Senator Mike Braun praises VU's innovative workforce development

Senator Mike Braun praises VU's innovative workforce development

Vincennes University Logo

August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. – U.S. Senator and prominent Indiana businessman Mike Braun is applauding Vincennes University for fostering workforce solutions that are developing a highly-skilled pipeline to keep the United States running and the economy propelling forward.

Braun praised VU for being entrepreneurial.

“What VU is doing by thinking outside of the box and working with a lot of businesses themselves is a big deal. That means VU is paying attention to the marketplace. As long as I am a U.S. Senator and involved in politics, I will stress education has to match up with the demand out there and the businesses that are recruiting,” Braun said.

VU is heavily focusing on developing skilled workers for high-priority industries and high-wage, high-demand jobs. The University has numerous partnerships with major companies. It is striving to grow the workforce through one-of-a-kind, forward-thinking programs and cutting-edge training.

Braun visited the Vincennes main campus and met with VU leaders on Aug. 14. He made stops at Jefferson Union; Updike Hall - Center for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics; Technology Center; and Indiana Center for Applied Technology (ICAT) during the visit.

He saluted VU for developing corporate partnerships and building relationships with businesses and industries to where they are buying in and directing employees to VU for training and education.

Senator Braun & VU President Chuck Johnson

VU President Chuck Johnson said, “Industry partnerships have been an important part of VU’s mission for many years. VU is known for adapting our program delivery to meet the needs of our partners in both industry training and academic instruction. The one thing we will never change is a relentless focus on quality instruction by faculty with industry experience to ensure that VU graduates have the knowledge and skills required of the 21st-century workforce.”

During Braun’s visit, he observed students in laboratories and classrooms. He congratulates them on their choice of a pathway and has a message for them.

“You are somewhat astute in finding a place like this that looks like it is operating differently from most other higher education institutions,” he said. “Whether you are an employee or student here, you have flexibility here. You have a broad horizon to pick something you like where it is matching up with something I would want as a former CEO for you to do because those are the jobs we need.”

Braun repeatedly complimented VU for being a standout in higher education and developing the employees that companies urgently need.

“When I see what VU is doing here, VU is meeting that need,” he said. “Higher education, in general, has kind of given it lip service and not put their efforts behind it.”

Braun possesses the perspective of a business owner and the immense knowledge of what needs to happen to ensure the workforce demand for much-needed talent is filled by candidates with the proper training and education to work in a modern workplace that is continuously evolving.

Senator Braun & VU Vice President of Workforce Development/Community Services David Tucker

Braun hails from one of the largest manufacturing areas in Indiana: Dubois County. The Jasper native is the founder and former CEO of Meyer Distributing, a company he built in his hometown that employs hundreds nationwide. Braun also co-founded Crystal Farms, Inc., which grew to become one of the largest turkey operations in the Midwest.

“I’m recently from the real world of enterprise and commerce,” Braun said. “Places like Knox County, Dubois County, and Southern Indiana are so much in the middle of manufacturing and logistics. From everything I’ve seen at Vincennes University, this is a feeder system for the kind of jobs we need.”

When it comes to considering a workforce future and career, Braun encourages individuals to pursue these high-paying, in-demand jobs.

“I said to the education committee that we cannot stigmatize the jobs that are better paying and are going to cost you a whole lot less. I do not need more four-year degree applicants because we do not have those jobs. We fill those jobs easily,” Braun said.