Independent campus: Hamilton County Ivy Tech to benefit tech industry when transition is complete


When Ivy Tech Community College transitions its Hamilton County site at 300 N. 17th St., Noblesville, into to an independent campus, nearby tech industries likely stand to benefit.

Terry Anker, a Carmel resident and chairman of the statewide board of trustees for Ivy Tech, said industries related to tech will likely reap the most benefits.

Terry Anker
Terry Anker

“That seems to be where the largest area of growth is right now,” Anker said. “Ivy Tech Noblesville is now at about 1,200 students since it started in 2014, so in six years, that’s pretty quick growth. That’s not surprising given the fact the Hamilton County is such a fast-growing operation itself.

“Until now, Hamilton County has been the largest county without an independent Ivy Tech.”

By becoming an independent campus, the Hamilton County site will facilitate easier independent degree-granting ability. The new campus will open July 1, 2021.

“One of the things I like about the idea of it being independent is the needs can change,” Anker said. “For example, if a large employer were to come to Westfield and say, ‘We need this kind of skillset,’ Ivy Tech can make that happen quickly. The process would be tremendously streamlined from what it is right now.”

David Moore, general manager for manufacturing at Bastian Solutions in Westfield, embraces the campus transition.

“There’s a wonderful opportunity, from my perspective, with two different angles,” said Moore, who lives in Carmel. “One is the new employee candidates with having an institution right in our backyard that will have the necessary candidate pool as we look to grow our individual business as well as other businesses in the area. It gives us a ready-made pool of candidates that have the background we are looking for to sustain our current business and push us into the future.”

The second benefit is the chance to enhance education for current employees.

“Bastian encourages the opportunity for our teammates to have continued education, as our industry changes very rapidly, and we need to find a way to keep up,” Moore said. “We also need to have the ability to grow for individuals looking to advance their careers.”

Bastian Solutions suggests employees obtain at least 40 hours of additional education and training each year.

“So, having an institute in our backyard to easily go and advance that and help them with those things is a wonderful opportunity for us,” Moore said.

Besides benefitting people seeking IT, tech or other certifications, the independent campus also is expected to benefit local high school students.

So many students in Hamilton County take Ivy Tech courses while in high school, and this makes it even easier,” Anker said. “The technical training is able to open up all kinds of new programs. I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity. It’s a fantastic thing for the industry and citizens in the county. People can continue to drive to the downtown campus if they are in hospitality, but if they’re IT, it will be standalone.”

Anker said Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen has been a strong proponent for the campus transition.
“One of the things he said when we launched this thing that I thought was interesting was, ‘You are able to freeline decision making,’ so we, meaning local business leaders, can have a direct line into whatever it is we need for workforce development right here without having to go to Indianapolis or anywhere else,” Anker said.

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Charles Hickman is a machine operator at Bastian Solutions Westfield. (Submitted photos)

A growing industry

David Moore, general manager for manufacturing at Bastian Solutions in Westfield, said the manufacturing industry is growing at a fast rate, and that manufacturing companies typically hire employees right out of school.

“What we are seeing is, we are growing so rapidly and with the additional industries growing in our area, we tend to hire people right out of school,” Moore said. “That’s how we initially expand our pool of employees. Having the chance to hire people with ready-made experience is a bit more difficult these days, so having an institute to train them so they come with the skillsets we need tends to be route we take. This is a wonderful chance for us to extend our pool of candidates.”

Moore said Bastian Solutions’ Westfield location wants to hire 300 additional employees in the near future, which requires candidates with the right training and education. More than 100 employees are at the location.