Vincennes University, Central Indiana firms launch new workforce development program

Vincennes University, Central Indiana firms launch new workforce development program

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October 01, 2019

October 1, 2019 / Vincennes University, Central Indiana firms launch new workforce development program

INDIANAPOLIS – Vincennes University and major Central Indiana employers announced today that they will launch an innovative training program to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing.

The program, which will be based at the University’s Aviation Technology Center at Indianapolis International Airport, will be the first of its kind in Central Indiana and only the second Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (INFAME) initiative in the state. The Central Indiana INFAME chapter includes many leading employers in the Indianapolis area, including Eli Lilly; Major Tool & Machine; Steel Dynamics, Inc.; and 3M.

Central Indiana INFAME chose VU to pilot the new initiative because of the university’s outstanding record of preparing graduates for success in advanced manufacturing. In 2013, the university and the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education created the state’s first Advanced Manufacturing Technician program on the Vincennes campus.

“The Central Indiana INFAME chapter chose Vincennes University as our college partner primarily due to their experience running a successful INFAME program in Vincennes,” said Kendra O’Brien, Central Indiana INFAME Chapter president and vice president of Human Resources at Major Tool & Machine.

“The VU location available in Indianapolis should be very convenient for students and is a great facility to host the space needed for the AMT program,” O’Brien said. “INFAME is an opportunity for employers to reach out to highly talented people that may not be aware of how promising a career in high-tech manufacturing is. We are very excited to partner with VU to start this new chapter and provide an excellent career pathway option for students. “

The first class of students in the Indianapolis-based program is expected to start in Fall 2020.  “VU is honored to be selected to provide the educational component for this important partnership.  It is a testament to the quality of our programs and our many graduates in advanced manufacturing and other skilled technician roles,” said VU President, Dr. Chuck Johnson.

“I believe one of the reasons we were selected is because we have years of experience in developing work and learn partnerships with Advanced Manufacturing students,” said Donna Taylor Bouchie, VU InternPLUS Director. “We work with over 30 partner companies in these types of programs.”

Students will be trained in automation, robotics, and other aspects of advanced manufacturing; earn an associate’s degree from VU; and work for pay at AMT partner companies while they learn. Students are qualified to start full-time work in high-paying jobs immediately after graduation, and they complete their education with little to no student loan debt.  “This program will offer students not only great experience and a highly-valued education and skill set, but it will also give them a great source of income to help pay for the cost of that education,” Johnson said.

“The (Indiana Manufacturers Association) commissioned a study last year looking at work and learn programs across the country and in Europe, particularly the UK, Switzerland, and Germany,” said Andrew Berger, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the Indiana Manufacturers Association. “That study identified FAME as the one that delivered very good results and was viewed most highly by manufacturing companies.”

Vincennes University’s AMT program addresses one of Indiana’s most pressing workforce development needs by delivering highly skilled technical talent to advanced manufacturers. Widely recognized for the high quality of its academic programs and graduates, VU partners with leading Indiana employers such as Cummins, Toyota, Subaru, Kimball International, and others to educate skilled technicians.

The application process to apply for the Central Indiana INFAME AMT program will begin soon. Applicants must be admitted to VU, apply for the program, and submit test scores. Companies partnering with the University may invite applicants to pre-employment interviews.

“We can get the program up and running smoothly and quickly,” said Tim Hedrick, VU’s AMT supervisor for the Wabash Valley INFAME chapter. “We know what the expectations are.”

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College

VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers, and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.

In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.

VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 35 other states, and 17 countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at

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MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations,