Lab demonstrations, employers highlight future careers in high-tech manufacturing
Kelsie Ollis, retired Chrysler robotics operator now teaching at Ivy Tech, describes controller for one of Ivy Tech’s Fanuc Robots
KOKOMO, Ind. — From 3-D printing to robots to virtual welding, faculty members from Ivy Tech Community College’s School of Technology in Kokomo demonstrated emerging technologies and interesting career options Friday, Nov. 14, to more than 160 students from area high schools and career centers. The students, all enrolled in Ivy Tech dual-credit classes this semester and participants in Ivy Tech’s “Technology Field Day,” also had the opportunity to talk to five area employers looking for people with the skills needed for successful careers in high-tech manufacturing.
Students, and their teachers, came from nine north central Indiana schools for a full day of exploration into what Ivy Tech offers in the areas of industrial technology and advanced manufacturing and what representatives of the modern manufacturing industry need from their future employees. The “Technology Field Day” was part of Ivy Tech’s implementation of its $3.27 million Youth CareerConnect federal grant through its Integrated Technology Education Program (ITEP).
Dan Ward, program chair of Design Technology, demonstrates 3-D printing during the field day
“ITEP, and the federal grant, aim at preparing more students for local manufacturing technology jobs,” said Jan Bailey, ITEP program manager and coordinator of Friday’s event. “The grant assists local schools and career centers with resources to offer certifications and courses related to a variety of careers in advanced manufacturing – careers in industrial automation, logistic-supply chain, process operations and quality assurance, to name a few. And it has great benefits for individual students who choose to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Bailey said Ivy Tech will soon enroll 11th grade students in the grant program who indicate a commitment to pursing one of these areas as a career.
“Under the program, students will have the opportunity to earn Ivy Tech credits and to achieve the Certified Production Technician credential – and even an Ivy Tech technical certificate – by the time they graduate from high school,” she continued. “And, under the grant, those students who enrolled in 11th grade and complete the high school portion of the program will have funding to complete their associate degrees at Ivy Tech.
“This grant intends to build the pipeline for future manufacturing technology employees,” Bailey added.
Nellie Neal, Ivy Tech welding instructor, guides one of the high school students through a demonstration of virtual welding
The “Technology Field Day” brought students to Ivy Tech Kokomo’s School of Technology building for a series of lab demonstrations and discussions about educational opportunities at the College and to the Kokomo Event & Conference Center for a chance to meet with representatives of area industries.
Lab demonstrations included:
- Machine Tool/CNC lab – A demonstration of automation and robotics technology through Computer Numeric Controlled lathe and mills used in this lab to teach students basic CNC operational principals, where computers play an integral role in the control of the machines.
- 3-D Printer – A demonstration of 3-D printing or additive manufacturing used for printing a three-dimensional object by laying down successive layers of material under computer control. Students watched a part being made from design to finish.
- Fanuc Robot – A demonstration of an industrial robot in action, programmed to perform a simple repeatable pattern. Both mechanical maintenance skills and computer programming skills are needed to operate a robot.
- Virtual Welding – A demonstration of equipment at Ivy Tech that allows beginning welding students to take course sessions “virtually,” and start learning what welding is all about under true-to-life conditions – without any safety risks, and using an ergonomically shaped torch, typical work pieces and adjustable welding parameters.
Jim Woolf, lead of Community Outreach & Educational Engagement for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Kokomo, shared information with “employees of the future”
Employers who participated included:
- FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – international maker of vehicles under the Fiat and Chrysler brands, as well as Case IH and New Holland agricultural equipment, whose display included automobiles made by Chrysler and a transmission made in Kokomo.
- Dilling Group, Inc. – a group of companies that operate throughout the Midwest, South, Southeast and other select markets to deliver specialized industrial services to many clients in the agricultural processing, medium and heavy manufacturing, primary and secondary metals, fuels and energy, chemical and pharmaceutical, and food processing industries. Dilling trains and employs licensed plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, welders, mechanics, as well as very specialized individuals trained for careers in fields like automation and controls.
Travis Hood, packaging department supervisor for Red Gold, was on hand to talk about opportunities in today’s high-tech industries
Red Gold, Inc. – producer of premium quality tomato products since 1942 whose representatives talked about the company’s philosophy of hiring talented, hard-working individuals, giving them the tools to do their job, and promoting from within to support talent and drive.
- Applied Industrial Technologies – an industrial distributor that offers more than five million parts to serve the needs of Maintenance Repair Operations (MRO) and select Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers in virtually every industry throughout North America. Applied provides engineering, design and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber and fluid power shop services. Applied also offers maintenance training and inventory management solutions. Logistics and supply chain technology knowledge and processes are vital to their success.
- Lincoln Electric – a global manufacturer and the market leader of the highest quality welding, cutting and joining products that brought a demonstration truck for student to see.
Students in 9th, 10th and 11th grades met with Rodni Lytle, dean of the School of Technology, to learn more about the opportunities provided by ITEP and the Youth CareerConnect Grant for students who enroll in the grant program in their 11th grade of high school. Seniors who attended learned more about options for continuing their education at Ivy Tech.
For more information on ITEP and the Youth CareerConnect Grant, contact Jan Bailey at 765-459-0561, ext. 321, or by email at email@example.com .