Ivy Tech Community College in Wabash recently received a $38,000 grant from the Pauline Barker Education Trust that will enable the College to fund a machine tool training project in the community. The grant will cover tuition and books for 12 Wabash County residents to take four degree-credit classes. The classes will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the fall and spring semesters in the machine tool lab at Heartland Career Center, 79 S. County Road 200 West.
Wabash Campus Executive Director Pam Guthrie said she is excited about this opportunity to help the Wabash County workforce.
“We have relatively small manufacturing companies that need assistance from Ivy Tech in providing training for increasingly higher skilled jobs.” Guthrie said. “These companies are too small to have their own training programs, but many of them have similar training needs.”
Guthrie said the College’s Wabash Advisory Board discussed the need for skilled machinists in the community and the program was designed to help local workers who have an interest in this field get the knowledge and skills they need to qualify for these jobs.
“I am hoping that our Wabash manufacturing companies will encourage some of their more promising employees to take advantage of this program,” Guthrie added. “The classes will be offered in the evenings, so it is possible to continue to work full time and still complete the program. These are degree-credit classes, so students may choose to continue their education with other types of funding and can apply these four courses toward an associate’s degree.”
Chuck Huffman, senior vice president of First Merchants Bank, represented the Pauline Barker Education Trust at the presentation of the grant. Since 2003, the trust has provided nearly half a million dollars toward helping Wabash County adults attain the education and skills they need to succeed in the workplace. As the manager of the Rock City Café for many years, Ms. Barker saw the need for adult education in the Wabash community. Her decision to form a trust for adult students in Wabash County is helping the community reach the important national goal that 60 percent of residents have some kind of higher education credential.
“This is an important standard for the community if we hope to have a qualified workforce that will attract and retain good employers,” Guthrie said. “If we are reach this standard, we will have to double the number of working age adults living in Wabash County who have certifications and degrees.”
For more information on the program, which will begin Aug. 26, contact Pam Guthrie at 260-563-8828, ext. 302, or firstname.lastname@example.org .