Ellspermann to address statewide need for skilled workers

As Sue Ellspermann prepares to step into her new role as Ivy Tech Community College president on July 1, she is setting her sights on increasing student attainment and meeting the statewide need for skilled workers, especially in the manufacturing industry.

As she develops new initiatives that meet the state’s labor need, the former Indiana lieutenant governor said existing programs in Columbus’ higher education system will serve as a model of best practices that could be emulated by other Ivy Tech campuses around the state.

Ellspermann, 56, spent the past three and a half years as lieutenant governor under Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s administration. As the state’s second highest office holder, she was involved in a variety of statewide commissions and organizations, including serving as the vice-chair of the Indiana Career Council.

She also used her position as lieutenant governor to get a better feel for the diversity of the state’s economy, traveling to each of Indiana’s 92 counties during her first year in office and meeting with leaders of each county’s major industries. It was during these trips across the Hoosier state that Ellspermann said she learned the full extent of the state’s skilled labor shortage.

“Every county I went to, I heard employers begging for skilled workers,” Ellspermann said during a visit Monday to the Columbus campus of Ivy Tech. “We (Ivy Tech) are the biggest machine the state has for creating that skilled workforce.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.