WHS to offer manufacturing/logistics curriculum in 2013

Westfield High School students will get a head-start on manufacturing and logistics careers when the district begins offering the “Hire Technology” program developed by Conexus Indiana and Ivy Tech in the 2013 school year.

Hire Technology is a two-year elective program designed to educate students specifically on high-tech careers in the manufacturing and logistics industries, which employ one of every four Hoosiers. Conexus, the state’s manufacturing and logistics initiative, developed Hire Technology in partnership with Ivy Tech Community Colleges and others in response to employers eager for the next generation of skilled workers.

The program uses a mix of traditional classes, online lessons and hands-on projects to introduce young people to manufacturing and logistics while allowing them to earn college credits and industry-endorsed certificates.

“We’re encouraged by the eagerness among educators to embrace Hire Technology,” said Conexus Vice-President of Workforce and Education Claudia Cummings. “Of course, it’s matched by enthusiasm from employers – it was their need for a stronger pipeline of highly-skilled employees that led to the creation of this groundbreaking program, with support from Ivy Tech and our other partners.”

Cummings said the statewide growth and support for Hire Technology shows the commitment of private industry to engage with educators to address Indiana’s workforce challenges.

“The majority of the U.S. manufacturing workforce now has a college degree or industry-approved certificate, but the educational attainment of Hoosiers has fallen behind the curve,” she said. “Industry has invested in Hire Technology because they understand the stakes – jump-start our future workforce now, or continue to struggle to find applicants with the technical and computer skills, teamwork and critical thinking abilities to succeed in the workplace.”

Students who complete the two-year curriculum will be able to earn up to 15 college credits (through an Ivy Tech dual-credit program) and five national certificates (such as those awarded by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and by the industry-recognized APICS organization).

“We’re very pleased that our students will have the opportunity to participate in this exciting new program,” said Matt Putman, WHS engineering and technology education teacher who will oversee implementation of the program. “Employers and colleges alike are demanding more and more of our students. As educators, we have to seek out initiatives like Hire Technology to help them get the industry-specific skills they need to make the transition to higher education and compete in tomorrow’s job market.”

For more information, visit www.ConexusIndiana.com.