Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder, who resides in Anderson and on Tippecanoe Lake, Leesburg, was selected by Executive Office of the President of the United States of America and the Department of Labor to serve on a White House Roundtable Discussion and Summit on expanding and innovating apprenticeships in America on July 14 in Washington, D.C.
The event encouraged discussion on strategies and emerging innovations that can help reach President Barack Obama’s ambitious goal to double the number of apprenticeships in the next five years and expand apprenticeships into new fields and high-growth industries.
President Obama announced on April 16 that his administration will be making available $100 million in American Apprenticeship Grants this fall to expand innovative apprenticeships and to scale high-quality apprenticeship models that work. In addition, the Department of Labor, as part of the Administration’s job-driven training reforms is reinvesting in and revitalizing its capabilities to support employers and communities looking to expand apprenticeship.
The summit featured a diverse mix of leading employers, labor organizations, community colleges, state and local leaders, and workforce development and training organizations to discuss opportunities and strategies to expand apprenticeship. In particular, the agenda featured a discussion of critical investments that can scale existing models or spur needed innovations in American apprenticeships; avenues to expand apprenticeship in high-growth industries and emerging occupations, such as IT, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing; and strategies that states and regions can use to lay the groundwork for an expansion of apprenticeship in their region and to reach a wider range of workers.
Snyder has provided commentary and testimony at the White House several times during his tenure as president of Ivy Tech Community College. Most recently, Snyder provided testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions during a hearing entitled “Making College Affordability a Priority: Promising Practices and Strategies” in July 2012. He has also testified as a founding member of Rebuilding America’s Middle Class, a coalition of community colleges focused on improving student access and enhancing student success.
In 2011, Snyder was selected by President Obama to serve on a White House Roundtable on Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education, which also included Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as well as senior White House advisors. The roundtable explored effective practices to promote affordability in higher education. Only a small group of college presidents were invited to participate and directly engage with President Obama in a candid conversation designed to explore how America can best restore its leadership in higher education attainment by removing barriers to college access, affordability and success for students.
Snyder also participated in the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges in October 2010. The Summit was organized by Dr. Jill Biden in order to highlight the critical role that community colleges play in developing America’s workforce and reaching the country’s educational goals. The summit brought together community colleges, business, philanthropy, federal and state policy leaders and students, including Ivy Tech student Michael Rice, to discuss how community colleges can help meet the job training and education needs of the nation’s evolving workforce, as well as the critical role institutions play in achieving the President’s goal to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.
Following the October 2010 summit, Ivy Tech hosted the largest regional U.S. Department of Education summit on community colleges at its downtown Indianapolis campus in March 2011. With more than 200 participants from 13 states it was the largest turnout of four regional summits.