Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw was recently selected as one of just seven colleges nationwide to receive a $40,000 grant, sourced by General Motors funds, through the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) as part of a new national initiative.
“Over the next year, GM and Fort Wayne Assembly will work closely with Ivy Tech to learn how we can better train and attract talent for the advanced manufacturing jobs of the future – right here in Northeast Indiana,” says Gary Duff, Executive Director of the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant. “This study will benefit not just GM but manufacturing companies both in the region and nationwide.”
The grant funds a year and a half long study that shares best practices for integrating advanced manufacturing credentials into college curriculum. The seven colleges selected are located near GM facilities and will take part in the initial study that explores options that launch individuals into higher skills and higher wage opportunities.
“The manufacturing world keeps evolving with the development of new technology,” says Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw. “To keep pace with these advancements, this grant will help us find ways to retain high-value instructors who currently work in the industry and develop new curricula that leaves our students workforce-ready after graduation.”
Ivy Tech is already working closely with other community partners to keep up with the advancements in the manufacturing industries. In 2020, Ivy Tech became the education partner for the Northeast Indiana Chapter of the Indiana Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (NEINFAME), allowing for the creation of new programs designed to meet the needs of the region’s manufacturing employers. This grant will help guide the college to continue developing forward-focused education.
“During my time at Ivy Tech, I had a chance to slow down and dig deeper into the skills I’m using now,” says Sam Barker, an electrician at GM Fort Wayne and former Ivy Tech student. “The industry is fast-paced and always changing, so I believe this will be a big benefit to current and future students and our area’s manufacturing industry.”