Andrea Schwartz is dean of Advanced Manufacturing at Ivy Tech Comm. College in Lafayette (courtesy: Bridget O'Reilly/AgriNovus)
IIB's Gerry Dick hosts the weekly AgriNovus Indiana Ag+Bio+Science podcast. (courtesy: Bridget O'Reilly)
One of the core tenets of AgriNovus Indiana is to help build the state’s talent base and accelerate growth of the agbioscience sector.
Ivy Tech Community College plays a key role in helping to develop the worker pool, whether it is in traditional production agriculture or the high-tech space of precision ag.
“One of the biggest challenges is that innovation and technology moves so quickly. So how do we stay ahead of that in terms of training this workforce so that they’re ready to go out,” said Andrea Schwartz, dean of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Applied Sciences at Ivy Tech’s Lafayette campus.
Schwartz is featured in this week’s Ag+Bio+Science podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana, hosted by IIB’s Gerry Dick. The weekly podcast includes conversations with leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Indiana’s agbioscience sector, discussing the confluence of food, agriculture, science and technology.
Schwartz says Ivy Tech works with industry partners, like farm equipment dealer Bane-Welker, Atlanta-based Beck’s Hybrid Seeds, and Avon-based Co-Alliance cooperative to better understand what the industry needs when it comes to future personnel.
“So we’re really excited to be able to better meet those needs, but also in continuing education for those that are out in the workforce now that as a new technology comes to be how can we help get them trained and skilled in a way that really works,” said Schwartz.
She said Ivy Tech continues to look industry changes that are coming down the road in five to 10 years and develop new programs. Schwartz says undergrads can earn an associate degree at Ivy Tech and earn a job or decide to pursue a four-year degree at another institution, such as Purdue University.
The two schools have forged a partnership called Pathway to Purdue agriculture program. It is a co-enrollment program where the students start at both Purdue and Ivy Tech as freshmen.
“It really is a collaboration unlike most across the country. It’s looked at as a model for other states. How can a land grant institution and a community college, that are located in the same county, really work together to develop those skills and talents needed,” wondered Schwartz?
The full podcast will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.