November 15, 2021

Ivy Tech partners, local employers partner on workforce development initiative

The Indianapolis Airport Authority and IBM are the first companies to participate in the new “Advance with Ivy Tech” initiative. - Courtesy Ivy Tech Community College

The Indianapolis Airport Authority and IBM are the first companies to participate in the new “Advance with Ivy Tech” initiative.

Courtesy Ivy Tech Community College

Employers across Indianapolis struggle to meet hiring needs, even if they offer higher wages because not enough workers have the credentials needed to land these good jobs.

Ivy Tech Community College has teamed up with local employers to bridge this gap in the workforce.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority and IBM are the first companies to participate in the new “Advance with Ivy Tech” initiative. The goal is to skill up the existing workforce and ensure more people get credentials they can apply to high-demand careers.

Lorenzo Esters, chancellor of Ivy Tech, said career readiness requires a connection between learning and working.

“We want to offer those skills, those competencies, those credentials, those degrees that are needed to advance in your career,” Esters said. “Whether people are already in the workplace and they're seeking to upskill and rescale, or people who may be outside of work right now and looking for a new opportunity, we want to be responsive to those needs.”

The plan includes a variety of tactics: tuition assistance, apprenticeships, and even a new Cybersecurity Operations center. IBM is offering training that aligns with high-demand fields, like
cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and data science. With this collaboration, Ivy Tech will have access to up to $15 million of IBM software in the next three years.

The Indianapolis International Airport requires massive amounts of staff in order to operate.  CEO Mario Rodriguez said it plans to invest in training employees to advance in their careers.

“We're trying to make our people better,” Rodriguez said. “And we're trying to create a pipeline where these incredibly good jobs are filled. Ivy Tech is supporting us in developing talent to fill these jobs.”

Directors of “Advance with Ivy Tech” hope to get more employers involved in the initiative as quickly as possible.

Contact WFYI economic equity reporter Sydney Dauphinais at sdauphinais@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @syddauphinais.

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