The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $1.5 million aviation maintenance training grant to Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast for the benefit displaced workers in northeast Indiana.
During the next three years, the college’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program is poised to create 501 skilled aviation maintenance workers through accelerated training. Numerous aviation credentials are expected to be developed and issued, including those in quality and health safety, assembly mechanics, electrical assembly, composite repair, quality assurance and tooling. Ivy Tech–Northeast will work with local partners Atlantic Aviation, Comlux America and Pinnacle Airlines to fulfill many of the grant’s objectives.
The college received the funding through its membership in the National Aviation Consortium, which was awarded a $14.9 million grant through the DOL’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program. The consortium was created by Wichita (Kan.) Area Technical College, which serves as the lead institution. Other member institutions include Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Wash.; Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N.C. and Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, Okla.
The consortium’s primary objective is to provide accelerated training to 2,500 students to fill the current jobs that remain open due to an unskilled workforce in five states representing 35 counties. WATC received $8.7 million; ECC received $1.8 million; Ivy Tech–Northeast received $1.5 million and GTCC and TCC received $1.3 million each.
“This grant will focus on training for TAA-eligible dislocated workers, veterans and others seeking work in the aviation industry,” said Jim Aschliman, executive director of Ivy Tech Corporate College in Fort Wayne. “With the recent dedication of our new $2.3 million Aviation Center at Smith Field Airport, the timing for this announcement could not have been better.”
The consortium’s grant is a part of the TAACCCT program that provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education across the country with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less, are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, and prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.
The Obama administration’s Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 included a $2 billion provision to fund the TAACCCT program during the next four years. Through these multi-year grants, the DOL is helping to ensure that the nation’s institutions of higher education are helping adults succeed in acquiring the skills, degrees and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment while also meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers.
In total, 297 schools were awarded $500 million in TAACCCT grants on September 19 as individual applicants or as members of a consortium. The grants include 27 awards to community college and university consortia totaling $359,237,048 and 27 awards to individual institutions totaling $78,262,952. Twenty-five states that were without a winning individual submission will be contacted to develop a qualifying $2.5 million project.
Educational institutions will use these funds to create affordable training programs that meet industry needs, invest in staff and educational resources and provide access to free, digital learning materials. All education materials developed through the grants will be available for use by the public and other education providers through a Creative Commons license.
These grants emphasize evidence-based program design. Each grantee is required to collect rigorous student outcome data annually and conduct final evaluations at the end of the grant period to build knowledge about which strategies are most effective in placing graduates in jobs.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech serves nearly 200,000 students annually and has campuses throughout Indiana. It functions 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.