A statewide coalition is starting an initiative that includes training veterans for manufacturing careers. The Alcoa Foundation is providing funding for the training classes in Evansville, which begin next month. Those classes will take place at the local Ivy Tech Community College campus. December 6, 2013

News Release

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Through the support of Alcoa Foundation and other partners, a statewide coalition in Indiana is launching “Get Skills to Work,” a program that includes training to help veterans transition to rewarding careers in manufacturing.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced Get Skills to Work during a news conference at the National Guard Armory in Evansville. The program brings together manufactures and educators. Indiana and Illinois are the first states to announce state-wide support for the program on behalf of our nation's veterans.

As part of the launch in Indiana, Alcoa Foundation has agreed to provide any necessary funding for veterans to attend accelerated training classes in Evansville, which begin on Jan. 14. Also, those who complete the program in Evansville will receive interviews with area manufacturers through the Tri-State Manufacturers' Alliance.

The Lieutenant Governor said the program addresses two very important issues. “Most importantly, our military veterans will receive training and support for their re-entry into the workforce,” she said. “For our businesses, the program will supply quality workers for our growing manufacturing industries.”

The Get Skills to Work coalition includes more than 500 manufacturers, and it focuses on training for U.S. veterans, helping them translate those skills into manufacturing careers. The program is administered by The Manufacturing Institute, a leading research, education and workforce group supporting the nation's manufacturers.

Get Skills to Work launched in 2012 with support from Alcoa and many other manufacturers and partners, including GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. Ivy Tech is also part of the coalition.

In Southwestern Indiana, the program will begin at Ivy Tech's campus in Evansville, Ind., where veterans will be able to enroll without cost for a 16-week training program that includes two courses. Those enrolled in the program, which begins Jan. 14, will attend two evenings a week, preparing for testing as a Certified Production Technician. Offered by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), the certification is an indication to employers that a job candidate has the necessary skills for a career in manufacturing.

This training in Evansville will provide a valuable first-step in qualifying for a job in advanced manufacturing. In fact, veterans who complete the training will receive interviews on April 3 with companies represented by the Tri-State Manufacturers' Alliance (TSMA), a service of The Chamber of Southwest Indiana. WorkOne in Evansville is also assisting in the recruitment of veterans for the program.

“We're excited to offer this program and even more encouraged that area manufacturers have committed to do on-site interviews with those who successfully complete the program,” said Ivy Tech Southwest Chancellor Dan Schenk. “We'd also like to thank Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation for the leadership in convening various stakeholders to design and plan the implantation of Get Skills to Work”

The sign-up process for students is beginning now, and similar offerings will be available also throughout the state at select Ivy Tech campuses as the program expands. After students complete the program, they can also continue with their studies at Ivy Tech. The classes will allow them to earn credits toward a degree or other certification.

“Bringing the Get Skills to Work program to the state of Indiana, where Alcoa employs more than 3,000, couldn't have happened without great partners, including the Tri-State Manufacturers' Alliance and Ivy Tech Community College, and WorkOne,” said Jim Beck, Communications & Public Affairs Manager for Alcoa Warrick Operations near Evansville, Ind. “Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation are proud to be part of the program and invest in this worthwhile endeavor, which will benefit veterans and the state's manufacturing community.”

In Indiana, manufacturing accounts for more than 25 percent of the state's economy and 98 percent of Indiana's exports. The average salary of a manufacturing employee is 70 percent higher than other non-farm employees. Through this new partnership, Get Skills to Work will help Indiana veterans fill open high-quality jobs by providing opportunities for training to gain skills certifications.

As more than one million service members transition out of the military in the next four years, American manufacturers will have nearly 3.9 million job openings but a shortage of skilled workers to fill them. Statewide partnerships with the Get Skills to Work initiative help close the skills gap with those servicemen and women to whom we owe so much.

“Indiana has a strong and diversified manufacturing sector, making it an especially strong career choice for veterans,” said Brent Weil, Senior Vice President at the Manufacturing Institute. “Get Skills to Work will help veterans to gain the technical skills in high demand with Indiana employers.”

Companies and veterans interested in joining this effort or learning more can visit GetSkillstoWork.org or join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/GetSkillstoWork and Twitter @GetSkillstoWork.

For more information about the Get Skills to Work courses, individuals should contact Ivy Tech Corporate College at (812) 429-9810.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public post-secondary institution and the nation's largest single-accredited statewide community college system with more than 200,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

About Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.

About Tri-State Manufacturers' Alliance

The Tri-State Manufacturers' Alliance (TSMA) is a group of local manufacturers and their support network. The mission of the group is to create a

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