Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw, General Motors team up for national initiative to impact manufacturing industry

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.

From left: Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Warsaw Chancellor Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson & GM Fort Wayne Assembly Executive Director Gary Duff

“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.”

Sam Barker, former Ivy Tech student & electrician at GM Fort Wayne Assembly

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.”

Cyber Tech certificate program grant extended for one year at Ivy Tech Northeast

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, as part of the National STEM Consortium, has extended the funding for the Cyber Technology certificate program at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast.

The first classes were offered in January 2013, and the grant has been extended until May 2015.

“This certificate program provides students with the basic, marketable skills for the industry, plus an entrance into the door of networking and cyber security,” says Raphaël Wolff, coordinator for Cyber Technology.

Students involved in Cyber Tech, which is a one-year certificate program, have seen a variety of successes. Perhaps most notably, Patrick Herendeen, who earned his Cyber Tech certificate last year, advanced to the final round of the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competition’s Theatre Finale, the national round of the competition, including participants from the United States and Canada. There he placed 34th out of 84 finalists.

Herendeen, a Northrop High School graduate, is currently finishing his assocate degree in Computer Information Technology. His additional Cyber Tech certification qualifies him for jobs in cyber customer service and technical support.

While the grant is open to any student, the grant is targeted at workers who have lost their job due to the effects of foreign trade and the unemployed and underemployed population. Veterans receive priority enrollment. The program is eligible for financial aid, including Trade Adjustment Assistance, Workforce Investment Act, and Pell Grants.

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Ivy Tech Northeast receives grant to connect students, graduates with employers

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast has received a $43,000 grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation to aid graduates in specific programs in landing a job upon graduation through The Employer Student Connection Initiative.

The grant allows Career Services to expand its employer connection initiative from one to seven academic programs, which now includes:

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (or HVAC)
  • Construction Technology
  • Industrial Technology
  • Design Technology
  • Health Care Support
  • Business Administration
  • Office Administration

Students in these academic programs have the opportunity to participate in an employer networking panel. HVAC previously was the sole program involved in the initiative, which saw a 100 percent success rate in helping students get jobs or paid internships.

At the start of their final year of classes, students will meet with their program’s employee panel to learn about the hard and soft skills necessary for the workforce. Throughout the year, Career Services will conduct workshops and presentations to aid in skills including resume preparation, professional dress, and job searches. The following semester, the panel will review students’ resumes and discuss job openings.

The grant will also fund two student workers for 20-hour-a-week shifts to help in managing and tracking the success of students involved in the initiative, which is scheduled to run throughout 2014 and serve 500 students in northeast Indiana.