A public-private partnership designed to bring more advanced manufacturing jobs to the Wabash Valley has been launched. The Classroom to Careers Initiative involves employers, schools and training centers looking to “expand career pathways” for area students. The effort focuses on Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties. April 29, 2014

News Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – An initiative to promote and increase the number of advanced technology jobs in Western Indiana is now underway through a partnership of area manufacturers, Area 30 Career Center, Twin Rivers CTE Area, Parke-Vermillion Education and Training Interlocal, Region 35 CTE District – Clay Community Schools and the Vigo County School Corporation, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Western Indiana Workforce Investment Board, Inc.

The Classroom to Careers Initiative (C2C) goals include:

-The establishment of a regional talent pipeline

-Development of a formal mechanism to increase industry-education partnerships in dealing with workforce skill gaps

-Outreach efforts to build awareness and interest in advanced technology careers

C2C is supported through an Indiana Education and Workforce and Innovation Network (EWIN) regional grant, and financial support from the Western Indiana Workforce Investment Board, Inc., with the effort focused in the Western Indiana counties of Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo.

The effort is to expand career pathways for the region's students, linking them to training for skills critically needed by area manufacturers. This collaboration should greatly assist the area's advanced manufacturers by providing them with an increased number of skilled workers; while at the same time, providing good paying jobs within the region for local graduates.

“Advanced manufacturing is a key driver of the economy of western Indiana. It is critical that we have the public – private partnerships in place now to effectively address the need for skilled production – primarily middle-skilled workers,” said Steve Witt, President of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation. “Studies show that this need will continue into 2033, driven by both new job openings and projected retirements. C2C holds the strategies to move our region forward to effective meet this challenge.”

The outreach effort to increase awareness now includes an electronic newsletter, N.E.A.T., (New and Emerging Automation & Technology) which is aimed at students, educators, parents, and manufacturers, providing highlights of career opportunities in the region. (Link to the site http://workonewest.com/ )

Source: The Western Indiana Workforce Investment Board Inc.

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