Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 1, 2013

New Ivy Tech center would come with a $14M price tag

GOSHEN — A new, $14 million advanced manufacturing training center could be on its way to Elkhart County.

But like anything with a hefty price tag, it all comes down to funding.

At any given time in Elkhart County there are approximately 2,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs.

It’s a statistic tied directly to the fact that the county has a significant shortfall in workers with the necessary skills and technical training to fill those positions.

Couple that with an unemployment rate hovering at around 9 percent and the statistic becomes even more significant.

In an effort to remedy this situation, Ivy Tech Community College is proposing the construction of a $14 million manufacturing training center located directly behind the current Ivy Tech Elkhart County campus on C.R. 18.

Thomas Coley, chancellor of the Ivy Tech Community College North-Central Region, was the featured speaker during Tuesday’s County-Cities Forum in downtown Goshen. During his talk, Coley outlined Ivy Tech’s plans for the new advanced manufacturing center while also explaining why the organization feels such a facility is necessary for the continued advancement of Elkhart County and the region as a whole.

According to Coley, economic development depends on a quality work force which helps manufacturers throughout the region grow and expand. However, Coley noted that manufacturing companies throughout Elkhart County have indicated that there is a significant skills gap when it comes to finding employees with the necessary soft skill competencies and technical training needed to fill these manufacturing positions.

“As some of you may know, I’ve recently been appointed to take over the North-Central region for Ivy Tech, and what is consistent throughout, from east Chicago to Kosciusko County, is the skills gap that we must address,” Coley said. “It’s regional, it’s national, and it’s something that we have to work together on.”

With manufacturing accounting for 36.3 percent of the employment and 45.3 percent of the earnings in Elkhart County, Coley said it is vital that the county increase its number of graduates with manufacturing-related degrees and certificates, though there is currently no stand-alone facility dedicated to advancing the manufacturing profession in North-Central Indiana. What’s more, Coley noted that high school students interested in trades like welding, manufacturing and electronics are increasingly unable to explore such careers in Elkhart County due to the lack of physical space.

That, he said, is where the new training center comes in.

Described as a world-class lean advanced manufacturing training center, the proposed 55,000 square-foot-facility has been designed to facilitate hands-on training on the most up-to-date equipment available. Specific elements proposed for the new facility include:

• A lean principles-based 10,000 square foot flex lab utilizing cellular configurations;

• A 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art automotive and recreational vehicle center;

• Welding labs;

• HVAC training labs;

• Classrooms designed to facilitate collaborative learning;

• A digital library/resource room;

• Computer simulation labs; and

• Corporate college skill assessment and training rooms.

As for the type of instruction that will be available through the new facility, Coley said Ivy Tech is looking at providing a stackable educational model with exit points at eight, 16, 24, 32 and 40 weeks depending on the extent of mastery a student wishes to achieve in the field of manufacturing. However, even after just eight weeks, Coley said the new facility will be able to produce a work-ready employee able to demonstrate the minimum soft and technical skills required for most entry-level manufacturing jobs.

While still in the very preliminary stages, Coley noted that Ivy Tech has already made a $1 million investment in the project through the purchase of 43 acres of land directly behind the current Ivy Tech Elkhart County campus where it hopes to construct the new training center.

However, with an overall projected cost of $14 million, Coley said there is still plenty of funding that needs to be secured before the idea of the new training center can become a reality.

“For some this may seem like a sticker shock,” Coley said of the facility price tag. “But in my visits to various colleges throughout the country... this is really a modest price tag for the kind of center that we’re talking about, that will do the things that you’d expect from a training center of this caliber.”

In discussing future fundraising efforts for the new center, Thomas Killian Jr., executive director of resource development for the Ivy Tech North-Central Region, said he is already seeing significant interest coming from the community.

“We’ve been making some very good movement early on,” Killian said. “We’re already looking at a short term projected pipeline of close to $5 million, and that’s just in talking to a few folks here, a few leadership gifts in the beginning of this campaign. $14 million is a big goal. We are confident though that given the need of this manufacturing center that we’re going to be able to find those dollars.”

John Letherman, president of the Elkhart County Council, seemed equally optimistic about the facility’s prospects.

“The Ivy Tech we have now we got because (Elkhart) Mayor (Dick) Moore helped with utilities, the county helped with infrastructure, Mayor (Allan) Kauffman helped, the EDC helped... all kinds of folks got together to make that happen,” Letherman said. “What we’re hoping happens here is that same kind of an alliance. The alternative is to do nothing, and that’s just a continuous slow spiral toward oblivion as far as I’m concerned. I think we need to turn this thing around.”

Text Only
Local News
  • NAPPANEE BOARD OF WORKS: Refurbished home brings less than cost NAPPANEE — A house that was refurbished through a grant program has been sold by city officials.On Monday, Scott Hughes of Hughes and Associates, brought an offer to Nappanee Board of Works members for the house at 151 Van Buren St. The city purchase

    July 30, 2014

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140730 Spore mug Child's death prompts carbon monoxide awareness SYRACUSE — In the wake of the carbon monoxide poisoning death of 12-year-old Skyler Spore, the Syracuse community is raising awareness about the dangers of the deadly gas.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS GN140730 stormwater board Orchard annexation gets $500,000 boost Stormwater board increases contribution toward $7.5 million project

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140730 city council summit 01 Street chief says more money needed to avoid cutting services GOSHEN — The last year has been a particularly rough one for the Goshen Street Department, and the budget for 2015 is likely going to reflect much of that pain in the form of a significant increase in funding requests.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Jace Michael Mast TOPEKA — Jace Michael Mast, infant son of Earl and Esther (Lambright) Mast of Topeka, was stillborn at 9:40 p.m. Monday at Dupont Hospital, Fort Wayne. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Evan Wade Mast, at home; grandparents, Ri

    July 29, 2014

  • nipsco property Construction to close N. Fifth St. for most of a year

    GOSHEN — Motorists who use North Fifth Street should plan to find a new route for the coming year. Monday the Goshen Board of Works and Safety members accepted bids for a North Fifth Street reconstruction project from Clinton Street to Crescent Stree

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These are the final days of the HSEC's July special: adopt in July and receive 25 percent off your adoption fee for dogs and cats under 5 years old or 50 percent off those 5-years-old or better.

    July 29, 2014 11 Photos

  • SLIDESHOW: The week in photos

    July 29, 2014

  • School board All Chandler students to get free lunches

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue