Rushville Republican

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September 20, 2013

Manufacturing Matters training program to address closing the skills gap in Eastern Indiana

Manufacturing Matters, a new regional training initiative to address the manufacturing skills gap in Eastern Indiana has been announced. The strategy will provide certified workers to bridge the skills gap at companies across the entire region. The Manufacturing Matters region currently includes Wayne, Fayette, Rush, Union and Franklin Counties with outreach to Darke and Preble Counties in Ohio. WorkOne will work to qualify applicants to match to available funding streams. Ivy Tech’s Corporate College staff will provide the training.

Manufacturing Matters grew out of an industry leaders forum hosted by Ivy Tech in 2012 and through a collaborative effort of the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, the Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation, Economic Development Group of Fayette County, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, Rush County Chamber of Commerce, Connersville Chamber of Commerce, Mayor’s Office City of Richmond, Mayor’s Office City of Connersville, Mayor’s Office City of Rushville, WorkOne and Ivy Tech Corporate College. Key stakeholders from these groups, along with manufacturing employers, came together to create a vision for growing the economies in Eastern Indiana.

Duke Energy also was involved in the planning and recently announced $312,000 in Ivy Tech Corporate College scholarships to jump start five regional training programs, including Manufacturing Matters. Manufacturing Matters’ founding manufacturing partners include Vandor Corporation, Mosey Manufacturing, Richmond Baking Company, Primex Plastics Corporation, GE Roots Connersville, Ingersoll Rand/Trane and Emerson Climate Technologies.

The first Certified Production Technician (CPT) class for Manufacturing Matters begins Oct. 21. Today’s announcement will allow applicants to apply for consideration of a community scholarship to take the training valued by local manufacturers.

The advantage of the model for employers is that it removes much of the risk in the hiring process. For participants, they are able to learn valuable skills and get oriented to what it’s like to work in manufacturing – equipping them to make better decisions in seeking employment. Participants self-select to apply to the program, commit personal time to earning the credential and are prequalified, WorkKeys tested and drug tested prior to training. Those qualifying for the training receive a $2,600 scholarship that pays for the training costs.

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