updated: 10/24/2013 8:35:16 AM

[UPDATED] New Partnership Targets Tech Skills

Dan McGowan, InsideINdianaBusiness.com

 Johnson tells Inside INdiana Business companies are beginning to understand the need to start "growing their own" highly-skilled talent.

The dean of the Vincennes University campus in Jasper says a new partnership will allow students to be "productive" in the area work force almost immediately. The initiative involves seven Dubois County manufacturers training VU students as part-time employees while they work toward a newly-created associate degree in technical maintenance. Alan Johnson says the program will begin with around two dozen students in August and hopes it will eventually include as many as 100.

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Continued Below...

Subscribe
  • Print
  • E-Mail
  • Newsletters

Johnson says students will learn computer numerical control operation and programming, hydraulics, pneumatics and program logic controller skills.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

October 24, 2013

News Release

JASPER, Ind. - Students seeking to graduate from college debt-free and find a promising career received a major boost Wednesday, thanks to a new partnership announced between the Vincennes University Jasper Campus and seven Jasper companies.

Building on VUJC's existing associate degree program in Career Tech Manufacturing, local companies will begin this summer to employ students part-time while they are enrolled at VUJC full-time. Companies will also be involved in recruiting students for the program.

"This is an important partnership because of the enthusiastic participation by the companies. The students will not only be learning in the labs and classrooms on campus, but they will have complementary work experiences that take place at the same time," said Dr. Alan Johnson, dean of the VU Jasper Campus.

Local industry partners include Indiana Furniture Industries, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Jasper Rubber, Kimball International, Manufacturing of OFS, Masterbrand Cabinets, and Wabash Valley Produce.

The blend of academic and work experience will make the graduates highly competitive in the marketplace, according to Terry Tucker, director of Talent Acquisition for Kimball International.

"I work in recruiting and that's what you look for - a blend of the academic and the hands-on, real world experience. They will be able to provide references not only from teachers and advisors in the academic world but also from industry. I truly believe that the relationship started between the student and the partner company will grow to develop into a long-term employment opportunity. I don't think there is any question about that," Tucker said.

VU President Dick Helton said the partnership is similar to one that began last year between Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, and Vincennes University. In both partnerships students work in industrial plants on Mondays and Fridays and take classes Tuesday through Thursday, completing an associate degree in two years.

Noting that students will earn an income from the companies while attending college, Johnson said the program is a good option for students seeking to avoid debt to earn a degree.

"The benefits are clear at the end of two years. The person comes out with an associate degree, comes out with two years of work experience that complements what happens in the classroom, probably receives strong consideration for a full-time career, and probably accumulates no debt - and that is significant to many families - because they will be paying their own way," Johnson said.

Robert Jacobs, executive vice president of Human Resources at Masterbrand Cabinets, said the company appreciates the opportunity to join the partnership as a way to help bridge the skills gap. "We are starting to see some very significant growth in our business. So planning for the future growth is very important to us," Jacobs said.

In addition to anticipated growth in area manufacturing, VU President Dick Helton said the partnership will also help address another problem - increasing retirements among skilled workers. "With partnerships such as this, I think you are going to find an increase in students entering career and technical education as well as students finding jobs. The important piece of this is that about 90 percent of those students return to their home areas for employment," Helton said.

Citing the importance to the state's economy where about 20 percent of employment is tied to manufacturing, Helton said, "If we are going to cure the skills gap in our state, I think we have to have more partnerships.
Everybody wins."

With skilled technicians increasingly needed to program and maintain advanced technologies adopted by manufacturers, graduates of the program will be in strong demand. "This is going to allow us to get the word out about the great opportunities available in manufacturing,” Tucker said.

Calling it an exciting day for the VU Jasper Campus, Johnson said there will be a significant return on investment in the program. "I have been in career and technical education my entire career in four states and it keeps getting better. This is one of the most exciting things I’ve been involved with because it is being driven by the companies. These are progressive companies that understand that they need to grow their own talent. I can’t wait to get this started," Johnson said.

Participants in the Oct. 23 announcement included Jason Nord, director of Human Resources for Jasper Engines and Transmissions; Brett Ackerman, CEO and president of Indiana Furniture Industries (IFI); Nancy Wilson, vice president of Human Resources of IFI; Jeff Eckert, vice president of Manufacturing of OFS; Brad Schnarr, vice president for Logistics of Wabash Valley Produce; Andy Seger, chief financial officer of Wabash Valley Produce; Robert Jacobs, executive vice president of Human Resources of Masterbrand Cabinets; Terry Tucker, director of Talent Acquisition of Kimball International; Sue Habig, director of Human Resources of Kimball Electronics; Tom Heeke, director of Human Resources of Kimball Office; Reva Baker, vice president of Human Resources of Jasper Rubber; Terri Schultz, senior director of School Engagement of Project Lead the Way’s national office; Indiana State Representative Mark Messmer, R-Jasper; Dick Helton, president of Vincennes University; and Dr. Alan Johnson, dean of the VU Jasper Campus.

Source: Vincennes University

October 22, 2013

News Release

JASPER, Ind. - The Vincennes University Jasper Campus and seven local manufacturing companies will announce a major workforce development initiative on Oct. 23, 1:30 p.m. (EDT), at the Jasper Center for Technology, Innovation, and Manufacturing at VUJC. The event will also include the signing of a memorandum of understanding creating the partnership.

The partnership will create an associate degree program in Technical Maintenance in which students will be employed part-time and enrolled at VUJC full-time. Graduates of this program are in high demand by industry both locally and nationally.

Participants in the Oct. 23 announcement will include Jason Nord, director of Human Resources for Jasper Engines and Transmissions; Brett Ackerman, CEO and President of Indiana Furniture Industries (IFI); Nancy Wilson, vice president of Human Resources of IFI; Jeff Eckert, vice president of Manufacturing of OFS; Brad Schnarr, vice president for Logistics of Wabash Valley Produce, Andy Seger, chief financial officer of Wabash Valley Produce; Robert Jacobs, executive vice president of Human Resources of Masterbrand Cabinets; Terry Tucker, director of Talent Acquisition of Kimball International; Sue Habig, director of Human Resources of Kimball Electronics; Tom Heeke, director of Human Resources of Kimball Office; Reva Baker, vice president of Human Resources of Jasper Rubber; Terri Schultz, senior director of School Engagement of Project Lead the Way’s national office; Indiana State Representative Mark Messmer, R-Jasper; Dick Helton, president of Vincennes University; and Dr. Alan Johnson, dean of the VU Jasper Campus.

Source: Vincennes University

  • Print
  • E-Mail
  • Newsletters
<a href="ad_click.asp?ID=4359&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eivytech%2Eedu%2F" target="new"><img src="images/ads/" border=0 width="300" height="250"</a>