Ivy Tech's Big Auto Tech Play Coming Together

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(Rendering courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College) (Rendering courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College)

Officials expect Ivy Tech Community College's $16 million auto technology center on the Indianapolis west side to be complete in two years. The facility will help feed an industry that continues to seek highly-trained openings as baby boomers leave the work force. Indianapolis Auto Trade Association Board President Tom Miller says graduates of the program, which is supported by a $1 million grant from the organization, "will be guaranteed a job" since the industry need will be so great.

During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Ivy Tech Central Indiana Chancellor Kathleen Lee said community support has been key. "It's not something that we could've done otherwise," she said. "We really wanted to move into a new facility to be able to handle our corporate partners better. And with the ($5 million) gift from Mr. (Michael) Jarvis and (the $1 million from) Mr. (Sydney) Eskenazi and his family, it's making it all possible -- and now, the gift from our automotive dealer partnership."

Miller says the facility will include "everything you could ask for from a dealership perspective." He says the college's associations with General Motors and Toyota helped contribute to the IATA's decision to support the project and he believes it could spur additional collaboration with manufacturers like Fiat Chrysler USA LLC and others. Miller says supplying the industry pipeline is an issue on multiple levels. "It starts with the baby boomer generation. Some of our top-line technicians are getting set to retire and so we have to replace them. And then the younger people, the younger high school students, really don't show an interest in automotive technology, so that's something we have to work on," Miller said.

Construction on the Mike & Sandy Jarvis Automotive Technology Training Center could begin in the 2018-2019 academic year.

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