Chamber Joins 'Achieve Your Degree' Program

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(Image courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College.) (Image courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The state's largest post-secondary education institution and largest business advocacy organization have announced a partnership. Indiana Chamber of Commerce members are now eligible for Ivy Tech Community College's Achieve Your Degree Program, which involves a five percent tuition discount for companies with tuition assistance programs or for employees paying for their own education. Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar says the collaboration will help with "upskilling the workforce."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Ivy Tech Senior Vice President of Workforce Alignment Chris Lowery says dozens of Indiana employers already participate in Achieve Your Degree. "Cook (Group Inc. in Bloomington) is one of the best examples, Batesville Tool & Die Inc.," Lowery said, listing some current program participants. "First and foremost, the employers are getting folks that they desperately need, right? Tight labor market, they need folks who have skills. Secondly, the results have just been astoundingly good. The retention rate in the programs, increased retention rates for the employees at the employers place of business, it's just been really good." Around 100 companies currently partner with Ivy Tech on the initiative.

"I think it will help get at some of the challenges of traditional tuition reimbursements where the employee has to put the money upfront, which is often a barrier," Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said. He added the program will make it much "easier and seamless" for employees to get the necessary skills and credentials to "move up one or two or five rungs on the ladder." The program allows for payments that would normally come monthly to be deferred to the end of each term where the discount will be taken and financial aid will be deducted.

Ivy Tech launched the program in 2016. The program, the Chamber and the school say, fit into both of their long-term visions. "We know there are more than half a million people in this state that started college, but life got in the way of finishing it," said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. "Further, another million Hoosier workers never pursued college. We believe Achieve Your Degree and the partnership with the Indiana Chamber will entice many Hoosiers to get the certificate or degree that will provide them a brighter future and bolster the state’s workforce."

You can connect to more about the partnership by clicking here.

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar says the program will help remove some hurdles for degree, credential or certification attainment.
Ivy Tech Senior Vice President of Workforce Alignment Chris Lowery says dozens of Indiana employers already participate in Achieve Your Degree.
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