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Ivy Tech Kokomo kicks off ‘human capital’ campaign with $1.2 million in donations

Last Updated on October 3, 2021 by Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region

KOKOMO, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College went public with “Invest IN Ivy Tech,” its first statewide “human capital” campaign, Thursday night with announcements at the College’s 19 campuses across the state. The overall goal of the campaign is to raise a total of $285 million to strengthen the critical role Ivy Tech plays in the future of Indiana.

In Kokomo, where the Ivy Tech community recently celebrated the successful conclusion of a traditional capital campaign to raise $3 million to complete their new campus, Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore and Howard County Commissioner Jack Dodd were on hand to announce $1.2 million in donations to kick off the local “Invest IN Indiana” campaign.

At the local event Thursday afternoon, Ivy Tech Kokomo Chancellor Dean McCurdy told a group of supporters that the Kokomo Service Area, which covers Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton, and Pulaski counties, has set a goal of raising an additional $7.8 million as part of the “Invest IN Ivy Tech” campaign. That goal includes government and foundation grants and other support in addition to donations from area individuals and business and industry.

“Over the last few years, the Kokomo Service Area has been blessed with generous support, including that $3.3 million in community donations for the Kokomo Campus Transformation,” he said. “Now we want to build on that. We know there is so much more than we can do to invest in ‘human capital’ for our students, our communities, our state, and our future.

“The $7.8 million goal was developed to help fund five major areas of need, where we believe our efforts will result in an impressive return on investment to the students and communities we serve,” the chancellor continued. These include:

  • $2.2 million to fund the Industry 4.0 initiative aimed at training the highly skilled employees needed by local manufacturers.
  • $1.5 million to fund additional scholarships.
  • $1.2 million to increase K-14 dual enrollment and college connection programs.
  • $2.1 million designated for “barrier busting resources” to help students overcome a variety of challenges and reach their educational goals.
  • $800,000 for “areas of greatest need,” contingency funds to cover unanticipated needs.

The high point in Thursday’s event in Kokomo was the announcement of donations of $1.2 million by the City of Kokomo and Howard County to support the Industry 4.0 initiative. The funds will be used to purchase of equpment to support Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new Smart Manufacturing and Digital Integration program that will equip students with the interdisciplinary skills required in advanced manufacturing.

Mayor Moore said the city government recognizes the critical importance of advanced manufacturing in the Kokomo area and the need for retraining to skill up the workforce needed for continuing economic success.

“Kokomo has long been known as ‘The City of Firsts,’ an incubator of innovation,” the mayor said. “We already have production facilities in our community that are building components for electric vehicles and transmissions for hybrid vehicles. The new Stellantis plant under construction will be one of these ‘smart factories’ from its beginning.

“Manufacturing will continue to be the backbone of our economy, but only if we have a workforce ready to succeed at ‘Industry 4.0,’” he continued. “The City of Kokomo understands the significance of this project to our future and is proud to be able to make this investment in Ivy Tech.”

Commissioner Dodd echoed the mayor’s support of this initiative, saying the training offered at Ivy Tech Kokomo will support manufacturing here now and into the future.

“The county is proud to invest in Ivy Tech with this commitment to the future of our communities,” Dodd said. “We’ve all seen the results of failure to invest in the future. Instead of being left behind, we’re leading the way.”

Paul Wyman, who, as a Howard County commissioner and business leader, has been instrumental in economic development efforts in this area, noted that over the next five years, employers in this region estimate more than 5,000 “Baby Boomer” employees will be retiring.

“The fact that Ivy Tech Kokomo is among the first schools in the nation to offer the training needed in modern manufacturing’s new digitally connected factories is fantastic and certainly deserves the support of the entire community,” Wyman said.

A recently released study, conducted by labor market analytics firm Emsi, outlined the economic impact Ivy Tech has on the Kokomo Service Area and the return on investment the College makes to its major stakeholder groups – students, taxpayers, and the communities it serves. The report said the service area benefitted from $102.5 million in Ivy Tech contributions, an impact that supported the equivalent of 1,796 regional jobs, meaning that one out of every 54 jobs in the Kokomo Service Area is supported by the activities of Ivy Tech Kokomo, its students, and its alumni.

“With the ‘Invest IN Ivy Tech’ campaign, our communities now have an opportunity to play a part in strengthening the critical role the College pays in Indiana,” McCurdy said.

For more information on the “Invest IN Ivy Tech” campaign, contact Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, at or 765-252-5501.

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region