INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College hosted the largest regional U.S. Department of Education summit on community colleges today at its downtown Indianapolis campus. With more than 200 participants from 13 states, it is the largest turnout of the three summits held thus far.
The focus of today’s summit was “Partnerships Between Community Colleges and Employers,” bringing together several participants from business and industry throughout the Midwest in addition to participants from higher education and government.
“We are very pleased with today’s turnout and very encouraged by the diverse dialogue and ideas shared by participants during the panels and breakout sessions,” said Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder. “We have a critical need for more college graduates, and collaboration with our workforce partners is key in helping meet that need. Indiana can’t grow without more Ivy Tech graduates, and Ivy Tech can’t grow without support from Indiana employers. Only by working together can we build a workforce that’s ready for the challenges we face not only here in Indiana, but nationwide.”
Ivy Tech was one of only four community colleges nationwide to host a regional summit. The selection follows Snyder’s visit to the White House to participate in the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges held in October.
Today’s event kicked off with an introduction by Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, followed by Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder.
Governor Mitch Daniels addressed participants stressing the importance of the community college in the state of Indiana, while Teri McClure, Senior Vice President for UPS, delivered the keynote address.
McClure announced a significant commitment by UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, to Skills for American’s Future, a national initiative to connect employers with community colleges to provide 21st century skills to American workers. As its commitment to Skills for America’s Future, UPS will institute a new Workforce Advisory Board to expand the career options for students in community college training programs, improve job placement rates and promote economic growth in local communities.
The afternoon included several panel discussions with representatives from business and industry, government and education. Robert Klemen, 1996 graduate of Ivy Tech and Corporate Manager with Northstar Aerospace, Inc., participated on the Business and Industry Panel.
Panels were followed by breakout sessions on topics such as: transitions to and through postsecondary education; developmental education; business partnerships; college affordability; and completion goals.
The summit was closed with remarks by Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to President Barack Obama for Education, White House Domestic Policy Council.
Summits have already taken place in Philadelphia and Houston. The fourth summit will be held in San Diego. The summit locations were announced by Education Secretary Arne Duncan in February. Titled “Challenges, Solutions, and Commitments,” the four summits continue the dialogue that began at the White House Summit on Community Colleges. Dr. Jill Biden convened the summit at the request of President Barack Obama to highlight the importance of community colleges.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.