A partnership between industry, education and government in Shelbyville, Ind., developed a new program that aims to bridge the manufacturing skills gap in the city and the nation.
The Manufacturing Skills Connection program will help employers and their employees enlist in job training and provide career opportunities.
"This is a program designed to supply your local manufacturers with qualified employees," Larry DePersia, program manager at Ivy Tech Corporate College, said at an informational meeting Wednesday with city and county officials. "The jobs are available, but the skill sets aren't there."
Ivy Tech Corporate College invites students to attend an eight-week program at the end of February to earn a Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential.
A CPT credential distinguishes employees from others in the manufacturing industry solidifying their skills are up-to-date, DePersia said. CPT is a national recognition that allow workers to take their skills anywhere. "These are all skills that an employer wants," he said.
Duke Energy Foundation has already invested $60,000 in the program, and the city of Shelbyville will commit $30,000 in EDIT funds each year for the next two years to fund scholarships and administrative costs, according to Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun.
"It will be a two-year commitment to try to help push this along," DeBaun said. "Otherwise, it's incumbent upon the industry to come on board, because this is all about them and for them, so we need their support and cooperation. This is a direct response to the concerns they've given to (Shelby County Development Corp. executive director) Dan (Theobald) and to me and to the city council, that we need help. This is our way of extending that to them."