We’ve witnessed so many announcements at the new Center for Technology Innovation and Manufacturing on the VUJ Campus in the months since it opened up, they’ve almost become anti-climactic.
But the announcement on Wednesday was big for several important reasons. The presentation of the revamped Associate of Science in Career Tech degree has real world purpose now.
Vincennes University President Dick Helton was on-hand to help introduce the program and told the audience at the Wednesday afternoon presentation that the program is modeled after one that is used in the Vincennes University Gibson County facility that works with Toyota.
The big difference in this program at the VUJ campus is that it will work with seven local companies to prepare skilled technicians needed to program and maintain advanced technologies being adopted by manufacturers to stay competitive in the global economy.
All seven of the companies are local: Jasper Engines, Indiana Furniture Industries, OFS Brands, Wabash Valley Produce, Masterbrand Cabinets, Kimball International and Jasper Rubber Products. They all face the same challenge:
Where to find skilled technical workers to operate highly specialized manufacturing machines in area factories?
The new program answers that question by creating work/study programs with these companies to provide coursework and a degree after the training to make workers ready to operate the machines they will be using everyday.
Dean of Vincennes University Jasper, Dr. Alan Johnson, said during the presentation that a worker who goes through the program “comes out with an Associates Degree, two years of work experience that complements the coursework and a greater chance of a full-time career and probably with little to no debt.”
Johnson says that the program will begin next fall and will take on 25 new entrants into the coursework and will grow from there.
Brain Drain Issue Addressed in CTIM Program at VUJ
The Educational program that was rolled out Wednesday at the VUJ Campus for the Associate of Science degree in Career Tech addresses the “Brain Drain” problem in the state where students go off to college and never return to the area to begin a career.
We asked Dr. Alan Johnson, Dean of VUJ, how it accomplishes that mission:
The program gives students a pathway to being able to remain after they graduate from the program.