Eight regional colleges and universities in the South Bend-Elkhart region will receive funding for new programs from the LIFT Network. The awards total nearly $2.5 million to support learning and programs to help the area’s workforce in the digital age of industry.
The awards come from the LIFT Network’s Digital Skills Accelerator Fund, which is administered by the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership and the University of Notre Dame. Grants were awarded in two phases, with phase 1 planning grants of $50,000 per school awarded in August 2020. Phase II began with a workshop in December 2020 where institutions shared plans and submitted proposals.
“We’re excited to welcome these eight new partners into the LIFT Network, and we look forward to the great things they will accomplish with this support from the Digital Skills Accelerator Fund. These programs will result in more than 2,000 new credentials and will engage a broad swath of the community – including K-12 students, incumbent workers, and current undergraduate students – all aligned with the skills required in the growing digital economy,” said Dr. Tom Fuja, faculty director of Notre Dame’s iNDustry Labs.
Institutions receiving funding:
- Ancilla College will expand its AncillaWorks platform – A student-facing work-and-learn program – to include incumbent, adult workers who will be trained within the industry spaces of business analytics, logistics and supply chain. For this effort, Ancilla has been awarded a $100,000 Phase II grant.
- Bethel University will launch a Digital Workforce Transformation Program that will develop talent aligned with mechanical engineering, information technology and data analytics via academic bootcamps and the modernization of the University’s engineering programs. Bethel has been awarded a $230,000 Phase II grant for this initiative.
- Goshen College will develop a Digital Skills Accelerator Program that will build future and current workforce pipelines focused on business and information technology disciplines. They will also develop a new Information and Business Technology undergraduate degree program. For these initiatives, Goshen College has been awarded a $400,000 Phase II grant.
- Holy Cross College will establish a new Computer Science undergraduate minor within Holy Cross College and offer non-degree certificate coding programs for non-computer science minors to incumbent and adult workers. For these programs, Holy Cross has been awarded a $200,000 Phase II grant.
- Indiana University South Bend (IU South Bend) will develop a Digital Skills Pipeline Project to advance a K-12 STEM Summer Academy in collaboration with the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and a career exploration in healthcare technology targeting incumbent and non-incumbent workers. IUSB has been awarded a $350,000 Phase II grant for these initiatives.
- Ivy Tech Community College, South Bend – Elkhart will expand and purchase new advanced manufacturing/industry 4.0-enabling training technology to be housed within the Ivy Tech Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Automation. Ivy Tech has been awarded a $300,000 Phase II grant to support this initiative.
- Purdue Polytechnic Institute, South Bend will develop an Industry 4.0 Industry Advancement Certification and an industry-aligned incumbent worker training initiative, including the purchase of a LEAN training simulator and module sets that will facilitate key manufacturing and Industry 4.0 engineering and production efficiency competencies. For these initiatives, Purdue Polytechnic Institute has been awarded a $200,000 Phase II grant.
- Saint Mary’s College will develop an Industry Credentialing Lab that will support talent development by creating a pipeline of skill-credentialed, industry-ready graduates within the South Bend – Elkhart regional workforce who will earn credentials alongside a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree available to students of every major and minor. For these programs, Saint Mary’s has been awarded a $285,000 Phase II grant.