Talent Initiative Builds Northeast Indiana's Talent Pipeline
The Talent Initiative, established by a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., is a 10-county regional program focused on accelerating education and training initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The primary goals of the Talent Initiative are to increase the base of highly skilled workers to meet the needs of the defense/aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries, while increasing job quality and reversing the current decline in regional per capita income.
Talent Initiative Key Strategies:
1 - Retraining Adult Workers
The Talent Initiative is working closely with WorkOne Northeast ($5.7 million budgeted) to upgrade the skills of not less than an additional 1,200 adult workers within the first three years of this project. WorkOne Northeast works with employers to customize training programs, and they also work directly with transitioning workers on obtaining the training they need and/or obtaining a certification or degree
2 - Upgrading Education in Advanced Manufacturing
The second strategy is to enhance the Ivy Tech Advanced Manufacturing Program. Grant funds in the amount of $2.6 million have been allocated to equip the Advanced Manufacturing Lab in the newly built Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center. A group of area advanced manufacturers worked with Ivy Tech to coordinate the purchase of the equipment, ensuring that students will gain experience working on the same state-of-art machinery that is currently being used in the defense industry.
3 - Expanding Regional Engineering Talent
In order to expand our regional engineering talent, we must build capacity in higher education. As a result, $4.6 million has been allocated to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) to enhance its systems Engineering and Wireless Communications programs by adding two endowed chairs and three new laboratories: wireless communications, systems engineering and computer visualization.
4 - Preparing K-12 Students for a Knowledge-based Economy
The Talent Initiative is also supporting the launch of six certified STEM New Tech High Schools (one of which will be located in Whitley County) in Northeast Indiana. These six schools will represent the largest concentration of New Techs in the country and will implement project-based learning models with an emphasis on STEM-related fields. The grant will also provide $2.3 million to provide professional development in project-based learning and STEM coursework for Northeast Indiana educators.
To learn more about the Talent Initiative please visit www.TalentMadeHere.com
Check out a Whitley County Company, Micropulse, as Talent Made Here's Curtis tours with a group of New Tech Students