A new partnership between Lafayette-based Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. and Vincennes University aims to address a shortage of workers in precision machining. Under the Machinist Internship Program, SIA will employ and mentor new workers while supporting their education at the university.
Vincennes says the partnership will see trainees working part-time at SIA while pursuing an associate degree at VU. The university says those who graduate will be prepared to continue their education through the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.
"Subaru is encouraged by the innovative opportunity to develop our future tool and die workforce," said Brad Rhorer, assistant senior manager at Subaru. "VU has an excellent Precision Machining program that prepares students for limitless career opportunities in advance manufacturing. The ongoing partnership between Subaru and VU affords students with a strong work-and-learn pathway that leads to postsecondary accomplishments and high-paying careers."
The MIP will begin in January and VU says the courses will be structured to support internship scheduling at SIA. The university hopes to expand the partnership next fall to include other companies with a high need for precision machinists.
The university cites data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which says the number of machining jobs is expected to outpace the number of people learning to become machinists. Employment of machinists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to VU.
"This partnership is another great example of how employers, working with educational institutions, can address important workforce needs in our vital manufacturing sector," said VU President Chuck Johnson. "It also helps attract additional students to Vincennes University’s Precision Machining program, which is recognized as one of the best in the country, boosting our efforts to meet the state’s workforce needs."