INDIANAPOLIS– Matt Bell has been named President of Ivy Tech Corporate College. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana. Bell will begin his position at Ivy Tech on April 2, 2012.
Ivy Tech launched Corporate College in September 2011 to provide expanded business solutions for companies looking to provide training for their employees. Ivy Tech Corporate College focuses on developing, introducing and delivering statewide training, certifications and skills-improvement courses that business leaders have survey-highlighted as essential to their sustainability and profitability. From the factory floor to the boardroom, Corporate College provides courses, training systems and creative resources to help advance Hoosier businesses to new levels of success nationally and worldwide.
Bell will lead the state’s largest workforce training operation utilizing the college’s statewide community college structure to partner with companies throughout Indiana.
“We are looking forward to adding someone with Matt’s wealth of experience to our team to lead our workforce training efforts,” Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder said. “We are currently providing customer, client-driven training to about 2,000 businesses and more than 20,000 employees each year, but the accelerated rate of change in the business world and global competitive pressures on Indiana employers, requires a corresponding statewide response to keep Indiana’s workforce the best trained in the market. The Community College has an opportunity and responsibility to greatly expand its services to businesses and corporations of the state and beyond, where appropriate, and to create a business model for the sale and delivery of these training services.”
For the past 30 years the College has provided training services to local employers through its division of Workforce and Economic Development and its predecessor Business and Industry Training. The College and Indiana’s employers have achieved much success through their combined efforts to match training opportunities with the employer needs. The new Ivy Tech Corporate College model will expand the college’s role in workforce training and offer new opportunities for executives, middle managers and front line staff members.
In Bell’s most recent role at the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana he helped led the efforts to collaboratively work with 18 local Chambers of Commerce, all 10 of Northeast Indiana’s Local Economic Development officials, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, WorkOne, and the local IEDC office.
Under Bell’s leadership, the Regional Chamber achieved significant success. Accomplishments included an increase in dues-paying membership to of 82 percent and an overall membership that has more than doubled, an increase in board members from 9 to 17, advancement of 23 19 positions on issues of importance to Northeast Indiana during the 2011 Indiana General Assembly for a success rate of 83 percent, and the development of the “This IND Up” agenda which outlines 10 policies to best position Northeast Indiana for sustained economic development and job growth and has been hailed as the most comprehensive legislative agenda offered by Northeast Indiana in a quarter century.
Bell also served as an Indiana State Representative from 2005 to 2010. He served House District 83, which covers parts of Allen, Noble, and Whitley Counties. During session, Bell served as the Ranking Minority Member of the Public Policy Committee, and member of the Labor and Employment Committee, and the Family, Children, and Human Affairs Committee. He previously served as the Vice Chair of the Public Policy Committee (2006), the Ranking Minority Member of the Labor and Employment Committee, and a member of the Insurance Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.
He was named the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Champion for 2007. Bell achieved a 95 percent voting record, the highest percentage achieved by any elected official in the Indiana General Assembly, on issues of importance to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce during the 2008 session. His two year aggregate rating from the Chamber was also 95 percent, which ranked second among all legislators during the 115th General Assembly.
Prior to being selected to lead the Regional Chamber, Bell spent eight years serving as the Executive Director of the Literacy Empowering and Advocating Project (LEAP) of Noble County. During his tenure, LEAP grew from a small community based not-for-profit organization into an organization that serves more than 450 students each week with classes in Albion, Ligonier and Kendallville. LEAP’s annual revenues have tripled over the past five years. Since 2004, LEAP has welcomed more than 350 donors to its family of supporters. LEAP has used that local support from businesses, industry, and individual community members to leverage more than $4.5 million in support of literacy programming in Noble County.
Bell, a University of Tennessee graduate, worked in media sales at Fort Wayne’s Federated Media prior to joining the staff at WFWA PBS-39 where he raised money to support educational children’s programming. He previously served as a member of the St. Mary of the Assumption (Avilla) School Board and helped coordinate the religious education program at St. Mary’s for two years (2003-2004). He currently serves as a member of the Parish Finance Committee.
In addition, he served as a 4-H leader in Swan Township for five years, volunteered with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and participates in several community initiatives including the Region III-A Economic Development and Regional Planning Executive Board, the Early Childhood Alliance Board of Directors, the President of the Community Harvest Food Bank Board of Directors, and the Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana Board of Directors.