Dreaming, Doing in Indiana

By December 4, 2006General

The Indianapolis Star focuses on the skills gap today, giving prominent play to Indiana leaders who have embraced the “Dream It. Do It.” campaign.

The Indiana Manufacturers Association is drumming up support to launch a promotion called “Dream It. Do It.” The new campaign, developed by the National Association of Manufacturers, touts the benefits of manufacturing in high schools and junior highs.

Ivy Tech and Purdue University are revamping their course offerings to make it easier for manufacturing workers to gain more advanced skills. If Indiana’s work force is higher-skilled, industry officials say, its manufacturing jobs will be safer from foreign competition.

Graduates from the manufacturing programs at Ivy Tech and Vincennes University have few problems getting jobs, the schools say.

“You have to be as literate with the laptop as you do with the wrench,” said Lee Sensenbrenner, a professor of manufacturing and industrial technology at Ivy Tech.

The average manufacturing job in the state pays more than $45,000 in annual wages and nearly $65,000 in wages and benefits.

The Manufacturing Institute’s Phyllis Eisen was in Indiana, recently. Here’s her Powerpoint presentation on the skills gap to the folks at Purdue. (.pdf file)

Indiana, we note, is the most manufacturing-intensive state in the country. (NAM .pdf factsheet here.)