Steel Dynamics, Inc. wins ATEA award through Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw partnership

Kaylene Smith, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Director of Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning; Jeff Hansen, Vice President of Human Resources, Safety & Sustainability at SDI; Bob Parker, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Department Chair of Industrial Technology & Automation and Robotics; Darrel Kesler, Dean of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science; and Staci Beiswanger, Employee Development Manager at SDI.

During their annual conference on April 27, the American Technical Education Association, in conjunction with the National Technical Honor Society, awarded Steel Dynamics, Inc. (SDI) their highest partnership award: The Silver Star of Excellence Award. Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw nominated SDI for the award because of their long-term partnership.

“We are honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Jeff Hansen, Vice President of Safety, Human Resources & Sustainability at Steel Dynamics, Inc. “Our organization is committed to providing opportunities to enhance the capabilities of our team members. We are fortunate to have developed a terrific partnership with Ivy Tech that allows for many in our company as well as our community to thrive and grow.”

SDI works closely with Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science, including donating funding for the construction of The Keith E. Busse Steel Dynamics, Inc. Technology Center. They have also provided funds to equip the Industrial Technology Educational Laboratories.

More recently SDI established an apprenticeship program and sponsored the training of incumbent workers in manufacturing.  They’ve enrolled multiple cohorts of students in the program, with the first cohort graduating in May 2020. Over a two-year period, incumbent workers become students and apprentices, and SDI technical experts serve as mentors. The students are enrolled in specialized coursework at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. The program is a true collaboration with each party providing academic advising and academic support outside the classroom. 

“Continuous learning is a must,” said Darrel Kesler, Dean of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science. “It becomes more and more challenging for companies to remain competitive today. It’s companies like Steel Dynamics, Inc. that step-up and establish world-class partnerships with educational partners like Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science that’s leading the way to the future in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

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