COLUMBUS, Ind. — In the face of low unemployment rates and a statewide shortage of skilled workers, Ivy Tech Community College is partnering with local employers to equip students with skills they need to succeed in the manufacturing industry while also recruiting more job prospects into the local workforce.

With a local unemployment rate of a little more than 3 percent — which is essentially full employment of those interested in working — the leaders of some of Columbus’ largest manufacturers continue to struggle to find enough trained workers to meet production needs.

Before long, however, the need to find capable workers will increase even more.

About 4,000 to 4,500 jobs will need to be filled in the southeast region of Indiana between 2018 and 2019, said Kent Fuller, human resources manager for Caltherm, a Columbus firm that manufactures custom thermostatic engineering parts.

Please see Thursday’s edition of The Republic for more details.

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