Last Updated on March 3, 2015 by cassnetwork
Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region has been honored with two Postsecondary Career and Technical Education Awards for Excellence from the Indiana Department of Education. The awards were presented recently in a public ceremony at the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis, recognizing a public/private industry/workforce development partnership including Ivy Tech as well as the Ivy Tech Automotive Institute Program in Kokomo.
The partnership award was accepted by representatives of the partnership’s three members: Jan Bailey, program director for the Ivy Tech’s Integrated Technology Education Program (ITEP); James Woolf, director of Community Outreach & Educational Engagement for FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; and Roger Feldhaus, CEO of the Tecumseh Area Partnership, and executive director of Region 4 Workforce Board. Mike Erny, associate professor at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region and statewide chair of Ivy Tech’s Automotive Institute Program, accepted the program of excellence
award presented to the institute. Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus President Michelle Simmons and Rodni Lytle, dean of Ivy Tech Kokomo Region’s School of Technology, attended.
“The Integrated Technology Education Program focuses on Advanced Manufacturing training and careers and includes one of our newest degrees, Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology (AART). The Automotive Institute offers a concentrated program of instruction that prepares students with skills to succeed in the industry in a year or less,” Simmons said.
“Both are great examples of Ivy Tech’s commitment to the residents and businesses of Indiana to help develop the skills needed to fill good-paying job openings,” she continued. “These efforts exemplify excellence. We are proud the Indiana Department of Education agreed.”
The Ivy Tech initiatives were among five postsecondary programs and four partnerships recognized by the state for excellence in career and technical education, including three other programs from Ivy Tech campuses in Lafayette and Fort Wayne.
The partnership award recognized efforts by Ivy Tech in Kokomo, FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the Region 4 Workforce Board to address what each viewed as an employment gap in the Kokomo area. Specifically, high-skill jobs were opening up and the available workforce was not sufficiently trained to meet the demand.
Through the partners’ efforts, Ivy Tech received a $3.27 million grant from the federal government to expand its Integrated Technology Education Program to students in area high schools and career centers. FCA committed to match grant funds with $900,000 and 14 schools and career centers joined as supporters of the initiative.
Since announcement of the federal grant, FCA received a $100,000 grant through the Center for Education and Career Innovation to expand training facilities at its Tipton transmission plant and the Tecumseh Area Partnership received a $7.6 million grant to provide long-term unemployed adults with an opportunity to retrain and enter the workforce.
As noted in the presentation ceremony in Indianapolis, together these partners have been awarded almost $11 million that will make a positive impact on the entire region for many years.
“The goal is to train workers who are ready to meet the ever-changing needs of local industry, workers who are ready for high-wage, high-demand skilled employment opportunities,” Bailey said. “Through this extensive partnership, with a number of programs, we have the opportunity to advance economic stability in a region that has faced so many problems.”
Implementation of the Automotive Institute in Kokomo began in the fall semester of 2012, developed in response to demands for increasing student retention and completion rates and providing graduates with the skills to fill the needs of industry in a shorter period of time.
The institute operates within the School of Technology to deliver programs of one year or less that are structured around industry-recognized certifications. It is a fast track into the work field, preparing students to start their careers in new car dealerships and independent repair facilities working on newer high technology equipped vehicles in a professional environment.
“The Automotive Institute has worked with several local and statewide business leaders, including industry partners such as Snap-on, to make sure we have a facility and training program that will deliver qualified service technicians to fill the skills gap in the automotive field. So far 21 students have graduated from this program,” Erny said. “They have found jobs with local new car dealerships, auto supply companies and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and one is putting his training to use in a vehicle technology position in the agribusiness field.”
Simmons added, “In the first year of the program, the Kokomo Region awarded 28 credentials certifying our students’ expertise in skills essential to the automotive industry, a reflection of our excellent faculty and staff and their commitment to this initiative.”
Initiated in 1984, the Indiana Career and Technical Education Awards for Excellence program is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education. Nominations are reviewed by committees with representatives of business and industry as well as career and technical education administrators and teachers.
For more information on Ivy Tech’s Automotive Institute, contact Mike Erny at 765-459-0561, ext. 701. For more information on ITEP, contact Jan Bailey at 765-459-0561, ext. 529.