Duke Energy funds $312,000 in Ivy Tech scholarships

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PLAINFIELD AND INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - Duke Energy is funding $312,000 in Ivy Tech Corporate College scholarships to jump start five regional training programs to prepare workers for the skills area manufacturers identify as critical for their workforce.

Ivy Tech and Duke Energy are collaborating with leaders in manufacturing, economic development, and local government from Bloomington/Bedford, Connersville/Richmond, Kokomo and Shelbyville to develop eight-week, advanced manufacturing programs modeled after an Ivy Tech initiative in Lafayette.

The Lafayette program also will receive a share of the Duke Energy Workforce Development scholarships.

"I applaud the efforts of Duke Energy, Ivy Tech and local business and community leaders to help make college more affordable, accessible and convenient for Hoosiers committed to pursuing or continuing careers in manufacturing," said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. "This program, coupled with efforts by the state, illustrates the commitment of both the private and public sectors to place a new priority on technical education, which will help address Indiana's skills gap and strengthen the state's economic outlook for the benefit of all Hoosier workers."

"Manufacturing still employs more people than any other industry in Indiana, but the modern manufacturing environment requires advanced training that goes beyond the high school diploma," said Duke Energy Indiana President Doug Esamann. "This program provides scholarship-funded education tailored to fit the high-tech needs of different Indiana regions."

The Duke Energy grant will fund 120, $2,600 scholarships. Recipients must be at least 18 years old and residents of Duke Energy-served Indiana counties.

Preference will be given to applicants from the five target regions as well as Duke Energy Indiana customers. Recipients also must undergo basic skills testing, a drug screening and an interview.

Scholarship applications are not yet available in most regions, but anyone interested may add their name to a list to receive more information as the programs rollout. Go to: www.ivytech.edu/duke-grant.    

"Through our partnerships with area employers and industries, Ivy Tech is best equipped to offer the type of short-term, career-ready training needed by the state's key sector employers," said Thomas J. Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College.  "In order for our state to grow, we need to ensure workers are equipped and adequately trained for the jobs of the future, and this grant will help make that possible."

In Lafayette, a 12-county partnership of area education, manufacturing, government and economic development groups connects and trains workers for area manufacturing jobs.

The initiative, called Advancing Manufacturing, turns unskilled workers into certified production technicians -- workers with the basic skills and certification that many manufacturers require.

The year-old program has graduated 149 students, and about 80 percent of those participants have landed jobs at manufacturers such as Federal Mogul, voestalpine Rotec, Lafayette Instrument, Wabash National Corporation, Donaldson Corporation and Nanshan Advanced Aluminum.

In addition to training, the partnership offers job fairs and a one-stop website that is continuously updated to link job seekers with employers.

Employers who sign on as partners in this initiative pledge to support a sustainability fund. Once program graduates are placed in jobs, employer payments into the fund provide ongoing funding for future students.

Graduate success is also critical to ongoing program evaluation. Ivy Tech will monitor each student at 30-, 60-, 90-, 180- and 365-day intervals to ensure proper job placement and retention following training.

Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide approximately 6,900 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 790,000 customers, making it the state's largest electric supplier.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $110 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.

Ivy Tech Corporate College is the premier provider of quality workforce training solutions for the needs of businesses, industry, organizations and individuals.  Corporate College will contribute to business success through talent development, organizational improvement, and increased productivity and profitability.  With 31 campuses and more than 100 learning facilities statewide, Ivy Tech is readily accessible and has a proven track record of providing value-based solutions for thousands of businesses and students each year.