Jim McCormick: Class Personified

There are rightfully many tributes being offered about longtime Vincennes business and community leader C. James McCormick, who passed away earlier this week at age 92. We’ll share two related to the Indiana Chamber – where Jim, as he was known to all, may just have the longest tenure of any board member in the organization’s 95-year history – and our BizVoice® magazine.

In 2006 Jim’s son, C.J. “Mac” McCormick III was going to be honored as the Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year when he tragically passed away in a plane crash 13 days before the Annual Awards Dinner. In an obviously difficult time for all, Jim agreed and wanted to accept the award on behalf of his son.

His words of wisdom that night (see photo) served as both a tribute to his son and a lesson to all to live life to its fullest as Mac did. In a Chamber career that spans more than 19 years, the class of the McCormick family – led by its patriarch Jim – stands out as one of the most memorable moments.

Jim was always eager to talk about his lifelong home of Knox County and Vincennes. Among his most recent acts of public service was as a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. In an interview for the January-February 2016 BizVoice® bicentennial issue, Jim said:

“Vincennes has so many firsts. It would take a whole page to list them all. Vincennes needs to put its best foot forward and champion those firsts (during 2016).” Speaking of his beloved Vincennes University, where he was still active on the board of trustees, he added, “We’ve made giant strides in technology and teaching young people how to be ready for the marketplace in the computer and robot age. A few years ago, that wasn’t an issue or something we talked about. I guess I’m a little biased, but I think VU stands tall in offering those opportunities.”

Jim, thank you for everything you did for your community, our state and everyone you came into contact with during your 92-plus years. Yours indeed was a long life well-lived.

Calling All Manufacturers to Learn About Apprentice Program

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Apprenticeship Works is the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The goal: make apprenticeships more accessible and affordable for employers to help reduce skills gaps.

This national effort is funded by a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Two information sessions on the program will take place Wednesday, April 13 at the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Campus (2175 Hoffman Road in Indianapolis). Non-food manufacturers will meet at 9:00 a.m. that day, followed by food manufacturers at 10:30.

Registration is limited. Contact Rick May (email: [email protected]; phone: 317-327-3701) of the Department of Metropolitan Development – City of Indianapolis for more information or to register.

AAR, Vincennes Univ. Programs Help Students Get Aviation Careers Airborne

vu 4AAR, an aviation services and products company with 60 global locations — including Indianapolis — and Vincennes University have a partnership that is producing well-trained airline services technicians, mechanics and more.

These organizations held a “Tug and Tour” event at the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center (ATC) at the Indianapolis International Airport Wednesday. We were able to attend, joined by educators, economic development officials, military veterans and others. The event featured a tour of an aircraft hangar, as well as lunch on a Boeing 737. As Samuel L. Jackson can attest, lunch on a plane is far superior to snakes on a plane (my apologies; I’ll show myself out).

The Programs

The ATC features advanced aviation labs, testing equipment and elaborate maintenance hangars — and class sizes are limited to 25 students.

It was enlightening to learn about the partnership and how well-prepared these students are as they jump from the classroom and hands-on training into well-paying careers. Additionally, AAR offers paid internships to many Vincennes students in the program. VU instructor Ed Briggeman explained the industry is thriving, and that students who complete VU’s Aviation Maintenance program have many opportunities through the school’s myriad partners and connections. Furthermore, the program prepares students for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification and entry-level employment. A certified mechanic can make $50,000 – $55,000 per year, and the program yielded 16 mechanics in July — and by August 15 of them were placed into positions.

Students can also pursue training in aviation flight, which paves the (run)way for careers as pilots and instructors. Unlike most training facilities that can charge $100 per hour, VU doesn’t charge its students to use its flight simulators. And VU’s Indianapolis program features a fleet of well-maintained aircraft (including Cessna 172 and 172RG, as well as multi engine training in a Piper Seminole).

In Indiana, we are blessed to have public and private colleges and universities that rival or exceed those in any other region of the country — and VU is a testament to that. For more on this program or to inquire about viewing the facility, contact Corinna Vonderwell at [email protected].

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812 Area Code Changes on the Way

It doesn't seem that long ago that communications in our state was defined by the following trio of three-set numbers: 219, 317 and 812. I was an 812 guy as a younngster, having grown up in St. Leon (near the Ohio border and Cincinnati), and later switched to 317 during college and early working years.

But it's been a full 17 years since the first expansion of Indiana's three area codes. Geographic splits took place in 1996 (765 was added in the former 317 territory) and 2001 (219 in the north saw a three-way divide with 574 and 260 coming into play). Now it's Southern Indiana's turn. The 812 area code was originally forecasted to run out of numbers in 2004, but conservation efforts put off the inevitable until the current projection of 2015.

For those "812ers," it's time to weigh in. Geographic splits have been replaced by "overlays" in many instances. Overlays allow everyone to keep current phone numbers but requires 10-digit dialing for local calls. The geographic split keeps the seven-digit local dialing but would require many to switch to numbers with a new area code.

The first of 10 public hearings throughout the region takes place Monday in Terre Haute. Other locations are Bloomington, Jeffersonville, Evansville, Vincennes, Bedford, Springs Valley, St. Meinrad, North Vernon and St. Leon. Comments can also be submitted by various other methods.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor has all the details on the meeting and much more. Check out the informative web page.

That’s Logistics!

David Tucker of Vincennes University takes a look at logistics training and education, including a new facility in Plainfield. Read the story in the March/April edition of BizVoice, which explains logistics developments and education efforts going on around the state. This effort could prove pivotal in giving many Hoosiers the skills necessary to fill jobs.

Purdue Helps Students Get “World-class” Degrees Near Home

It’s almost graduation time for college students across Indiana. Some of the least heralded gems are those mined right in our local communities, thanks to the Purdue College of Technology Statewide, with 10 locations across Indiana. Students stay home, continue their careers and get a world-class degree they can put to work right in their hometown.

In South Bend, 46 Purdue students will earn their bachelor’s on May 14. Class responder Curtis Damon, a major in industrial technology, paired his classes with a job as associate project engineer for PEI-Genesis in South Bend. And he plans to stay there.

"The College of Technology trains local professionals and young adults on new advanced topics in engineering, quality and design," he explains. "I have personally witnessed many individuals who are not looking for a particular degree but are taking classes for advancement at work and/or for a direct improvement at the workplace they are currently at. The classes in lean manufacturing and production, Six Sigma and inventory management are very straightforward and make it easy to take what you learn and implement it directly into your workplace.

"The College of Technology also allows individuals to stay at home, advance their education and build careers. This is a great benefit to both students and the local businesses in the area. It allows the local community to hire people who are from the area, who are highly educated and motivated to work. You can’t beat hiring individuals who don’t need relocation packages, know the area where they live and the community around them, and have the knowledge and education to help companies succeed."

You can read more about Curtis here. Statewide Technology is an extension of the College of Technology. Its degree programs follow the same curriculum requirements as the programs on the West Lafayette campus. Classes are taught by Purdue faculty or those approved by academic department heads. More than 1,350 students are enrolled at its sites in Anderson, Columbus, Greensburg, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend and Vincennes. Of those, 53% attend full time.

Jeanne Norberg is a spokesperson for Purdue University.