Conexus Grows Staff, Programs

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Indiana's advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative says it is adding staff to support the growth of some programs. Conexus Indiana says the new hires will help lead initiatives including an online community linking Indiana suppliers as well as the organization's work force development programs.

May 7, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Conexus Indiana announced today the expansion of its staff to support its growing workforce development programs and its web-based community that links local firms with local suppliers.

Eric Borst, Robert A. Rhinesmith III and Susan Stinn will support Conexus Indiana's statewide efforts to develop the next generation of advanced manufacturing and logistics workforce through high school curriculum and partnerships with local employers. Richard Murphy will develop and expand relationships with Hoosier suppliers and buyers through the Supplier INsight portal.

Borst and Rhinesmith joined Conexus Indiana as workforce development specialists. They will work with high schools, career centers, and adult education programs to promote advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML) career awareness and education in 30 Indiana counties. They also will work with Indiana's AML companies to ensure they are firmly connected to schools in their communities and that student preparation meets industry needs. Their work will support the growing Conexus Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College Hire Technology curriculum that prepares students for post-secondary employment and additional education in AML.

Stinn also will support workforce development programs as Conexus Indiana's information specialist. In that role, she will implement online communications tools and collect and disseminate data central to the operation of the turn-key Hire Technology curriculum and related programs.

Murphy will serve as program manager for Indiana Supplier INsight, a web-based community linking Hoosier buyers with Hoosier suppliers. Sponsored by Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Indiana Supplier INsight creates new business opportunities for Indiana companies by streamlining operations and reducing transportation costs. Murphy will promote and broaden the use of the Supplier INsight directory portal, developing and expanding relationships between Indiana manufacturing businesses and locally based suppliers.

"We have far exceeded expectations in the number of schools and students involved in the Hire Technology program and already have more than 1,000 students enrolled for the 2014-15 school year," said Claudia Cummings, Conexus Indiana vice president of Education, Workforce and Community Programs. "We are thrilled to have Eric, Susan and Robbie on board to help schools deliver this increasingly popular and important curriculum, and to help students develop the skills and interest to succeed in an AML career.

"At the same time, we are thrilled to welcome Richard to our team to carry forward the Supplier INsight web portal and to bring new opportunities to Indiana businesses and suppliers."

About the new staff

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Rhinesmith worked as the state program director at the Friedman Foundation in Indianapolis where he oversaw the Foundation’s activities in 17 states and Washington D.C., including managing more than $800,000 in grants and contracts. He also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Navy-CNIC and for the KIPP DC Charter Schools. A former teacher, he holds a Juris Doctor from Catholic University, and both a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. His community involvement includes serving as board treasurer for the Indiana Connections Academy, a statewide public virtual charter school.

Stinn has served as special projects coordinator for the Indiana Department of Education where she led multiple projects in the College and Career Readiness Department with emphasis on data and knowledge management. Previously, she was project manager at Sycamore Institute for Policy Research where her responsibilities included managing workflow for the Indianapolis headquarters staff. The owner of Mannix Farms, a seasonal Christmas tree farm in Noblesville, Stinn has volunteered in classrooms as an adult small group leader and a mentor for students during the college application process.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Borst worked at Venture Logistics as operations manager and served an internship at Conexus Indiana, focusing on research and presentations for the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council. He earned a degree in business management and administration from the University of Indianapolis and is an AmeriCorps member serving nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community- and faith-based groups across Marion County.

Murphy comes to Conexus Indiana with more than 19 years of experience in sales, marketing, and operations in distribution and manufacturing environments. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he earned a master's degree in business administration from Butler University and a Bachelor of Science degree in public affairs from Indiana University. He is an active community volunteer, with previous positions as president of the Park Tudor Parents Association Executive Board, and a youth athletics coach. He also is a member of Carmel Rotary Club and volunteered as a "big brother" in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state's advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

Hire Technology is possible through funding by organizations such as Lilly Endowment Inc., Chase and Ivy Tech Community College, as well as through significant contributions from industry partners.

Source: Conexus Indiana