JASPER, Ind. - Citing a growing need for a well-trained workforce, Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann says that a new facility at the Vincennes University Jasper Campus may serve as model for the state.
Speaking Tuesday at the dedication of the $12 million Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing, Ellspermann said the VU Jasper Campus facility “will set the stage here for a wonderful future for Dubois County and Southwest Indiana - and may be a role model for the rest of the state.”
The 54,000 square-foot building features seven flexible labs that can be used for instruction in such fields as computer-aided design, advanced manufacturing, materials testing, and logistics. The building also includes 14 smart classrooms, a lecture hall for 120 people, and related facilities.
“We talk to employers across the state and everyone says we need that talented workforce, we need the skills that aren’t quite there. We know we have a mismatch in skills across the state of Indiana and many jobs go unfilled because applicants may not have the technical skills and the advanced manufacturing skills to fill those jobs. So programs like this, facilities like this, and committed leaders like Ray Niehaus are so important. The Governor and I have made it our top priority - career and technical education,” Ellspermann said.
Niehaus is the director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing.
In addition to thanking the VU Board of Trustees for its vision, Ellspermann also said that the Legislature - both Democrats and Republicans - also shares the goal of supporting career and technical education. She said that will boost Indiana’s position as number one in the business climate among Midwestern states.
“Without a well-trained workforce we can’t continue to grow, so that is our top priority. We will continue to push and encourage and do all the things we can to support you as you move forward in doing that,” Ellspermann said.
The Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing will increase by 50 percent the square footage of space on the VU Jasper Campus, providing needed training labs for area companies seeking to upgrade the skills of current employees. Dubois County is a leader among the state’s industrial counties, with 42 percent of its jobs in manufacturing compared to the state average of 20 percent.
Ellspermann saluted VU Jasper Campus Dean Alan Johnson for his commitment to Dubois County and the region. “Dr. Johnson has tried so hard to develop the programs that will serve this region, serve businesses, and serve individual students here so that we can continue to grow and prosper. This is a great day for Dubois County,” Ellspermann said.
The Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing (CTIM) will house programming that will serve the education and training needs of employers and individuals in Dubois and surrounding counties. The facility’s features include advanced training for manufacturing employers that need their workers to apply new technologies, specialty programming for current workers to upgrade their skills, specialized continuing education for high-skilled engineers and scientists in regional manufacturing companies, and space for companies to pilot new processes and train employees in their application.
The Center will also provide support for innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits by existing and emerging companies, collaboration with Purdue University and its Technical Assistance Program in assisting employers in improving their processes and products, career and technical classes in certificate and associate degree programs for students preparing to enter the workforce, and programming for high school students enrolled for dual-credit in career and technical education classes as well as Project Lead-the-Way technology programs. The facility will also provide increased capacity to serve high school teachers and students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses.
Other activities are planned at the facility during its grand opening week. They include:
Wednesday, May 15
9:00-11:00 a.m.: Workshop “Advanced 3-D printing technologies”
5:30-7:30 p.m.: Dinner for high school personnel (superintendents, principals, counselors, CTE teachers, selected students). Keynote speaker Dr. Vince Bertram, national CEO of Project Lead the Way.
Thursday, May 16
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon: Workshop “War on Waste,” wringing waste out of processes in offices and manufacturing.
4:30-6:30 p.m.: Chamber of Commerce “Time Out from Business” open house.
Friday, May 17
4:00 p.m.: High school students, programming mobile apps
Saturday, May 18
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Family Open House, technology activities for elementary and middle school children.
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY JASPER CAMPUS
The Vincennes University Jasper Campus is a vital part of Indiana’s first college, Vincennes University, a state-supported college that traces its founding to 1801.
In addition to offering associate degree and certificate programs, VUJC also offers select baccalaureate programs. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, tuition and fees at VUJC rank among the most affordable of all Indiana colleges.
VU Jasper is located on a beautiful 140-acre campus on the southeast side of Jasper. In addition to the new Center for Technology, Innovation, and Manufacturing, other campus facilities include the Alvin C. Ruxer Student Center, Arnold F. Habig Technology Center, Administrative Classroom Building, and a Classroom Building. Adjacent to the campus is the Jasper Arts Center that includes a 675-seat theatre and visual arts galleries.
The VU Jasper Campus fulfills the vision of a Dubois County citizens group, founded in 1960, that was dedicated to improving area education and cultural enrichment. With Vincennes University joining as a strong partner in 1970, the VU Jasper Campus has developed to serve thousands of students in Dubois, Spencer, Martin, Perry, Crawford, Harrison, Pike, Orange, and Lawrence counties in Indiana.
Source: Vincennes University Jasper Campus
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