Purdue, Ivy Tech Community College awarded nearly $900,000 grant from NSF to address skills gap in logistics

October 3, 2013  


Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College were recently awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to address the skills gap and technical demands in technology supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing operations careers.

The collaborative project is titled "Technology-Based Logistics: Leveraging Indiana's Role as the Crossroads of America."

Known as the "Crossroads of America," Indiana offers convenient access to products for two-thirds of the U.S population, and is ranked among the top 10 states for its "business-friendly atmosphere." Indiana's workforce, however, is falling short of meeting industry's technical demands – particularly in technology supply chain, logistics and manufacturing operations careers.

Ivy Tech and Purdue will address this gap by providing a diverse population of college students with a direct pathway for earning both their associate degree and bachelor's degree in the field of technology-based logistics.

"We are excited to bring forth this collaborative project with Purdue University, which will allow us to promote the great opportunities that exist in the logistics and manufacturing sectors," said Dr. Mary Ostrye, Provost and Senior Vice President for Ivy Tech Community College. "Ensuring our student have clear pathways to transfer and continue on to their four-year degree is extremely important to the success of our students, and we are extremely grateful to have this grant and the opportunity to partner with Purdue on this transfer initiative."

"This is a great opportunity for us to focus on educating students at all levels about the potential of logistics careers," said Edie Schmidt, professor of technology leadership and innovation and principal investigator for the Purdue team members. "As we educate and train more people to succeed in this field, the economy of the state of Indiana will benefit."

The Purdue professors working on the project are all from the College of Technology.

"The College of Technology at Purdue has been a strong advocate of increasing the technological workforce of the state and improving employees' access to pertinent education," said Gary Bertoline, dean of the College of the Technology. "We're excited to add the logistics initiative to the mix of programs we collaborate with Ivy Tech on."

The goal of the proposed program is to fully leverage Indiana's central geographic location and manufacturing leadership to develop a robust technology-based logistics program designed to meet the growing demands of Indiana's employers. This will be achieved by fulfilling several key objectives, including working directly with K-12 schools to inform Indiana high school and middle school students about educational and career opportunities in the fields of logistics, developing curricula for Ivy Tech and Purdue, articulating the Ivy Tech and Purdue credits for the associate and bachelor's degree programs, and implementing an outreach and recruitment program to encourage Ivy Tech associate degree students to continue their education through to a bachelor's degree.

The grant began in September and extends through July 2016.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. 

Writer: Kelly Hauflaire, 317-917-5732, khauflaire@ivytech.edu 

Purdue Sources: Edie Schmidt, 765-494-1097, schmidte@purdue.edu 

Gary Bertoline, 765-494-2552, bertoline@purdue.edu

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