(Northwest Indiana) The Northwest Indiana Workforce Board (NWIWB) is pleased to announce that as a result of the leadership of Mayor Mark Krentz of La Porte and Mayor Ron Meer of Michigan City, along with their economic developers, a consortium of employers, educators, workforce development professionals and the Unity Foundation, the Innovation Network of La Porte County will be receiving a $677,000 Skill UP 3 grant from the Department of Workforce Development. The JP Morgan Chase Foundation will also provide for this initiative. The Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant that will focus on preparing the pipeline of workers for manufacturers in the county and region.
As the body responsible for development of the workforce system in the Northwest Indiana, the NWIWB understands that manufacturing drives the economic growth in the majority of our region. With the concentration of manufacturing jobs in La Porte County being greater than the region as a whole, it’s believed that the Innovation Network’s initiative will address the need for systemic change, while efficiently utilizing resources when it comes to identifying and securing the education and training to match the needs of La Porte County employers.
Tim Johnson, President of MCTD said that their company is growing in Michigan City and that they are excited to be part of building an expanded pathway for Machining through this Skill UP initiative. “Machining occupations are growing and evolving in La Porte County, we encourage other local manufactures to join the collaboration in efforts to build the workforce we need for today and that we know we will need for the future,” said Johnson.
“The Innovation Network’s collaboration around workforce challenges in the manufacturing sector directly supports local opportunities for American Licorice to grow our current workforce and support skill attainment for job candidates with a gap in skills. As a member of the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, we are pleased to be a part of moving this county-wide manufacturing strategy forward,” said Karen Kopka, Sr. Human Resources Manager at American Licorice Company.
Linda Woloshansky, President & CEO of CWI said the impact of this initiative will be tremendous, not only on manufacturing sector partnerships, but also on the community as a whole. The intent is to develop a framework which can be applied to other industries and in other counties throughout the region. “The initiative will also extend outstanding opportunities for high school students including those who participate in Career & Technical Education (CTE), local college students, and adults seeking a career in manufacturing,” added Woloshansky.
For further information about the Innovation Network of La Porte County and Skill Up, contact Allison Bertl at 219-462-2940, ext. 41 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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