Ivy Tech Community College’s role in producing a skilled workforce has grown from statewide to international.
An executive from the college’s Columbus campus traveled to China recently and solidified several relationships with colleges that will help meet that need for Hoosier companies.
Sue Smith, corporate executive for advanced manufacturing with Ivy Tech Community College, accompanied a Columbus delegation to China in late October.
The group’s overall goal was to build relationships and explore business opportunities. However, Ivy Tech also agreed to one partnership with a college, and is close to two more.
Ivy Tech reached an agreement with Huzhou Vocational and Technical College to host and train its faculty, Smith said. Ivy Tech is finalizing the same type of agreement with another college, she added. However, because the agreement wasn’t complete, she couldn’t divulge the college’s name.
Ivy Tech, especially at its Columbus campus, is working to develop standardized training for standardized work for manufacturing companies, so workers in the United States and abroad have the same necessary skills.
“We have to build partnerships in other countries to do that,” Smith said.
Smith met with officials from several colleges when she wasn’t part of the delegation’s meetings with government officials and business executives.
Smith shared information about educational efforts here, because a skilled, trained workforce is important for Chinese companies looking to invest in the U.S., she said.
“As we talked to businesses to try to attract them to the U.S., one of the first questions was about the workforce,” Smith said.
Ivy Tech in Columbus has had a sister college relationship with Wuxi Professional College of Science and Technology since 2010. Columbus and Wuxi have been sister cities since 2007.
Ivy Tech’s Columbus campus hosted some of the faculty from the Wuxi sister college earlier this summer. They learned about the business and technology curricula and teaching methods of
Ivy Tech faculty.
Ivy Tech business and manufacturing faculty spent one month in Wuxi in October 2011.
Another similar partnership seems to be on the horizon.
“We have developed another relationship with another community college that has sister-college potential,” Smith said.
Such relationships are important for helping Hoosier companies that operate in a global economy.
“It’s no longer just about companies in Indiana” who need Ivy Tech to provide training, Smith said.