By Thomas J. Snyder
Ivy Tech Community College
Indiana is privileged to be home to a world-class continuum of higher education providers. This includes, of course, the institution I’m proud to lead — Ivy Tech Community College—as well as our other outstanding public and private colleges and universities, which consistently attract some of the finest scholars and faculty from around the world.
There’s one missing piece, however: world-class education and training for Indiana businesses. Unlike neighboring states that have made corporate education and training a priority through programs at Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, Indiana has no ready solution to meet this need. While we do an excellent job of preparing the workforce with a college degree, any subsequent training is left to our employers themselves or to ad hoc solutions that provide mixed results.
Ivy Tech is working with Indiana businesses to solve this problem. Now, we are introducing Ivy Tech Corporate College, which will provide solutions for companies looking to provide education and training for their employees. Our goal is simple, but of great importance to the businesses we serve: Ivy Tech Corporate College seeks to help businesses improve profitability, productivity and performance through education and training options designed for their unique needs.
Ivy Tech Corporate College was the outcome of a year-long study where we visited some of the high-performing training states. Our Ivy Tech Corporate College interim President Jeff Terp visited more than 40 of the top training community colleges in the nation to bring national best practices back to Indiana. And we recently conducted a study to learn what Indiana businesses need to remain globally competitive.
We discovered that one of their main barriers to growth is a lack of training options to help businesses keep pace with the accelerated rate of change in the business world and global competitive pressures. This was somewhat humbling, given Ivy Tech’s position as Indiana’s largest provider of workforce training solutions. However, we also know that we are integral to providing a statewide response that ensures Indiana’s workforce has ongoing access to corporate education and professional development training well beyond the completion of a college degree.
The launch of Ivy Tech Corporate College represents more than just a shift in our focus. It is truly a new era for Ivy Tech, unlike anything we’ve undertaken in the past. For the past 30 years the college has provided training services to Indiana employers through its division of Workforce and Economic Development and its predecessor, Business and Industry Training. The college and Indiana’s employers have achieved much success through their combined efforts to match training opportunities with the employer needs. The Corporate College model seeks to expand on this effort and offer new opportunities for executives, middle managers and front line staff members. Ivy Tech Corporate College will provide solutions that are:
Industry-recognized, so Indiana companies can compete; affordable, to help businesses cut costs; customizable, ensuring that employers get exactly what they need; high quality, with instructors drawing upon world-class experience and insight; and flexible, with solutions for all types of employees from front line staff to key executives
Altogether, Ivy Tech Corporate College seeks to fill a tremendous need in Indiana’s higher education continuum. Now, I’d like to ask our leaders in business, education and government to work together to build a Corporate College that’s equal to Indiana’s reputation for world-class higher education. Let’s help our employers compete. Let’s commit to lifelong learning for our workforce. Let’s ensure we keep pace with the future so that our economy, our citizens and our communities can thrive.
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