Quick Takes editorial: Cummins aims to bridge skills gap

Cummins Inc. is driving a change that could benefit students and help address labor shortages. Cummins announced this week it will launch its first Technical Education for Communities Program at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis to provide training for future diesel engine service technicians. Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Inc. and city bus service IndyGo also are partners in the project, just one of five in the nation.

“We were seeing huge skills gaps in our community,” said Cummins’ Vice President of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility Mary Chandler. “At the same time, employers had open positions for good-paying jobs that required technical skill sets. So, the impetus for Cummins Tech was to fill that skills gap, and especially provide opportunity for less advantaged young people.”

Kudos to Cummins and its partners in this effort. By helping students learn a trade in school now, they’ll also help secure the help they and their customers will need down the road.

Hispanic Realtors serve growing needs

Local Realtor Elisa Torres of Realty ONE Group recently shared an anecdote with The Republic’s Jana Wiersema while talking about forming the Hispanic Realtors of Columbus, which organized in October.

“You could interview any of the local agents that will tell you one story or two about having Hispanic buyers and having their teenage kids translate at the closing table and things like that,” said Torres. Which, all good intentions aside, probably is not ideal in handling what for most families will be the most important financial decision of their lives. Members of this group can help bridge such gaps.

According to census figures, Bartholomew County has one of the highest percentages of foreign-born residents among the 92 counties in Indiana, including a sizable Hispanic community. It’s to our area’s credit that so many people from around the globe choose to call our county home and make their futures here. And we commend these Realtors who recognized a need to help people attain the American Dream of homeownership, making the fabric of our community more vibrant and diverse.

Tribute fit for musical royalty

Lisa Marie Presley died earlier this month. Those who knew the only child of The King, Elvis Presley, said she didn’t want tears at her memorial service, but a celebration of her life. That celebration had a Columbus connection.

As The Republic’s Brian Blair reported, Bryan Hutson, a gospel singer and Columbus resident from 1991 to 1995, served as a last-minute replacement lead vocalist for the legendary Blackwood Brothers at Presley’s memorial service this week at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

“This will definitely be in my top five memories, for sure,” said Hutson, 53, who lives in Batesville with wife Yvonne, his partner in their full-time Rescue Me Ministries.

Back in Columbus, Bryan’s brother Jim, an award-winning on-air WYGS gospel radio personality and an accomplished gospel singer himself, proudly watched on a livestream.

With songs including “How Great Thou Art,” Bryan Hutson was a memorable part of a solemn yet uplifting memorial.