WARSAW — Ivy Tech Community College continues to foster its partnership with local manufacturing companies in an effort to provide future infusions of qualified workers to those employee-starved companies.
In an event celebrating National Manufacturing Day, the community college hosted middle school-aged students in both Fort Wayne and Warsaw on Tuesday, Oct. 2 through Friday, Oct. 5.
During the event in Warsaw, approximately 1,100 eighth graders from throughout Kosciusko County converged on the Ivy Tech Warsaw Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center to participate in an event called Discover ME: A Future of Possibilities.
Tom Till, director of the center, said the event was about preparing the future workforce at a time when young people are beginning to lay the foundation for their future vocations.
“We teamed up with the Warsaw Area Career Center and Orthoworx and several companies in and around Kosciusko County to give every eighth grader in the county the opportunity to see the educational and work opportunities and to see what’s available as they’re going into high school,” Till said.
“This is really critical, because it is in the eighth grade when they decide what they’re going to do in their high school career.”
Till said some students look toward a future in the trades, such as machining or welding, while others participate in programs such as Project Lead The Way, which focuses on STEM education.
“The bottom line is we have a whole lot of students who go to college and get a four-year degree but then can’t get a job,” Till said. “So, we have a ton of open jobs in Kosciusko County in manufacturing and these employers can’t find enough good, qualified and trained people around Kosciusko County and in many areas in the Midwest. Our hope today is to open these young people’s eyes to the availability in manufacturing.”