VU Jasper’s Robotics and Construction programs receive State Earn and Learn Certification

VU Jasper’s Robotics and Construction programs receive State Earn and Learn Certification

Potential students watching a demonstration.

May 05, 2021

JASPER, Ind. – The Automation and Robotics Academy (ARA) and Construction Trades programs at Vincennes University Jasper, partnerships with the Patoka Valley Career and Technical Cooperative that equip high school students with in-demand skills, are now certified Indiana State Earn and Learn (SEAL) programs.

The Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA) officially recognized the programs during a ceremony on the VU Jasper campus on May 4. SEAL programs are structured, but flexible, and provide an educational component along with paid on-the-job training to develop the highly sought-after and skilled talent needed by industries and businesses.

"The strong partnership between VU and Patoka Valley is a great example for others around the state to follow of getting students prepared in high school for success in work and college," OWBLA Southern Regional Director Jason Graves said. 

Students in the ARA and Construction Trades programs work and learn through internships and summer employment options. They also earn industry-recognized credentials through career and technical education (CTE) coursework and college credit from VU. 

"Our programs offer students the opportunity to gain high school credit, college credit, and real-world experience while saving money and building a resume," VU Jasper Center of Technology, Innovation, and Manufacturing Director Jacob Berg said. "High school students are earning college credits that stack directly into an associate degree program.

"We are very fortunate to live in a community that values teamwork. The Construction Trades Program and Automation Robotics Academy are a direct result of a high level of collaboration that is taking place in our local area. When industry and education partner to meet workforce needs, we are all winners. I am proud of the partnership between VU Jasper and the Patoka Valley Cooperative."

The ARA is a two-year program that offers high school students the opportunity to learn to use automation and robotics equipment used in advanced manufacturing, work a paid internship, earn up to 16 transferable dual credits, and receive two certifications.

Construction Trades students receive in-class instruction and explore all aspects of the building process. They participate in field experiences such as building with Habitat for Humanity, then eventually move to paid positions in local companies. The program offers seven industry certificates and provides 24 transferable dual credits.

"Both the Construction Trades and Automation and Robotics program provide a relevant learning experience for our students while providing our local employers with a pipeline of future employees,” Patoka Valley Career and Technical Cooperative Director Jarred Howard said. "This program is a huge win for everyone involved. Thank you to VU Jasper, Habitat for Humanity, the Dubois County Builders Association, and our local industry for your partnership. This program is a success because of our great partners."

Construction worker and a supervisor

VU Jasper and the Patoka Valley Cooperative have forged a strong partnership in a wide range of programs and have a stellar reputation for producing quality learning experiences.

"I can’t describe what a pleasure it is working with Jarred Howard from the career center and Jacob Berg from VU Jasper,” Graves said. "Both of these individuals are truly looking out for students' best interests and programs that can benefit the community and local economy. I greatly enjoyed working with them to get this Indiana State Earn and Learn completed and look forward to developing new programs in the near future."

To explore the ARA and Construction Trade programs plus other partnerships with the Patoka Valley Career and Technical Cooperative, visit To apply to VU Jasper, go to