With more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, a local professor is earning national recognition for his work with the next generation of engineers.

Victor Burgos, an Ivy Tech Community College manufacturing professor who retired from Cummins in 2008, was named the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council 2015 Authorized Instructor of the Year.

The council’s award recognizes one manufacturing professor in the nation each year.

In addition to working at Ivy Tech’s Columbus campus, Burgos also teaches for the college in Bloomington, Indianapolis and Sellersburg.

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As this year’s winner, Burgos will receive a plaque and an invitation to the National Executive Conference.

Winning the award was a surprise, Burgos said, and one that inspired him to be an even better mentor to his students.

He spoke with The Republic about what being the authorized instructor of the year means to him, and how he uses his varied experiences to inspire future engineers to build a career in the ever-changing field.

What kind of work did you do at Cummins?

I worked at the Columbus Technical Center as an engineering CAD designer with the Advanced Systems Design Group, as well as their corporate training instructor in blueprint reading, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and American National Standards Institute and International Organization for Standardization standards for the Cummins apprenticeships programs.

Why did you go into teaching?

One of my mentors at Cummins, Gary P. Gooldy, who was a manager of corporate drafting at the Cummins Technical Center, encouraged me in the mid-1980s to be a trainer because of my bilingual skills — Spanish and English — to train and teach Cummins employees at its U.S. and international plants. I was one of three instructors. This was the beginning of my love for teaching.

What is the process to win the council’s award?

Staff and students submit nominations and essays. I was nominated by staff from several campuses and student essays for the impact I have had on their learning experience.

What was your reaction to winning the award?

I was excited for Ivy Tech, the WorkOne offices and Indiana. I was humbled by the kind words that were written by the staff and students. I believe all educators would agree with me that our students inspire me daily with their drive to succeed in the classroom and in their professional careers. I am honored to be recognized as the MSSC’s Authorized Instructor of the year.

How do you encourage your students to seek careers in the manufacturing industry?

It’s an orchestra of talented Ivy Tech program managers, working alongside WorkOne. Once I have the students in my class, it’s easy. All I have to do is ensure their success. I ask my students for their permission to take them outside of their comfort zone on an intense four-week training program. I let them know, “I’ve been there, I’ve done that,” as I guide them through the skills needed for advanced manufacturing. I let them know that over the past 4½ years we have a proven track record of getting people jobs. Employers are lined up to hire students with these MSSC skills. The students become self-empowered and ready for change and newer learning experiences as the industrial athletes of the future. As one of my students put it, “This stuff sells itself.”

About the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council

The Manufacturing Skills Standards Council is a non-profit organization that seeks to train and certify future engineers.

The council offers different certifications, including programs for certified production technicians, certified logistics technicians and American National Standards Institute and the International Organization of Standardization accreditation. Those standards and certifications are valid in the United States and Canada.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.