Students to Get Paid to Learn Through New Manufacturing Program

Evansville (WEHT/NNDC) – Skill UP Indiana!, a unique manufacturing program allowing students to learn while they earn money, will begin classes Monday morning.

The program is a collaboration of local industry, community, education, and business partners in the newly created Southwest Indiana Workforce Coalition (SWIWC).

Skill UP is designed to educate and inform students, and will pay students $12.50 per hour during their entire enrollment in the 11-week program, which includes five weeks of class time as well as five weeks of on-the-job learning training, and potential for direct hire with local companies.

Targeted participants include high school youth, and unemployed/underemployed adult workers.

Ivy Tech is continuing to take applications for future classes. The application can be found here.

In late 2016, Ivy Tech Southwest received a grant for the Skill UP Indiana! Program totaling $666,506 from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to provide sector-focused training and education programs for in-demand occupations in the Southwest region.

Skill UP will focus on this region’s third largest area for employment opportunities – advanced manufacturing.

Manufacturing in Southwest Indiana is expected to grow by 5.8% during the next decade and the field is experiencing a gap in employment due to the aging workforce and brain drain within existing talent; a challenged work ethic of incoming generations, as well as high turnover of under-skilled, uninformed workers, and misconceptions regarding manufacturing work. Regional employers have expressed a need for programs outside of the standard post-secondary education academic model to train and retrain workers in order for their sector to maintain a competitive edge in an every changing marketplace.

“The SWIWC is committed to educating and preparing this region’s middle to high school youth and adult workers through educational and experiential training; as well as development and personal empowerment to generate a thriving employee in the advanced manufacturing industry,” said Bo Drake, executive director of workforce development.

Junior Achievement of Southwest Indiana is creating an Advanced Manufacturing curriculum to be delivered in area schools to help create awareness in the types of jobs and careers in the field, Drake said.

Training will include:

  • Fundamental workforce skills – also referred to as soft skills
  • OSHA 10-hour general industry certification – teaching safety awareness and reducing jobsite hazards
  • Southwest Indiana Manufacturing Training, also referred to as Manufacturing Skills Standards
  • Certification (MSSC) – this is a nationally recognized certification, which can be used toward 6 credit hours of a college Advanced Manufacturing Certificate at Ivy Tech
  • On-the-job work – the participant will work for 6 weeks, 40 hours per week, at a manufacturer.

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