VU Early College invests in Elkhart Area Career Center

VU Early College invests in Elkhart Area Career Center

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February 28, 2019

February 28, 2019 / Vincennes University Early College invests in Elkhart Area Career Center

LINK to story photo, click HERE - Pictured are Elkhart Area Career Center students Connor Young-Zaehler and Eli Dillenbeck. Thanks to an investment by Vincennes University, the students now have the opportunity to follow a pathway toward employment through the Industrial Maintenance/Mechatronics program offered through the Vincennes University Early College. ###

ELKHART, Ind. - Students at the Elkhart Area Career Center can now follow a pathway toward employment through the Industrial Maintenance/Mechatronics program offered by the Vincennes University Early College.

Students in the new program learn how to maintain, diagnose, and repair automated equipment commonly found in manufacturing facilities throughout Elkhart County and nationwide.

To help meet the demand for industrial maintenance technicians, the VU Early College program has made a significant investment in equipment at the Elkhart Area Career Center. The overall financial commitment to the Elkhart program is just under $300,000.

"This investment reflects the strong partnership Vincennes University and the Elkhart Career Center have forged in the launch of our Career and Technical Early College program,” said Vincennes University President Chuck Johnson. “VU is pleased to work with the Elkhart community and many others throughout the State of Indiana in delivering the high-quality training and education which is so important to developing our future workforce in key middle-skill technical fields."

One piece of equipment that will be highlighted is the FANUC LR Mate 200iD/4S robot. “The FANUC robot will provide our Early College students the skills necessary to ensure they’re career-ready when they enter the workforce in Elkhart County and throughout the state of Indiana,” noted Dr. Michael Robert Hepner, assistant dean of the Vincennes University Early College. “A student who learns how to program this particular robot at the Career Center will be able to go directly into the workforce and program nearly any FANUC robot found at hundreds of manufacturing facilities across the state.”

VU’s investment also includes Amatrol training systems so that students can get hands-on experience working with AC/DC electrical systems, fluid and pneumatic power systems, and mechanical drives.

Students will also have the opportunity to use a Skills Boss Smart Factory to complete their education as a Certified Production Technician through the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council. A CPT credential assures future employers that the students have demonstrated proficiency in the fields of plant safety, quality assurance, production processes, and maintenance awareness. MSSC is an industry-led nonprofit working to provide the nation’s workforce with the skills needed in today’s technology-driven advanced manufacturing industries.

Students will earn up to 30 college credit hours through Vincennes University covering various topics, including pneumatics, automation, robotics, hydraulics, mechanical drives, print reading, and welding.

Interested students can inquire about the Elkhart Area Career Center through their guidance counselor or online at

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College

VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper and additional sites such as Indianapolis, Lebanon, and Gibson County. 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, who benefit from tuition and fees that are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Indiana’s first college, VU offers focused, quality education, and is one of only two colleges in the nation founded by a President of the United States. William Henry Harrison founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at


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