JASPER, Ind. – The Center for Technology, Innovation and
Manufacturing (CTIM), located on the Vincennes University Jasper (VUJ)
Campus, is seeing a flurry of activity, with nearly 10,000 people
crossing the threshold of the facility during the 2018-19 academic year.
A record number of 9,905 people attended classes, trainings,
meetings, and programming at the CTIM in the last year. Traffic in the
54,000-square-foot building has increased significantly and since
2017-18 is up 24.4 percent, reflecting the critical role the facility
plays in the region toward workforce development.
Now more than ever, businesses are challenged with recruiting and
training their workforce. The CTIM has helped employers tackle the
personnel challenge and overcome the talent gap by utilizing both
incumbent worker training programs and by recruiting highly skilled
VUJ graduates into careers locally.
“Manufacturing is changing. It is going to a more automated process
and as that happens, one of our goals is to help skill incumbent
workers up and skill the next generation of manufacturing workers in
regards to robotics, programmable logic controller (PLC), computer
numerical control (CNC), electronics, and all the other course
offerings that we provide,” said CTIM Director Jacob Berg.
The CTIM is home to the Career Advancement Partnership (CAP) program,
a major workforce development initiative between VU Jasper and local
manufacturing companies. Students learn high-demand industrial
maintenance skills while working internships with industry partners,
including Indiana Furniture, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Kimball
Electronics, Kimball International, MasterBrand Cabinets, Farbest
Foods, and others. The work/learn format allows students to graduate
with an associate degree after two years and, in many cases, earn
enough money to offset the cost of the degree.
Currently, the CAP program supports 25 student internships with nine
different local industry partners.
“We are so fortunate to have the support of our local manufacturers.
They are directly involved with the CAP program and they show a vested
interest in the success of our students,” Berg said.
Beginning with the 2019 fall semester, the CTIM will also house three
programs for the Patoka Valley Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Cooperative. High school juniors and seniors from 10 regional school
corporations are eligible to enroll in Constructions Trades, Computer
Repair/Networking, and the Automation and Robotics Academy (ARA).
There are currently 52 high school students signed up to attend
courses at the CTIM during the 2019-20 school year.
The Automation and Robotics Academy introduces a totally new approach
to technical education where high school students are immersed into a
learning environment that combines lab instruction and real-time work
experience. Developed through the ROI Ready Schools Grant Initiative,
the Academy is a collaboration between Vincennes University Jasper,
Hub 19 and the Patoka Valley CTE Cooperative. Students will learn
technical skills in robotics, industrial automation controls,
electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and other related topics. The AR
Academy is one of the first of its kind in the nation, leading the way
as an example of how industry and education can collaborate to create
opportunities for students.
“The whole community is really excited - since we are a community
built on manufacturing - that we’re offering students in high school
the opportunity to get a head start on learning about the automated
process in manufacturing,” Berg said.
“The AR Academy will give participants a real advantage in the
workforce, making them highly sought after, skilled individuals in a
job market with an insatiable appetite for talent. Graduates will find
a real pathway to prosperity in the region,” VU Jasper Assistant Vice
President and Dean Christian Blome said.
VU Jasper is also an approved site to offer certificates in
industrial technology. Berg is currently working with industry
partners to identify potential concentrations in areas such as
robotics, machining and product design.
“We’re driven to meet the needs of the community and we are involved
in a lot of different conversations with community leaders in efforts
to provide the programming that is going to benefit manufacturing and
construction in our area,” Berg said. “We’re constantly engaging with
companies and the community to find out what we can do to move them forward.”
Recently, Berg learned that the local plumber’s association had a
need for a facilitator to host required apprenticeship coursework. He
met with leaders and drafted an agreement to host classes at the VUJ
CTIM four nights per week.
“This is just another example of how we are eager to meet the needs
of our community,” Berg said. “We are optimistic that this new
partnership will lead to expanded programming in the construction trades.”
Apprenticeship classes will start in September of 2019.
Incumbent worker training is another piece of the success story at
VUJ’s CTIM building, with options that are highly customizable and
portable. Courses are designed to meet the immediate training needs of
Through a recent workforce engagement survey, local industry
identified training needs and VUJ responded by launching 35 new
training programs including: Basic AC/DC Electrical Systems, Electric
Motor Control, Risk Management in Manufacturing Operations, Workplace
Spanish for Supervisors, Basic Hydraulics, Basic Quality Concepts, and
many others. To further align programming with industry partners, VU
Jasper launched an aggressive industry and community engagement
campaign through advisory boards and regular one-on-one meetings with
employers to ensure trainings continue to be relevant and innovative
with industry-driven content.
Since opening in 2013, the $12 million CTIM has become a go-to in the
region whether it be for government employees, non-profit
organizations, youth or individuals from the private sector, they’re
all engaging at a high level in a modern, state-of-the-art setting.
The CTIM also provides facilities, equipment, and space for businesses
and organizations to host employer-sponsored trainings. Employers
benefit from a reserved and highly curated space to maximize the
impact of scheduled trainings, causing employers and organizations to
seek out the CTIM as their training partner of choice.
“The CTIM is the hub for community engagement in local education. It
is a shared building that brings all stakeholders to the table to
discuss and learn from each other. The CTIM hosts meetings that bring
together some of the most influential people in our community, all who
share a common vision for the students and community that we serve,”
With rising enrollment on a growing campus, the CTIM is making
significant upgrades to its equipment and facility. Vincennes
University is making major investments in CTIM facility training
equipment for the 2019-20 academic year. It’s increasing its
collection of robotic arms, bettering audio/visual capabilities in
laboratories with interactive flat panels utilizing touch technology,
and acquiring new training equipment for programs such as HVAC,
hydraulics, PLC, robotics and pneumatics. The upgraded versions of
Autodesk and Microsoft software are available. Other software is being
upgraded as well.
Additional degree programs, expanded training offerings and new
partnerships are on the horizon for the CTIM.
“As industries continue to evolve, the VUJ CTIM will continue to
drive innovation and growth in the region through cutting-edge
technologies presented in new and engaging ways. We will push the
boundaries on the traditional education approach, further blurring the
lines between the classroom and the workplace,” Blome said.
“The future is bright for Vincennes University Jasper, Dubois County,
and the region.”
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY JASPER CAMPUS
The Vincennes University Jasper Campus is a vital part of Indiana’s
first college, Vincennes University, a state-supported college that
traces its founding to 1801.
In addition to offering associate degree and certificate programs,
VUJ students can complete a bachelor’s degree online or at the
Vincennes Campus. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, VUJ
tuition and fees rank among the most affordable of all Indiana colleges.
VU Jasper is located on a beautiful 140-acre campus on the southeast
side of Jasper. In addition to the Center for Technology, Innovation,
and Manufacturing, other campus facilities include the Alvin C. Ruxer
Student Center, Arnold F. Habig Library Learning Center,
Administrative Classroom Building, and a Jasper Classroom Campus
Building that holds a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory for
healthcare training. Adjacent to the campus is the Jasper Arts Center
that includes a 675-seat theatre and visual arts galleries.
The Jasper Campus fulfills the vision of a Dubois County citizens
group, founded in 1958, that was dedicated to improving area education
and cultural enrichment. Vincennes University joined as a strong
partner in 1970. The VU Jasper Campus has developed to serve thousands
of students in Dubois, Spencer, Martin, Perry, Crawford, Harrison,
Pike, Orange, Lawrence and other counties in Indiana.
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports
Information Director 812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell,
VUNews@vinu.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org VINCENNES UNIVERSITY,
Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom