Hammond Area Career Center’s new precision machining academy a certified Indiana State Earn and Learn site

The Hammond Area Career Center’s new precision machining academy is a certified Indiana State Earn and Learn site. (Submitted photo)


The Hammond Area Career Center’s new precision machining academy now is a certified Indiana State Earn and Learn site.

“I am so excited about this SEAL program because it truly creates a path for Region students to join the industry right outside their back door,” said Lauren Dado, director of the HACC. “For kids’ entire lives, they are surrounded by industry here in Northwest Indiana, but most have no idea how to get into those jobs (but) this program is one of many efforts to provide the groundwork to get our students into the workforce around us that needs them so desperately.”

Earn and learn sites are state-level apprenticeship programs, which provide work-and-learn experience for participants as well as skills and certifications employers seek. The programs are designed for adults and youths, which satisfy Indiana’s new graduation pathway requirements.

Hammond’s precision machining academy launched this year with nine students, who will gain hands-on experience while also earning 25 college credits and a certificate in machine tool technology from Ivy Tech Community College. The students also will earn three industry credentials in metal working.

The School City of Hammond launched the academy in partnership with the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce manufacturing committee, Hammond Machine Works, Ivy Tech, Center of Workforce Innovations, and the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship.

“This was a true collaboration between local education and manufacturing,” said Mark Van Fleet, chairman of the Lakeshore chamber manufacturing committee. “The more we worked together, the more it became clear that preparing young people for careers in modern manufacturing was the common purpose that melted the borders between schools and industry.”

The Hammond precision machining academy also is a Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program with its employer partner Hammond Machine Works. The Region 1 Workforce Board, Center of Workforce Innovations, is serving as an intermediary supporting the program.

The state projects Indiana employers will need to fill more than 1 million jobs in the next 10 years, half of which will not require a four-year college degree, but some type of certification or credential beyond a high school diploma.

View article in Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

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