LIFT, NIMS, Ivy Tech Aim to Teach Industrial Technology Maintenance Skills

The public-private partnership will align education and job training to 21st century technologies driving manufacturing growth and competitiveness.

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) - one of the new national manufacturing innovation institutes -- and Ivy Tech Community College (Ivy Tech) are partnering to enhance and expand training to fill the largest number of open manufacturing jobs in states along the auto corridor.  The partners will prepare a new industrial technology maintenance workforce, which drives the performance and improvement of high-tech manufacturing and accounts for 60% of job growth from 2011 to 2014 in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. 

"Manufacturing enterprises-especially those serving the defense and transportation sectors -continue to embrace new light weight metals and technologies, adding advanced technical requirements to critical jobs already going unfilled because workers do not have the required skills," said Larry Brown, executive director, LIFT.  "This is an unprecedented partnership among our new manufacturing innovation institute, a national credentialing body and a premier statewide community college system collaborating to address the workforce needs of our industry partners and their supply chains." 

There are currently 38,727 industrial technology maintenance jobs posted in the region. These jobs entail the maintenance, troubleshooting and improvement of complex machines and automation systems that create efficient and productive manufacturing.  To support the rapid deployment of new light weighting technologies being developed at LIFT, workers will have to understand and be confident in using the latest advanced technologies, help integrate them into companies' processes and maintain their performance over time.

The initiative will focus on building high-quality training programs by:

  • Rolling out the first-ever industry standards for educating and training the industrial technology maintenance workforce;
  • Training instructors from community colleges across the entire region; and
  • Equipping a competent workforce with the knowledge, skills and credentials they need to enter into and advance in the field.

In partnership with Ivy Tech, NIMS worked with over 125 industry, education and workforce development experts to develop the industry standards for the training programs and the credentials that will prepare industrial technology mechanics and technicians.  Ivy Tech will launch a new instructor training facility to prepare 50 instructors to deliver the training, and NIMS will bring to market credentials that certify individuals' skills by Fall of 2016. 

"While employers are facing a real-time skills gap, job vacancies and competitive wages-which can average up to $25.00/hour-mean that opportunities abound for motivated people looking to secure good jobs in a growing, technology-driven field," said NIMS executive director, Jim Wall. 

"As the first national instructor training facility for this field, Ivy Tech's goal is to lay a solid foundation and become a beacon for other training programs responding to the demand," said Thomas J. Snyder, president, Ivy Tech Community College.  "We have a responsibility to the communities we serve to build a first-rate workforce pipeline that has access to the most high-quality and economically relevant training and credentials."

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