Meijer donates $1,000 for Ivy Tech Warsaw’s Basics Bank

Brock Heyneman, Meijer Warsaw Store Manager; Dr. Allyn Decker, Ivy Tech-Warsaw; Angela Espinoza, Meijer Warsaw HR Representative

On Nov. 3, Meijer-Warsaw donated $1,000 in gift cards for Ivy Tech Community College Warsaw’s Basics Bank—an emergency food and supply pantry, which opened Jan. 2019. The donation was granted in the form of gift cards so Ivy Tech Warsaw can have the flexibility to locally purchase an assortment of emergency supplies.

The emergency food pantry will help in-need students who may get financial aid to cover tuition and books but lack the necessary funds for everyday items. Giving free pantry items to food-insecure students will help remove barriers to their academic success.

“On behalf of Ivy Tech Warsaw students, we want to express our gratitude to Brock Heyneman and his team at the Meijer Warsaw store—especially during this difficult year,” says Allyn Decker, Vice Chancellor for Ivy Tech Warsaw. “Eliminating hunger as a barrier to learning means that even more local students can achieve their academic and career goals.”

“Supporting our neighbor, Ivy Tech, means Meijer is potentially supporting our entire community and we are happy to invest in this worthy project,” says Brock Heyneman, Meijer Warsaw Store Manager.

In addition to this generous donation from Meijer, other local organizations and the Kosciusko County Community Foundation have also contributed to this project. To donate, please contact Allyn Decker at

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and The Literacy Alliance bridge the gap for student success

As Director of Community Engagement for Ivy Tech, I have the pleasure of working with a wide variety of folks throughout the Fort Wayne campus service area. I work closely with communities on the south side of Fort Wayne, and in Adams and Wells counties. My job is to connect students who are interested in the college with the training and education they need in order to feed the workforce. The longer I do this work though, the more I realize how my work with community organizations is key to accomplishing this mission.

One of the most impactful groups I work with is The Literacy Alliance. Over the past two years of working with this passionate, dedicated, change-making organization, I have learned as much about myself as I have the students in their program. TLA strives to end illiteracy by teaching adults through learning centers, literacy programs, and tutoring services. TLA aims to help students overcome the obstacles they faced in completing their high school requirements so they can move forward toward careers that will make a difference in their lives.

Their students are TLA’s heart and soul, and they are committed to passing their high school equivalency exams (HSE). For many, it has been years or decades since they’ve been in a school setting. Technologies may have changed or they may have families, jobs, and other daily pressures that can make school even more of a challenge. The dedication and resiliency of these students to overcome the many barriers is nothing short of amazing.

The Literacy Alliance supports and guides these students. It sees them through the tangible obstacles, but also the mental and emotional hurdles that come with the territory. TLA students often feel they aren’t good enough, smart enough, or worthy of the time and energy it takes to accomplish their goals. TLA is there for them, and sometimes they let me be a part of that transformation.

As the students are working on their HSE credits, my goal is to cultivate an understanding about the basics of college and plant the seeds for continued educational success. I visit all TLA classroom sites and act as their primary Ivy Tech contact. We invite TLA students to tour campus and even during the pandemic, we’re still providing virtual campus tours. For many of them, it’s the first time they’ve seen a college classroom. We highlight our amazing training labs in advanced manufacturing, automotive, engineering, hospitality, and healthcare. I like to think my close relationship with TLA, and presence in their classroom, shows them I’m dedicated to their success and they can trust me to have their best interests at heart.

Look, I talk Ivy Tech all day, every day. I have worked in higher ed and workforce development for most of my career, so the value of college and the accessibility of Ivy Tech are second nature to me. But when I speak with TLA students, I’m often reminded that college was not something they ever envisioned for themselves. I even had a student say to me recently “Tracy, nobody’s ever talked to me about college. Not my family. Not my teachers. I just thought it wasn’t for me.” No one in our community should feel that way. And places like Ivy Tech and The Literacy Alliance are working tirelessly to make sure everyone in Fort Wayne sees college as real option. And I’m just grateful I get to be in the room where it happens.

College celebrates growth during Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne/Warsaw’s Cyber Security / Information Assurance program is expanding its offerings. The service area was recently awarded a grant to expand apprenticeships for its nationally recognized Cyber Security program and is offering a short-term certificate that can be completed in six months or less.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw, along with Thomas Nelson Community College and California State University Long Beach, were chosen as educational partners in a grant from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and ACCELerate to create an apprenticeship program focused on cyber security, technology, transportation, and advanced manufacturing. This grant makes almost 6 million dollars available for AAPTA to partner with employers to build and expand apprenticeship programs.

The College will work with local industry leaders to expand apprenticeships in the information technology sector. Interested companies are encouraged to contact Kaylene Smith at 260-480-4185 or

“We are excited to expand our apprenticeship offerings into Cyber Security,” says Kaylene Smith, Director of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw. “We see a vast potential for growth in northeast Indiana cyber security and information assurance.”

Ivy Tech’s program is already nationally recognized as an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security. This designation is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency and is awarded to schools who:

  • Establish standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence
  • Include competency development among students and faculty
  • Value community outreach and leadership in professional development 
  • Integrate cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines
  • Actively engage in solving challenges facing cybersecurity education

To help meet local unemployment and skilled worker needs, the College is also offering a short-term Cyber Security certificate. The Security+ Certification is only two courses and prepares students to take an industry certification. It can be completed in six months or less.

Those interested in learning more about Ivy Tech’s Cyber Security / Information Assurance program should contact Kristopher Roberts at 260-480-4282 or

Anyone interested in Ivy Tech’s short-term certificate programs in general can learn more at

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw invites public and employers to virtual statewide internship event on Nov. 5

Ivy Tech Community College, including its Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations, is holding the first Virtual Statewide Internship Fair on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 9 to 11 a.m. The event will include an employer panel and employer breakout sessions where students can connect directly with employers and discuss internship opportunities along with experiential learning.

Local employers who are interested in taking part are encouraged to RSVP at or contact Christine Force at 260-482-9171, ext. 2460 or Anh Dinh Lapsley at 260-482-9171, ext. 2463.

Nov. 5
9 to 11 a.m.


This event is free and open to the public.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw hosting Virtual College 101 on Nov. 5

Ivy Tech Community College, including its Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations, will host a Virtual College 101 event Thursday, Nov. 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the event, participants will learn more about what Ivy Tech offers, including numerous associate degree and short-term certificate programs, as well as transfer options.

Interested participants must RSVP. During the appointment, participants will learn about programs in areas where employers are hiring such as IT, Supply Chain, Business and Advanced Manufacturing as well as transfer options such as Transfer as a Junior and Guaranteed Admissions.

Ivy Tech offers a high value education at the lowest cost Indiana, with scholarships and financial aid available. Whether prospective students are interested in learning more about a certificate to join the workforce quickly, an associate degree or credits that easily transfer to four-year universities, education is within their reach. Ivy Tech students can find support through tutoring, advising and additional support services.

For more information or to RSVP, visit

6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 5

Virtual meeting.

Indiana students to get free FAFSA filing help at College Goal Sunday

Financial aid professionals from all across Indiana, including representatives from Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw, will be volunteering to help collegebound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The virtual event is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 and can be accessed at Advisers will be available to help Spanish-speaking students and their families, as well.

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA MUST be filed by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. It is important that these forms are completed correctly and by the deadline. College Goal Sunday helps families who may perceive this process to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon during College Goal Sunday, students and their families can get free help and file the form.

Now in its 32nd year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 94,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA).

College Goal Sunday Doubles the Help Offered

“The event ISFAA is offering on October 25th will be the first completely virtual College Goal Sunday” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers who have not filed already, take advantage of College Goal Sunday, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students. In recent years, according to CHE statistics, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.

“Students who don’t complete their financial aid paperwork properly and on time are often very disappointed when they find out how much financial aid they lost,” said Wozniak. “This is why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association not only continues to provide College Goal Sunday, but offers two events during the year. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education and less debt, we’re fulfilling our mission.”

What students should bring

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parents’ should bring completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2019 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should bring their income information as well. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2019 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at before logging in to the event.

Volunteers will answer families’ individual questions as needed. To attend College Goal Sunday, simply go to on October 25th, and click the link displayed on that page to enter the virtual event. For the best filing experience, working from a computer/laptop during the event is highly recommended.

Attendees may win educational prizes

Students may also win one of five $1,000 scholarships. Students who attend College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in April, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by those students.

21st Century Scholars benefit

21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time. College Goal Sunday can help.

Program is a national model

College Goal Sunday originated right here in Indiana and is now a national model. Following Indiana’s example, College Goal Sunday events organized by more than 34 states have opened doors to higher education for hundreds of thousands of students all over the country.

For more information about College Goal Sunday visit

College selected by U.S. Dept. of Labor to oversee development of new apprenticeship model

As a critical part of the Administration’s efforts to expand access to in-demand job opportunities, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) selected Ivy Tech Community College, including the Fort Wayne and Warsaw locations, as one of 18 organizations in the nation to oversee the development of high-quality Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).

Standards Recognition Entities (SREs) are third party industry and workforce leaders that will evaluate and recognize high-quality IRAPs consistent with the Department’s standards. Ivy Tech, along with the other 18 SREs, is tasked with expanding apprenticeship opportunities in industries where apprenticeships have been underutilized. The recognition of the SREs follows a rigorous review from the Department to ensure that they have the capacity and quality-assurance procedures needed to monitor IRAPs. SREs can now begin to work with employers and other entities to establish, recognize and monitor high-quality IRAPs that provide apprentices with industry-recognized credentials. SRE recognition is valid for five years.

“Ivy Tech is proud to be one of a select group of colleges chosen to lead this new endeavor for the U.S. Department of Labor,” says Kaylene Smith, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s director of apprenticeship and work-based learning. “Our SRE designation will benefit Ivy Tech and our industry partners by providing another tool to expand apprenticeships and help close the skills gap in Indiana.”

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw currently works with over 40 industry partners to facilitate their apprenticeship programs. These programs are especially beneficial to our partners because they enhance employee retention. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 91% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program remain with their employer.

The Department’s announcement of this inaugural SRE cohort marks the culmination of the Department’s work in response to the recommendations of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Created under President Trump’s Executive Order to Expand Apprenticeships in America issued on June 15, 2017, the 20 member Task Force, headed by the Secretary of Labor and co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Education, expanded upon the Administration’s commitment to apprenticeship development and expansion. Since Jan. 1, 2017, over 800,000 individuals have found employment through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships have a proven track record of producing strong results for both employers and workers.

The 18 organizations newly recognized as SREs are:

  • AED Foundation (National);
  • Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (Alabama);
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (National);
  • ANSI National Accreditation Board (National);
  • Apprenticeship Missouri (Missouri);
  • ApprenticeshipNC (North Carolina);
  • Colorado Community College System (Colorado);
  • Energy Sector Security Consortium INC (National);
  • FANUC-ROCKWELL SRE (National);
  • FASTPORT (National);
  • Franklin Apprenticeships (National);
  • Iowa Department of Education (Iowa);
  • Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Indiana);
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills (National);
  • Peregrine Technical Solutions (National);
  • Smart Automation Certification Alliance (National);
  • Texas Workforce Commission (Texas); and
  • WTIA Workforce Consulting (National).

For more information about each SRE, please visit:

To learn more about apprenticeships at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw, visit or contact Smith at 260-480-4185 or

Machine Tool Technology alumnus uses expertise to assist in COVID-19 vaccine production

“I learned how machines operate. Now, I’m applying that knowledge to my everyday work life,” says Tyler. “The training I received was, by far, hands down, the best you could ever ask for.”

Tyler Lemon, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne alumnus, vividly recalls the sage advice of his father, “you need to find a trade you’re good at, get the education you need, and make yourself an invaluable asset to a company.” And that’s what led Tyler to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

Fast forward eleven years —Tyler is the president of his own company, Orthopedic Validation Experts, LLC, and was also recently recruited for his manufacturing industry knowledge and expertise by ALKU, a pharmaceutical consultant agency. As a result of Tyler’s work, education, and proficiency, he will serve as a validation engineer for equipment that manufactures COVID-19 vaccinations.

But this wasn’t always the case. In 2009, Tyler planned to be an athlete at a four-year university. When that didn’t pan out, he returned home to Columbia City and started full-time at 80/20 Inc., but his eyes were on his future. He paid close attention to every process and detail of his work and he started to see the bigger picture. “I started to understand how everything worked, like setting up the machines, tooling, operation and production flow. I wanted to understand all the logic that was informing the manufacturing processes.”

That’s when he found Deb Pitzer and her Industrial Technology team at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne. He signed up for an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology with a Machining Concentration. The program included blueprint reading, CNC programming, turning, and milling. Tyler was also excited to apply everything he was learning at Ivy Tech whenever he went to work.

Today, Tyler has embarked on a new endeavor as President and founder of Orthopedic Validation Experts, LLC. Tyler’s company supports cutting edge processes in the medical industry by ensuring manufacturers comply with industry requirements for equipment and machinery installation, operation, and performance. The companies he works with build everything from shoulder, wrist, ankle, knee and even spinal vertebrae implants, as well as medical devices and implants.

Now he’s embarking on new territory as an engineer on the manufacturing side of pharmaceuticals with vaccines for infectious diseases, including machines that will aid in the rapid production of a Covid-19 vaccine. Tyler is an Equipment Validation Engineering Contractor with ALKU, where he employs thorough testing and inspection on manufacturing process equipment and facilities equipment to ensure they are capable of repeating and reproducing sustainable, high quality products per FDA regulated guidelines. His oversight helps ensure safe products end up in consumers’ hands.

“I can truly say that if it wasn’t for the education I received from Ivy Tech Community College, I never would have been able to start my own business in orthopedic manufacturing,” says Tyler as he embarks on his most exciting year yet.  “Ivy Tech Community College was the foundation to furthering my education. If it wasn’t for the Ivy Tech team, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I’m doing in my life.”

Ivy Tech and Purdue Fort Wayne enter guaranteed admissions agreement

Ivy Tech Community College and Purdue University Fort Wayne are again partnering to create opportunities for Indiana students. A new admissions agreement has been signed that gives students enrolled in specific Ivy Tech programs as of the 2020 fall semester guaranteed transfer to Purdue Fort Wayne bachelor’s degree programs.

Eligibility through the Guaranteed Admission Agreement will require a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Ivy Tech and completion of the associate degree.

“This new agreement provides the opportunity for students in Ivy Tech’s programs to envision a pathway to a four-year degree while maintaining focus on their two-year degrees,” said Kim Barnett-Johnson, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. “We know this focus on the future feeds the here and now and set our students up for long-term career success.”

Purdue Fort Wayne has agreed to 17 bachelor’s program areas where guaranteed admission will be offered utilizing Ivy Tech’s Transfer as a Junior associate degrees. These pathways include the following fields: accounting, biology, business economics, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, early childhood education, education, electrical engineering technology, engineering technology, elementary education, finance, human services, information technology, management, marketing, mechanical engineering technology, money and banking, psychology, and visual communications.

“We are pleased to partner with Ivy Tech Community College to provide this opportunity for students in Indiana to easily and seamlessly transition from their completed associate degree program to a bachelor’s degree program at Purdue University Fort Wayne,” said Carl Drummond, Purdue Fort Wayne’s vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management.  “Not only will we be extending automatic admissions, but we will also have available transfer scholarships to recognize their hard work and success at Ivy Tech.”

Students interested in learning more about transfer opportunities with Ivy Tech, should contact or visit

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and MadeByMe hosting virtual Manufacturing Day event on Oct. 2

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is collaborating with MadeByMe to celebrate National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2 with a virtual event from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Manufacturing Day is meant to address misconceptions about manufacturing by giving companies and employers a chance to showcase what they do and address the skilled labor shortage they face.

A growing share of manufacturing jobs require a certification and/or an associate degree. Ivy Tech’s programs are developed in collaboration with employers to provide students the best chance of landing an internship-work based learning experience and then a high-wage career.

With respect to social distancing and safety precautions, this year’s event will be held virtually. There will be three sessions including a presentation from Ivy Tech employees talking about their programs, a career exploration workshop where attendees can connect with local employers to discuss job and internship opportunities, and a Q&A panel with presenters and employers.

Employers in attendance will include Felderman Design-Build, Fort Wayne Metals, Generex, LLC, Micropulse, Inc., Ottenweller Company, Inc., PMG, Inc., Polygon Company, QuikCut, Rea Magnet Wire Company, Shambaugh & Son, Shindigz, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and Ward Corporation.

RSVP at  Questions? Contact Kyle Bischoff at

9 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 2

Virtual event
Zoom link sent to RSVPs

The event is free and open to the public.