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Verbatim: $2.2 million grant to aid Ivy Tech manufacturing program

Statement issued Tuesday by the Northeast Indiana Foundation:

Community Partnerships Inc (CPI) has approved the distribution of $2.2M in grant funds to Ivy Tech Foundation that have been allocated for the enhancement of the Advanced Manufacturing Program on Ivy Tech’s Northeast campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana. These funds have been made available through the Talent Opportunity Success (TOpS) 2015 program funded by the Lilly Endowment and now regionally managed by the Northeast Indiana Foundation.

“We are pleased to support Ivy Tech in its mission to provide northeast Indiana’s workforce with relevant and valuable skills,” said Leonard Helfrich, Director of the TOpS 2015 program. “The collaboration and commitment to meeting the needs of regional employers, workers and students demonstrated by Ivy Tech is a testament to the quality workforce training resources available in northeast Indiana that have now been enhanced by the TOpS 2015 talent initiative.”

“We are thrilled to be receiving this grant,” said Ivy Tech Interim Chancellor Russell D. Baker, Ed.D. “The Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse Technology Center will be completed in just a few weeks and this grant will enable us to equip the Advanced Manufacturing Labs in that center with the same state-of-the-art equipment that local employers are using.”

Ivy Tech’s grant funds will be used to purchase capital equipment, new advanced manufacturing machinery and software program enhancements for the Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast campus. A council comprised of area defense industry contractors worked with Ivy Tech to coordinate the purchase of the equipment, ensuring that Ivy Tech Community College students would gain experience working on machinery that is relevant to the current workforce needs of the defense industry.

“There are tremendous job opportunities in Northeast Indiana for men and women who have advanced manufacturing skills,” Baker explained.” Ivy Tech is delighted to be providing individuals with job ready skills and employers with a skilled workforce, particularly in the aerospace and defense sectors in partnership with the Northeast Indiana Tops 2015 talent initiative. We also look forward to giving the other members of the community opportunities to utilize the equipment for their training purposes.”

The Northeast Indiana TOpS 2015 talent initiative was developed through strategic collaboration among regional business leaders, economic development and government officials, community foundations and representatives from K-12 and higher educational systems. Efforts include targeted educational and workforce programs for the aerospace and defense industries spanning northeast Indiana, forming the transformational cornerstone of regional economic growth opportunities and the promotion of high quality jobs in northeast Indiana.

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About Community Partnerships, Inc.: Community Partnerships, Inc. (CPI) currently provides financial governance and oversight for the Northeast Indiana TOpS 2015 talent initiative. As a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, the mission of CPI is to facilitate joint efforts of funders and other organizations that improve the community’s service delivery system through system-wide changes.

About the Northeast Indiana Foundation: Northeast Indiana Foundation currently provides operational oversight for the TOpS 2015 talent initiative. As a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, the mission of the Northeast Indiana Foundation is to support the funding and coordination of charitable activities which directly contribute to its mission of facilitating the creation of new business investment and high quality jobs for the region.

About Ivy Tech Community College: Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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