Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust funds effort with $42,000 grant
WABASH, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Wabash has received a $42,000 grant from the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust that will enable the College to continue a machine tool training project that, in its first year, helped to upgrade skill levels of employees in Wabash area manufacturing facilities. The grant will cover tuition, books and some transportation costs for students taking classes in machining and welding during the 2015-16 school year at Heartland Career Center, 79 S. County Road 200 West.
Wabash Campus Executive Director Pam Guthrie said she is grateful for the grant, which will allow the College to build on a successful first year.
“Support from the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust in 2014 allowed 11 students to complete the Industrial Electrical Certificate and seven more students to complete four machining classes,” Guthrie said. “Most of these students are already working at local industries and their new skills will benefit both them and their employers, leading to a more skilled workforce in Wabash County.”
In announcing the program last year, Guthrie had noted the Wabash community has relatively small manufacturing companies that need assistance from Ivy Tech to provide training for increasingly higher skilled jobs. 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.
“With the 2015 funding, we will offer advanced training in CNC (computer numerical control) set up and operations and programming for the seven students who began the machining program as well as up to four additional machinists interested in increasing their skill levels,” Guthrie said. The training, offered in partnership with the Heartland Career Center, can lead to a Certificate in Machine Tool Technology. The 2015 funding from the Pauline J. Barker trust also will support a beginning level welding class for up to a dozen new students, all part of the industrial skills alliance between Ivy Tech and Heartland, she added.
“The classes are offered in the evenings, so it is possible to continue to work full time and still complete the program,” Guthrie noted. “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 J. Barker Educational 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.
“Those of us involved in the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust welcome the opportunity to partner with Ivy Tech in the good works it does for Wabash County citizens,” Huffman said. “We recognize the need for a qualified workforce that will attract and retain good employers in the Wabash community. We are pleased with the success this program has shown so far and hope our Wabash manufacturing companies will encourage some of their more promising employees to take advantage of these opportunities.”
Also this year, after raising more than $41,000 in a community-wide scholarship fund drive, Ivy Tech’s Wabash Campus is receiving an additional $20,000 in matching funds from the Barker trust. This money will be used to establish the Pauline J. Barker Scholars Program to provide scholarships for adult students from Wabash County enrolled at Ivy Tech.
For more information on the machinist and welding programs, contact Pam Guthrie at 260-563-8828, ext. 4302, or firstname.lastname@example.org .