Educators, employers and community members gathered at the Ivy Tech Muncie campus last week to discuss career and training opportunities in manufacturing and construction at the Postsecondary Pathways event, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co., and co-hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute, CELL, Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Chamber.
Rick Barnett, VP Engineering at Indiana Marujun, LLC, summed up the need for the convening in the first panel discussion:
“Students are starting to see the value of manufacturing and seeing it as a viable career opportunity,” said Barnett. “But we’re still not where we need to be.”
Barnett went on to add that Indiana Marujun has not been fully staffed in the maintenance department as long as he can remember. Current employees are putting in great amounts of overtime to keep up with demand.
Drew Dubois with DuPont Pioneer also said they struggle to find maintenance workers, as well as computer and technical skills. He said their biggest challenge, however, is finding employees with soft skills (accountability, creativity and passion).
Indiana Marujun recently developed an apprenticeship program to develop their future talent. The U.S. Department of Labor runs Registered Apprenticeship, a system that provides the opportunity for workers seeking high-skilled, high-paying jobs and for employers seeking to build a qualified workforce. Each state has an apprenticeship office; for more information, visit the web site.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann gave the opening keynote, encouraging employers to offer more work-and-learn opportunities, such as internships, and for educators to share multiple “Plan A’s” with their students. Included in the event was a tour of Magna Powertrain, a supplier for the global automotive industry with focus in powertrain design, development, testing and manufacturing, that employs hundreds of associates at two locations in Muncie.
Other Postsecondary Pathways events were held in Lafayette, Odon and Batesville. Additional events are planned for the fall. Visit the Indiana Youth Institute’s web site to find dates and registration information for these future opportunities.
Learn more about the participating businesses at the Region 6 Postsecondary Pathways event:
IndianaSkills.com aims to bridge the gap between the types of training and credentials people are pursuing in Indiana and the skills being requested by our state’s employers. The site provides information on employer demand for specific jobs, skills and certifications compared to the supply of graduates completing short-term training (two years or less beyond high school) related to these jobs, skills and certifications.