$8.7 Million Federal Grants Expand Indiana’s Skilled Workforce Through Apprenticeships | Indiana


(The Center Square) — Indiana’s electric vehicle, semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturers will have better access to a skilled workforce through expanded learning opportunities.

The development initiative is a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and $8.7 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to Sue Smith, vice president of advanced manufacturing, engineering and applied science at Ivy Tech, apprenticeships will play a key role in supplying employers with skilled workers as the state’s economy grows. .

“We have about 15,000 manufacturing jobs open in Indiana, and about half require a post-secondary degree. I don’t think we’ll close this gap unless employers come alongside us and work with us to train people for this job,” Smith told The Center Square.

“We have considerable expertise in this area and stand ready to help expand this program and provide solutions to struggling employers across the state,” she added.

Ivy Tech, the state’s largest institution of higher learning, will use its $4.7 million in federal funding to develop a Learning Center, which will serve as a clearinghouse to match students with employers and vice poured.

Ivy Tech has approximately 6,000 apprentices working in construction trades, 1,000 in industrial trades, and a small number in health care positions. The school has partnerships with 140 Indiana companies and with 12 unions through the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee at 60 locations.

Registered apprenticeships are recognized by the US Department of Labor and have a progressive wage structure and an apprenticeship component that takes the apprentice to an expert level in their skill or trade.

“They become a master in their field,” Smith said. “It is an internationally recognized degree.”

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development will use its $4 million grant to expand apprenticeship programs at WorkOne sites across the state. This includes over 100 existing learning programs known as State Earn and Learn.

“The grant will allow Indiana to continue the important work of scaling these programs through its statewide system of intermediaries – regional labor commissions. workforce,” said Darrel Zeck, executive director of DWD’s Office of Workforce Solutions and Engagement. “Helping to ensure the alignment of needs and resources, with a focus on skills and qualifications that employers value, should deliver a significant gain in effectiveness and efficiency across all parts of the EU. State.”

Because apprenticeships combine classroom learning and labs with on-the-job application, they create a more skilled and knowledgeable employee than instruction or on-the-job training alone, according to Smith.

“When you think about it, that’s how we train doctors and other people for critical positions,” she said.

Learning also contributes to retention.

“What we know from the national data is that people stay for at least five years after completing their four-year apprenticeship program,” Smith said. “Nine years is almost unheard of in today’s job market.”

Apprenticeships vary from one year, depending on the industry.

High-tech, high-paying jobs will be a focus of Ivy Tech’s expanded program.

“We’re focusing first on electric vehicles and the infrastructure around them,” Smith said. “We hope to address future industries like semiconductors and also help pharmaceuticals. I hope we can also expand our learnings in health care.


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