State of Indiana Case Study (written by National Governors Association)
President Trump signed Executive Order 13801 in June of 2017, which, in part, called for an increased federal focus on apprenticeship and created the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The task force was charged with devising a strategy to devote more federal resources to apprenticeship and identifying inefficiencies in existing programs. Its work was conducted by leaders from industry, higher education, and state government, and culminated in May 2018 with a written report to the president.
IVY TECH COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Background and Project Goals
As a founding member of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium and recipient of DOL’s Trailblazer and Innovator of Registered Apprenticeship award, Ivy Tech Community College brings a substantial level of existing infrastructure to the ECCA initiative. Across its more than 40 campuses statewide, Ivy Tech had more than 7,000 apprentices in active programs during academic year 2018-2019. Moreover, Ivy Tech—which serves as Indiana’s statewide community college system—is currently collaborating with more than 100 companies that have registered apprenticeship programs with DOL. Its efforts over the next three years will focus on advanced manufacturing programs at its Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, and Columbus campuses.
Ivy Tech’s overarching objective for the grant period is to adapt to the evolving needs of the advanced manufacturing sector by modernizing program curricula. Grant funds will go towards professional development for faculty who will eventually teach Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology and Industrial Technology courses. This will afford students the opportunity to increase their value to employers by receiving in-demand credentials, including Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician, Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10, and Siemens Level 1 certifications.
Statewide Partners and Existing Apprenticeship Efforts
Ivy Tech has named the Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) and the state’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) as critical partners for achieving its project goals. IMA has advocated on behalf of Indiana’s manufacturers since 1901 and has committed to convening private sector leaders, recruiting companies, and continuing to communicate the workforce needs of its membership to Ivy Tech. DWD is set to serve as a conduit between Ivy Tech and industry to create and increase buy-in for its apprenticeship programs.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has made apprenticeship a key component for increasing the state’s educational attainment rate and growing its economy since the beginning of his term. In March of 2018, by signing Executive Order (EO) 18-04, Holcomb created the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA). The executive order cited the then-record-high 2.7 million Hoosiers working in the private sector but also conveyed the ongoing need for higher education programs to align with the demands of the state’s workforce. EO 18-04 prescribed specific strategies for OWBLA to carry out to reach its initial goal of doubling the number of residents in apprenticeship and quality work-based learning programs by the end of 2019. These included coordinating with DOL to expand access to apprenticeship for traditionally underserved populations and developing a statewide framework for youth pre-apprenticeship and “earn and learn” programs for adults.
Participation in registered apprenticeship and other work-based learning programs such as State Earn and Learn (SEAL), youth capstone courses, and internships increased by 193 percent from the time OWBLA launched in June 2018 through the end of 2019. Ivy Tech was integral to this achievement, according to OWBLA’s Executive Director Darrel Zeck, who has led the office since its inception. Zeck’s new goal for OWBLA is two-fold: increase the number of the office’s education and employment partners by 30 percent and increase participation in SEAL and registered apprenticeship by 50 percent before 2022. Ivy Tech will make a meaningful contribution if it achieves one of its own project goals of registering 450 apprentices before the end of the grant period.
Apprenticeship programs are poised to play a significant role in Indiana’s economic recovery. “Our efforts have certainly taken on a new level of importance in the wake of COVID-19,” OWBLA Executive Director Darrel Zeck said. “Apprenticeship will of course remain one of our top priorities, and we know that Ivy Tech will continue to be a key partner during these trying times. We’re glad that they have proactively undertaken this initiative with AACC and look forward to seeing the results it produces in this critical time for our state economy,” Zeck continued.
Apprenticeship is an effective vehicle for building partnerships between institutions of higher education, the private sector, and policymakers. In their mission to scale apprenticeship programs on their own campuses, community colleges alongside Ivy Tech in the ECCA cohort will exhibit an array of practices governors can deploy in their own state.