Grant Boosts Efforts to Chip Away at Skills Gap

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(Image of students in Hire Tech program courtesy of Conexus Indiana.) (Image of students in Hire Tech program courtesy of Conexus Indiana.)

A $6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will help Indiana's advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative grow education and outreach programs that have prepared thousands of Hoosier students for careers. Conexus Indiana says the funding is the largest single grant it has received since launching nearly 10 years ago. The organization offers talent development programs designed to build the foundation for careers before students enter the work force.

Vice President of Workforce and Education Claudia Cummings says talent needs within the industry are great. Conexus says Indiana Department of Workforce Development job figures suggest there are some 11,000 openings in advanced manufacturing and logistics that require "middle-skill" training. The term refers to workers with at least an associates degree or industry-recognized credential. Conexus education programs include: Hire Tech, Conexus A+ Partners, Conexus Interns and Conexus On-Campus. The organization also works with partners in the industry and academia to better align curriculum with work force needs.

Cummings says "talent development is a top priority for the hundreds of industry and academic partners we work with every day. Together we are committed to building the skilled talent needed to grow our state's AML leadership position. With Lilly Endowment's support, Conexus Indiana has developed and delivered successful programs that are resulting in students earning internships, apprenticeships and careers with AML companies in Indiana."

One of Conexus Indiana's most far-reaching efforts is the Hire Tech initiative. Over the course of two years, students in the program can prepare for potential careers or get a head start on post-secondary education opportunities through a dual-credit partnership with Ivy Tech Community College and potential industry certifications. More than 5,000 students have participated in Hire Tech since it launched in 2012.

You can connect to more about the talent development initiatives from Conexus Indiana by clicking here. Conexus Indiana is an initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

View a promotional video from Conexus about the Hire Tech program:

Vice President of Workforce and Education Claudia Cummings says talent needs within the industry are great.
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