close the skills gap in Indiana,” states Toni Neary, Haas Factory Outlet – Director of Education. “Local manufacturers need skilled machinists in order to keep manufacturing here at home, which is a personal mission for Gene Haas and the Gene Haas Foundation.”
Advanced manufacturing is the top employment sector in southeastern Indiana, representing more than 36 percent of the area’s employment base. Because of the age of the existing workforce, southeastern Indiana’s manufacturers anticipate losing 45 to 55 percent of their skilled technicians over the next five to seven years. In addition, 90 percent of the area’s manufacturing employers plan to increase their number of employees in the next one to three years.
“As the state’s engine for workforce alignment, Ivy Tech continues to develop a strong, well-educated workforce and increase economic development in southeastern Indiana,” Ivy Tech Interim Chancellor Katie Mote said. “The meaningful support of the Gene Haas Foundation will provide our students with access to valuable skills training that will prepare them for in-demand, well-paying positions and help them succeed in their educational and career goals.”
Ivy Tech has partnered with local communities and area employers to develop initiatives that will fill the advanced manufacturing skills gap. These initiatives include the formation of Manufacturers Roundtables, an advisory board comprised of representatives from area advanced manufacturing employers; the creation of Ivy Manufacturing, which introduces high school students to advanced manufacturing through Ivy Tech courses; and the opening of the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center in Lawrenceburg.
“Modern CNC machine tools have significantly changed the nature of manufacturing”, adds Curtis Boggs, Haas Factory Outlet – Regional Sales Manager. “It’s no longer a labor intensive work environment, it’s a high tech job where machine operators and machinist interface with sophisticated machinery.”
The Manufacturers Roundtables meet frequently in each Ivy Tech community in southeastern Indiana to ensure the College’s curriculum aligns with employers’ needs. Discussions focus on how Ivy Tech can prepare the workforce to earn high-demand, well-paying positions and succeed in their careers. This group also collaborates on providing internship opportunities for students.
Ivy Manufacturing offers high school students in Batesville and Lawrenceburg the chance to gain technical skills valuable in advanced manufacturing careers. Students learn about careers and earn college credit while taking courses on Ivy Tech campuses.
The $6 million Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center opened last fall as a partnership between Ivy Tech and the City of Lawrenceburg. The Center includes six state-of-the-art labs and two classrooms and enables Ivy Tech to offer new manufacturing and technology-related programs for the first time ever in Lawrenceburg that will provide students and the area’s workforce with an educational pathway to high-demand, well-paying careers. Ivy Tech now offers at the Center programs in welding and advanced automation and robotics technology that provide student-centered educational pathways leading to industry-recognized certifications and associate degrees.
“Ivy Tech and the Gene Haas Foundation are committed to the importance of advanced manufacturing and its growth and sustainability,” said Therese Copeland, Ivy Tech Executive Director of Resource Development. “We are sincerely grateful to the Gene Haas Foundation for their generosity to our students, College and communities as we continue to help prepare our local workforce to meet the demands of our area employers.”
Founded by Gene Haas in 1999, the Gene Haas Foundation has awarded more than $35 million to deserving charities and educational institutions. The foundation was formed to fund the needs of the local community and to support manufacturing education. The foundation provides scholarship funds to community colleges and vocational schools for students entering technical training programs, especially machinist-based certificate and degree programs, as well as supports youth programs that inspire young people to consider manufacturing careers. Additionally, in 2014, the Gene Haas Foundation has leveraged more than $1.5 million in grants for veterans training.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
About Haas Factory Outlet (Chicago)
Haas Factory Outlet – A Division of Midwest Machinery Resources, LLC is a full service distributor for Haas Automation, Inc., serving the manufacturing community of Northern Illinois and Indiana with an installed base of more than 5000 Haas CNC machine tools. For more information, visit www.hfochicago.com.