The Ivy Tech Foundation is getting a big assist for its programs.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Leadership Innovation Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and Hamilton County Community Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation, have awarded the Ivy Tech Foundation with a $200,000 grant to support vulnerable populations in Hamilton County by expanding workforce development opportunities.
The grant will support immediate workforce needs caused by the pandemic, including short-term certificate training programs to up-skill or re-skill workers in high-wage, high-demand fields.
Ivy Tech Hamilton County became a full-service campus in Noblesville in 2021.
“At our new campus, we will listen to employers and ensure that the students who complete with us and earn credentials from us are employable,” said Stacy V. Atkinson, who became chancellor of Ivy Tech Hamilton County on March 1. “This work of selecting programs will be a slow one. We will spend a great deal of time ensuring there is a need for specific credentials before going through appropriate accreditation channels, hiring and curriculum efforts for programs. So far, the sectors we are hearing from most include the following: IT, STEM, agriculture, health care and manufacturing.”
Atkinson said there were lessons to be learned amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 taught Ivy Tech employees and students that our commitment to each other is strong, and we will overcome any circumstance thrown at us,” Atkinson said. “There was obviously a national decline in enrollment for higher education institutions, and Ivy Tech was not exempt from that reality, but we were able to offer courses in a virtual setting and continue the student experience as seamless as possible.”
The grant will incorporate Ivy Tech’s Career Coaching and Employer Connections model to enhance employer engagement and career coaching for students.
“The new Ivy Tech Career Coaching and Employer Connections program empowers students as they navigate their career journey with professional career coaching,” said Caroline Dowd-Higgins, vice president of CCEC. “From career research and exploration to developing social capital, students will complete a career development portfolio and participate in work and learn opportunities to find their best-fit career. This comprehensive approach to career development will prepare Ivy Tech students to be ready for the world-of-work with a focus on high-wage and high-demand careers in Indiana and beyond. The CCEC campus teams are working with employers to create a direct talent pipeline and to up-skill incumbent workers to aid in retaining employees and provide for upward mobility.”
Atkinson said the grant “will enhance partnerships in the community, creating a more seamless pathway to post-secondary education as well as support recruitment efforts.”