A new partnership between Ivy Tech Community College and several local entities will focus on helping low-income individuals with career training and job skills.
The partnership, which brings together the college, the city of Fort Wayne, Parkview Health, Neighborhood Health Clinic and Fort Wayne United will promote the Ivy Works program. Under the program, people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits can earn a certificate in Home Care Tech, Industrial Maintenance or CNC Machining.
The program begins Monday and will run through September 2019.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is commonly known as SNAP or food stamps.
“The Ivy Works program is a recreation of a national program. There are several across the country that are designed to provide benefits for people who are receiving food stamps.” Chris Cathcart, vice chancellor of student success, said. “What we're doing is providing non-academic support services like case management, child care, transportation assistance, any of those supports that people need so that they can remove the barriers that keep them from being successful academically.”
The goal, Cathcart said, is to reach out to people who are the most in need and help them to gain skills they need to become economically stable through long-term employment.
Those eligible include anyone receiving SNAP or anyone who lives in a household where someone is receiving that benefit.
“This is the first in the state, and we hope with our success we can expand it throughout the state of Indiana,” Cathcart said.
The city's role in the partnership will be to help market the program, Mayor Tom Henry said in an interview Friday.
“Through this partnership, we think we can provide training and the education necessary in order to move individuals forward to help give them a hand up in their educational pursuits to give them a potential career,” Henry said. “Obviously if there are additional physical assets they need to help move this project along, we'd be more than happy to be a part of that as well.”
Information sessions for the Ivy Works program will start 11 a.m. Monday at the downtown Neighborhood Health Clinic, 1717 S. Calhoun St.