July 26, 2017

Purdue, Indy partners update hands-on spaces at JA BizTown

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — New and updated hands-on educational experience at JA BizTown in Indianapolis will soon help ensure young students understand the importance of advanced manufacturing to the Indiana economy and that they are inspired to explore careers with those employers.

Purdue University partnered with 3D Parts Manufacturing LLC, Pepper Construction of Indiana and JA BizTown to create the updated space, which will now be sponsored by Purdue. JA BizTown is a program of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana.

The program at JA BizTown is primarily aimed at introducing fifth-grade students to life in a real working community, combining classroom curriculum with hands-on experience at JA BizTown, in which students practice nearly every aspect of running a community, from operating banks and managing restaurants to writing checks and voting for mayor. 

Alder_biztown 3-D rendering of the planned advanced manufacturing display at JA BizTown. Construction on the space will begin in early August and is scheduled to be complete sometime this fall. (Image provided by Pepper Construction of Indiana) Download image

“Junior Achievement of Central Indiana is thrilled to have established a strong partnership with Purdue University and 3D Parts Manufacturing LLC as a part of our JA BizTown program, which will educate, inspire and engage students regarding the high-demand careers available in the advanced manufacturing industry. By bringing together the business and education communities, we are empowering young people throughout central Indiana to own their future success,” said Jennifer Burk, president and CEO of JA of Central Indiana.

As the new sponsor of JA BizTown, Purdue will help students further understand the importance of advanced manufacturing to the Indiana economy, both through classroom lessons and new multi-media manufacturing displays in the JA BizTown space.

“JA has so many worthwhile and educational programs for students throughout the state. When we met with them to determine where we best fit and where Purdue could make the most impact on students, JA BizTown quickly rose to the top,” said Barbara J. Alder, director of the Purdue Office of Engagement for Metropolitan Indianapolis. “Advanced manufacturing as an industry sector is key to Indiana’s economy now and in the future.  This is one way we can work together on that all-important talent pipeline.  Working with so many partners that were Purdue graduates at 3D Parts Manufacturing LLC and Pepper Construction made it an even better decision.  We couldn’t be happier with the four-way partnership.”

The educational space is being updated, in conjunction with Pepper Construction of Indiana, which will donate the construction labor and equipment, to reflect a modern 21st century factory. 3D Parts Manufacturing LLC will continue to provide the additive manufacturing equipment already in the space.

“As a construction services provider to the manufacturing industry in Indiana, we recognize the need for skilled professionals in advanced manufacturing. We are proud to partner in this project and support the JA BizTown mission,” said Mitch Denton, vice president of business development for Pepper Construction of Indiana.

“We all know how hands-on learning can impact students’ engagement. Making things with 3-D printers gets kids excited about advanced manufacturing” said Kim Brand, co- founder of 3D Parts Manufacturing LLC.

Construction on the new space is scheduled to begin in early August, with the new display set to be unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony later this fall.

Source: Barbara J. Alder, (317) 773-6846, balder@purdue.edu

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