Ivy Tech received $5.1 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to train Hoosiers in an increasingly competitive manufacturing field, dominated by science and technology.
Half of the grant is coming from the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Consortium and will be geared towards building instructional programs that meet specific industry needs. At Ivy Tech’s Lafayette campus, the money will be used to enhance their electrical vehicle technical program.
“We’re looking at developing a learning center here on our campus that will include electrical vehicle charging stations that will be off grid, which means they will be powered by wind mills and bio-diesel generator,” Ivy Tech Executive Director of Marketing Tom McCool says. “Then we will also purchase electric vehicles that our students can train on.”
Since 2005, Lafayette has seen its manufacturing sector decline by 20 percent. Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart says the money is focused on campuses in communities hit especially hard by the recession, but it will help all campuses achieve their goal of doubling completion rates by next year.
“Any support for improving our completion rates and any support from the administration that will go towards that goal is a critically important one and we will see that trickle down to the Bloomington campus,” he says.
Whikehart says the grants are an example of the Obama Administration’s on-going effort to increase the opportunities for affordable, flexible college educations.