Manufacturing certification subject of regional conference

North Central Indiana Economic Development Partnership to meet in Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. — Members of the North Central Indiana Economic Development Partnership (NCIEDP) are inviting area employers, educators, elected officials and community leaders to a conference Oct. 15 in Kokomo focused on the crucial role of nationally recognized, industry-led certifications in establishing and maintaining a well-qualified workforce.

“The Educators/Employers Forum: The Value of Industrial Certifications” is set for 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 130AC of the Kelley Student Center at Indiana University Kokomo. IUK and Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region are co-sponsors with NCIEDP, a partnership that brings together economic development leaders from Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami and Tipton counties to coordinate and focus on business and industry efforts as a region. Reservations for the Oct. 15 conference may be made online at http://goo.gl/forms/ThvTpTtwc7 or by contacting Jan Bailey at 765-459-0561, ext. 7529, or by email at jabailey@ivytech.edu.

Neil Reddy, executive director of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) based in Alexandria, Va., will be the keynote speaker at “The Educators/Employers Forum: The Value of Industrial Certifications.”

MSSC is an industry-led training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material-handling workers. The nationwide MSSC System, based on industry-defined and federally endorsed national standards, is considered the gold standard for front-line industrial training. It has 730 authorized assessment centers in 44 states and more than 1350 MSSC-certified instructors and has issued more than 62,000 credentials.

Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority and a partner in the NCIEDP, will serve as emcee for the event. Jan Bailey, NCIEDP Education Committee co-chair and program manager for Ivy Tech’s Integrated Technology Education Program (ITEP), will speak on the many pathways Ivy Tech offers for area residents wanting to achieve industry-recognized credentials such as Certified Production Technician that pave the way to good-paying jobs.

“After a review of our curriculum during the fall of 2014 designed to better meet Hoosier employer needs, Ivy Tech revised our technical programs to include the opportunity to take certification exams and achieve professional certifications as outcomes of our courses,” Bailey said. “The costs of taking the certification exams are included in the course fees.

“And these opportunities are offered at a number of levels of instruction,” she continued. “High school students taking dual credit classes can graduate with professional certifications. For degree-seeking college students, certifications are embedded in their coursework. For people already employed by businesses and industries needing advanced skills, certifications can be earned as part of non-credit classes taken through Ivy Tech’s Corporate College.”

At Ivy Tech, the various levels are tied together so students can move from high school or Corporate College courses into degree programs if they choose to build on their educational achievements for future career advancement.

Several area high school students involved in Ivy Tech’s Department of Labor’s Youth CareerConnect grant-funded ITEP program will share their experiences with conference attendees, followed by a panel of area employers who will discuss hiring criteria, critical job needs, and the importance they place on certifications when assessing potential hires or employee promotions. Representatives of Haynes International and FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Kokomo, Dilling Group in Logansport, and Snavely Machine in Peru are scheduled to participate.

“The goal of the Oct. 15 event is to help regional employers, educators and residents understand how these certification programs can give employers confidence in the skill levels of potential employees and those they want to advance into higher positions in their companies – and what educational programs are available to increase the number of certified employees,” Tidd said. “This is a program to help make the connections throughout our communities that will prepare our residents for the good, high-paying job openings that are continuing to grow in our region.”

For more information, contact Bailey at jabailey@ivytech.edu or by calling her at 765-459-0561, ext. 7529, or the economic development officer in your county.

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About Ivy Tech Kokomo Region

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region serves Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton counties and includes campuses or instructional sites in the communities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, and Rochester. Ivy Tech serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. For more information, visit www.ivytech.edu.
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