80/20 LLC, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, and the Don Wood Foundation pioneer innovative partnership expanding employee family opportunities

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is excited to announce a new partnership with 80/20 LLC. that extends 80/20 employees’ tuition reimbursement program to their children and grandchildren for the first time in the industry. A generous grant funds this initiative from the Don Wood Foundation to Ivy Tech.

“80/20 is honored to be awarded the Don Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said Vicki Cook, HR Director at 80/20. “This will allow Don Wood’s legacy to continue with the company he built and connection he had with Ivy Tech.  We are excited to give this back to the employees, employees’ children and grandchildren.”

Through the Achieve Your Degree (AYD) initiative at Ivy Tech, eligible employees and their families can receive tuition reimbursement when they enroll into programs related to manufacturing and business. Families can also apply for the $5,000 Don Wood Foundation Scholarship by contacting the human resources department at 80/20. The decision to award the grant reflects 80/20 founder Don Wood’s love for both the company and Ivy Tech, where he received his second degree and served on the Regional Board of Trustees.

“This is a wonderful program that speaks not only Don Wood’s dedication to both Ivy Tech and 80/20, but also fits squarely into his desire to help fund scholarships for people to advance in their career,” said Don Wood Foundation President and CEO Laura Macknick. “The unique approach and focus on collaborative partnerships could serve as a pilot for similar programs in the region to help fill the need for skilled employees in the manufacturing sector.”

This pilot program was constructed to support Wood’s mission of creating more opportunities for people seeking a career in industrial trades, advanced manufacturing, leadership, and innovation. He passed away in March 2019, but his legacy lives on through the Don Wood Foundation, which has long supported Ivy Tech through programs like Northeast Indiana FAME and the WorkMatters program on Ivy Tech Muncie’s campus.

“Ivy Tech is honored to play a part in extending Don Wood’s legacy further into the community by building pathways to an invaluable education,” said Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson. “This is a pivotal opportunity for 80/20 employees and their families that strengthens our mission to meet people where they are to help them create the future they want.”

In celebration of the new partnership, 80/20 and Ivy Tech are hosting a registration fair for employees and family members interested in joining the program Jan. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. at the company which is in Columbia City. Ivy Tech enrollment specialists will be there to provide general admissions and application assistance.