Carroll County officials say new robotics and manufacturing classes at Delphi Community High School could create a talent pipeline for manufacturing companies in the area and bring in more investment in the community. Delphi Community School Corp. recently received a donation of Yaskawa robots manufactured by Indiana Automotive Inc’s Subaru company. In Lafayette, the area used a $100,000 grant to purchase additional equipment. Supervisor Ann-Marie Circle says the program will give students a path to jobs after graduation.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Circle said the classroom is filling a gap in the area.
“One of the most important things when I started talking to a lot of industries around us, I found that manufacturing is one of the biggest needs in our region,” Circle said. “No other school around us offers manufacturing, so I felt this was a fitting place we should fill for our students.”
Circle says discussions about the program began six years ago, when she was the high school principal. But now the timing was perfect to kick-start the effort, which it did in August.
Through the program, students will be able to use many of the Mitsubishi instructors to help them gain the programming skills required in today’s advanced manufacturing environment. They will also serve as electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic learning skills trainers.
Circle says the classes will help students gain certifications, experience, and eventually internships.
“This is what we are looking for is for our students to be able to move forward and have opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the hardware and software manufacturing… industries. So we hope that they will leave and be ready for employment right after graduation day. That is our goal.”
The program was established in partnership with the Indiana Trails Career Co-op. Director James Stradling says the classes will benefit more than just Delphi students.
“While Delphi will be the host school for the program, if there are seats available, other schools in the fold may start sending students to Delphi for the program,” Stradling said in written notes. “What a great way to offer the necessary technical training and skills to a variety of employers in and around Carroll County.”
The Carroll County Economic Development Corporation says that, once fully established, the program will offer a variety of training opportunities such as Coding, computer diagnostics, programming and maintenance troubleshooting, as well as implementing future approaches in Megatronics and Microelectronics.
Center for Economic Development Executive Director Jake Adams echoed the department’s sentiments about the timing of the program.
“Every morning we travel several thousand people abroad, and a large part of them are in the manufacturing profession,” he said. “So this really hits the K-12 space which will allow us to grow this pipeline.”
Adams says recent manufacturing announcements from Stellantis, Samsung, Minnesota-based SkyWater Technology (Nasdaq: SKYT), Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) It’s all fueling the need for more K-12 pathways to employment.
“Hopefully, this is just a HCV for future investment in the community,” Adams said. “The schools have been really great about finding a way to mix talent with the pipeline of committed employers in the region. This helps upstream and downstream of the supply chain, so start attracting SkyWater suppliers; we can attract Samsung suppliers. This is all part of a larger plan to make sure we can To be a hub for these employers, and they can be successful with their supply chain right next door to them.”
Additional funding for the program is provided by the Carroll County Community Foundation and the Carroll County Redevelopment Commission.
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