Indiana Educating Workforce to Keep Manufacturing Strong

Aug. 30, 2010
25% of state's economy consists of manufacturing

The Manufacturing Institute announced on August 30 a partnership with the Ivy Tech Community College System and Indianas four-year public universities to create college education programs aligned to nationally-portable, industry-recognized skills credentials for careers in advanced manufacturing.

With a 9.5% jobless rate and 15 million Americans looking for work, a surprising number of employers are having difficulty filling positions in advanced manufacturing.

"Twenty-five percent of our state's economy is attributable to manufacturing," said Steven Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana, and former COO, Rolls-Royce Corp. "The availability of a skilled workforce determines if and where manufacturers choose to locate. Development of a credentialed talent pool in this state will help us keep and attract new manufacturing jobs to Indiana."

As part of the project, Conexus Indianathe states advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative focused on strategic workforce developmentwill take the lead in industry engagement in the new college programs, while ensuring the foundational skills gained effectively feed into higher-level education and training credentials in the industry. The partnership is supported by a $650,000 grant from Lumina Foundation for Education.

"We need to engage more young people and unemployed workers in learning skills that translate to high-quality jobs in our economy," said Manufacturing Institute President Emily DeRocco. "By deploying the Manufacturing Skills Certification System as stackable credentials in Indiana colleges, we will be offering new pathways to employment and advancement in manufacturing, which is a mainstay of the states economy."

The initiative will build college programs that prepare students, particularly low-income young adults and transitioning workers, with entry-level skills necessary to succeed in advanced manufacturing careers such as aerospace, transportation, logistics and machining.

"Integrating these industry skills certifications in our programs of study dramatically improves how we prepare individuals for manufacturing jobs," said Tom Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College. "We will enhance and accelerate our delivery of a manufacturing workforce for Indiana, equipped with advanced, 21st century skills."

Support from Lumina Foundation positions Indiana as the fifth state receiving private, independent funding to establish the Manufacturing Skills Certification System as the statewide standard for manufacturing education. Forsyth Technical Community College in North Carolina, Lorain County Community College in Ohio, Alamo Colleges in Texas and Shoreline Community College in Washington have set a national precedent for deploying the System.

For more information about the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, visit:

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