Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University are partnering with the Greensburg Learning center to offer opportunities for perspective tradesmen in Decatur County.

COLUMBUS – The Ivy Tech Community College Columbus campus is hosting a special enrollment day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at their 4475 Central Avenue location in Columbus.

Coming out of the sturdy economy of the ‘50s, Baby Boomers fought to insure their progeny would take advantage of educational opportunities past high school, advocating professional degrees like law, medicine, and other white-collar professions.

The “I want for you opportunities I never had” ideology has created a job market that is seriously lacking in skilled labor; factory laborers, electricians, bricklayers, construction workers and carpenters are in short supply.

And with 25 million Baby Boomers retiring over the next 10 years, companies will be hard-pressed to fill these jobs.

Working to head-off this dark forecast in the U.S. Labor Force, a couple of trades colleges operating locally are offering degree programs and certifications designed to get new workers into the job force as quickly as possible.

Ivy Tech Enrollment Day

Ivy Tech Community College is working with the U.S. Department of Labor Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees’ Office of Apprenticeship to foster and trades apprenticeships.

Interested applicants are surveyed and vetted into the apprenticeship program by the JATC and the USDOL, and then enrolled at Ivy Tech College in a chosen a degree program.

This joining together of higher education and the technical training expertise of the JATC provides the apprentice with an opportunity to enjoy the educational strengths of both the College and JATC. Upon completion of the general education and technical courses, each student is awarded an USDOL Office of Apprenticeship certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree from Ivy Tech.

Students can learn more about this program At this one-stop-shopping day for perspective new work-force members, students will be able to get financial aid questions answered; learn about and meet assessment requirements; meet with an advisor and enroll in the next semester, begins Jan. 13.

Vincennes University

Another compelling program is the partnership between Conexus Company, Vincennes University and several area manufacturers called the “Catapult” Program.

At the Greensburg Learning Center, enrollees in a medium size class of 16 to 20 trainees are engaged in four 40-hour weeks of hands-on and class training that pays an hourly rate. During that period, they are taught the necessary skills needed to move directly into the manufacturing industry as experienced entry-level employees.

Using assembly line mock-ups, class work and focused lecture time on a variety of subjects pertinent to working in the manufacturing industry, each student receives the same training a college student receives at a “100 level” course from Vincennes University.

At the same time, they receive useful college credits should they want to pursue a two-year degree from Ivy Tech. And many of their earned credits will transfer to other state-accredited universities.

Washington Township Trustee and program supporter Christian Rust explained.

“They can’t miss a single day over the entire four-week program, so they show they can be dependable. They earn an hourly rate of pay while they train, and when they’re done, they have the valuable qualities and skills manufacturers in Decatur County are looking for,” he said.

Students interested in the Ivy Tech Apprentice Program should contact Executive Director of Apprenticeship Teresa Hess at 317-916-7897.

Students interested in Catapult at the Greensburg Learning Center should contact Chief Talent Officer for Conexus Indiana at 317-638-2107.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email

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