Collaboration Sets Sights on 'True Gap'Posted: Updated:
A partnership involving one of the state's largest car manufacturers and two universities is taking aim at the skills gap. The Advanced Internship in Manufacturing program consists of students taking classes at Vincennes University and Purdue University while working at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette. Graduates come away with an associate's degree in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from VU and are set up for a full-time position at SIA.
Manager of Associate Development Brad Rhorer says students could potentially emerge from the program with a degree and no college debt.
August 28, 2014
LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Today, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA) announced the launch of a new internship program aimed at bridging the gap between post-secondary educational opportunities in Indiana and highly-skilled job opportunities in the manufacturing industry. A collaboration between SIA, Vincennes University and the Purdue College of Technology, the SIA Advanced Internship in Manufacturing (AIM) Program provides select Vincennes students with an internship opportunity in Computer Integrated Manufacturing, combining classroom education with real-world, hands-on work experience.
Indiana Commissioner of Higher Education, Teresa Lubbers joined representatives from SIA, Vincennes University and Purdue University at today's press conference at the Subaru manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana. SIA is also home to the Purdue College of Technology. "This is exactly the type of partnership between education and industry that promises to reinvent Indiana's economy and ensure career pathways for more Hoosiers," said Lubbers. "We hear from many students that they want more work-based learning, and we hear from employers that they need more highly skilled employees. AIM is a win-win model that meets both needs, allowing students to graduate with a quality degree, a high-demand job and no debt."
Students selected for the SIA AIM program begin with classroom work at Vincennes where they
will learn cutting edge advanced manufacturing technologies in electrical controls, robotics, mechanical systems, programmable logic controllers, hydraulics and pneumatics. "Vincennes University students will greatly benefit from this partnership. By working together, our students will gain advantages in financing their education, developing real-world advanced manufacturing experience from a recognized industrial leader, and graduate fully prepared to enter a profession that offers them great opportunity and a prosperous future. As with other VU partnerships throughout Indiana, this program will help close a skills gap facing our manufacturers, resulting in the strengthening of our state's economic future, and that will benefit all Hoosiers," said Vincennes University President, Dick Helton.
Beginning their second semester, SIA AIM students will work and take classes at the SIA Manufacturing plant in Lafayette. Two days a week, students will take classes at Purdue University's College of Technology Lafayette site, located at the SIA plant, to earn their Vincennes's Associates degree in Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Three days a week, students will apply the technologies learned in the classroom in various technical rotation assignments.
"Purdue's College of Technology has enjoyed a great partnership with SIA for over 25 years, and has had an office onsite since 1999," remarked Andy Schaffer, Associate Dean of Purdue College of Technology Statewide. "This new education program is an extension of that relationship and demonstrates Purdue’s commitment to its land grant mission and its support of Indiana's businesses."
Upon completion of the SIA AIM program, graduates will be prepared to install, program, interface, service, troubleshoot and implement automated equipment for advanced manufacturing and will qualify for a fulltime position at SIA. After six months of full-time employment, SIA AIM graduates can continue education at the Purdue College of Technology Lafayette SIA site, and earn a Purdue Bachelor's degree in Engineering Technology, paid for by SIA.
"One of the hardest positions to fill within advanced manufacturing is the highly technical maintenance position," stated Brad Rhorer, SIA's Manager of Associate Development. He explains that manufacturers throughout Indiana are facing the same challenge. "The AIM program is a vital component to our workforce development strategy as we are now able to focus the curriculum to better meet the ever changing needs of our manufacturing process."
Rhorer sees the AIM program as an investment in Indiana's future workforce. "SIA is helping to
offer recent high school graduates not only an educational plan, but more importantly, a career
Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA), a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., is the home of North American Subaru production. Models built at the Lafayette, Indiana plant include the Subaru Legacy and Outback. SIA also produces the Toyota Camry under contract with Toyota. SIA employs over 3,800 Associates, and every Associate is committed to quality, safety and environmental stewardship. An industry leader in environmental stewardship, SIA was the first auto assembly plant in America to achieve zero landfill status, and SIA's entire 832-acre site has been designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SIA's community outreach programs include providing charitable contributions and corporate sponsorships, hosting charitable events on-site, donating vehicles and vehicle parts to educational institutions and encouraging Associate volunteerism, which supports hundreds of non-profit organizations and schools throughout Indiana annually. For more information, visit www.subaru-sia.com .
Source: Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.