Ivy Tech Community College and Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc. believe a new partnership can help the company and the state grow their own talent. The collaboration allows Cook employees to work toward high school or associate degrees at no cost to them. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said employers want to fill positions from within, and believes the model could be duplicated throughout the state.
The program aims to boost attainment in a region in need of improvement. The school says nearly 30,000 people in the 10 counties making up southwest central Indiana do not have the equivalent of a high school diploma, including 9,000 in Monroe County.
Cook Medical President Pete Yonkman says, in talking to employees, he finds that many have the desire to go back to school and grow their careers. As part of the partnership, he says Cook will hire people without high school diplomas to work part-time while they go to school, and potentially move them to full-time positions after earning their degrees. Yonkman says the program also allows employees to earn certificates at no cost in programs including biotechnology, business administration and informatics.
So far, the program has proved popular with employees of the medical device manufacturer. Yonkman says more than 100 have enrolled in the certificate courses, and over 25 have signed up for the part-time program to work toward a high school degree. ?That effort is run through the Monroe County Community School Corporation’s Broadview Learning Center. The adult education program helps prepare students for the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma.