Conexus Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College presented an innovative new advanced manufacturing and logistics curriculum for high school students called ‘Hire Technology’ to the Indiana State Board of Education today.
Hire Technology is a two-year elective program designed to give students a head start on careers in those industries, which employ one of every four working Hoosiers. Conexus President and CEO Steve Dwyer and Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder discussed the program with the ISBE as part of its regular meeting in Indianapolis.
Conexus, the state’s manufacturing and logistics initiative, developed Hire Technology in partnership with Ivy Tech in response to employer demand for the next generation of skilled workers. Hire Technology uses a mix of online lessons and hands-on projects to introduce young people to manufacturing and logistics while allowing them to earn college credits and industry-endorsed certificates.
Hire Technology is currently being offered in nine Indiana high schools as a pilot project, with more than 300 students participating, before being made available statewide next year. School corporations are currently expressing their intention to offer the program in 2013 and working with Conexus and Ivy Tech staff on implementation plans.
“Careers in manufacturing and logistics are evolving, and the way we educate our future workforce has to evolve as well,” said Dwyer. “With the support of the Department of Education and the ISBE, we’re creating a new pathway for young Hoosiers from their high school classrooms to challenging and exciting careers in our largest economic sector.”
State Board of Education members had positive reactions to the Hire Technology approach and progress towards implementation.
“In addition to the basics all students need for success in life and work in the 21st Century, it is important that our curricula reflect options that align students to available career opportunities,” said David Shane, at-large board member. “It is gratifying to see employers around the state stepping forward to help teach the skills students need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We’re a manufacturing- and logistics-intensive economy, and a program like Hire Technology is critical to increase our students’ career readiness and our employers’ productivity and competitiveness.”
Students who complete the Hire Technology curriculum will be able to earn up to 15 college credits through an Ivy Tech dual-credit program and five national certificates such as those awarded by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and by the industry-recognized APICS organization.
“The manufacturing jobs that are here to stay aren’t on the assembly line any longer,” noted Snyder, the former CEO of major auto parts manufacturer Remy International prior to his tenure at Ivy Tech. “They demand critical thinking, problem-solving, technical expertise – that’s why the majority of the U.S. manufacturing workforce now has at least some college education.
“Hire Technology brings this reality to our high schools, giving students a solid foundation they can take to Ivy Tech or another higher education program and into the job market.”