The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet has awarded six high schools and career centers with an Education Readiness Grant, including the North Montgomery Community School Corporation.
The new grant program is offered in partnership with Conexus Indiana and will support recipients in preparing students for careers in the increasingly high-tech advanced manufacturing industry.
“We requested $72,800 and have been granted that amount. Funding will aid in developing a Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 program of study for NMHS students,” Superintendent Dr. Colleen Moran said. “Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment to introduce students to the Internet of Things and how it is used in manufacturing.”
The Cabinet awarded a total of $493,397. Grant recipients will use the funding to purchase new, smart manufacturing technologies and equipment identified in their applications as they prepare to implement programs in the 2022-23 school year.
The 2022 Education Readiness Grant recipients include: North Montgomery Community School Corporation; Delphi Community School Corporation; Lincoln High School; Manchester Community Schools; Plymouth High School; and Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center.
Education Readiness Grants complement Indiana’s Next Level Programs of Study, which ensures all students have access to career and technical education with the opportunity to earn dual credits, post-secondary credentials, and engage in work-based learning experiences. All grant recipients were required to be implementing one of two newly available programs of study — Industry 4.0 – Smart Manufacturing or Industrial Automation and Robotics.
“Students will explore smart technologies like human-to-robot collaboration, utilizing and collecting data with manufacturing, sensors, pneumatic power, robot operation, measurement precision, CAD, CAM, CNC and additive manufacturing,” Moran said. “Students will complete Amatrol labs, virtual simulations, projects and critical thinking assignments [and] prepare for the SACA C-101 Certified Industry 4.0 Associate 1 - Basic Operations certification exam.”
Next Level Programs of Study, Indiana’s redesign of secondary career and technical education courses, is made up of 65 programs of study launching in the 2022-2023 school year. More than 50 of the new programs of study were available to schools and career centers this school year on an opt-in basis.
“With access to equipment representative of the industry standard, students will be more engaged and interested in pursuing these programs of study and careers in manufacturing,” Moran added.
In addition to providing grants to secondary schools, Education Readiness Grants will strengthen partnerships between industry and local schools. Applicants were specifically encouraged to partner with local employers who have participated in the statewide Manufacturing Readiness Grants program, a partnership between Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation that has supported a projected $93 million in capital investment in Industry 4.0 technologies. Each grant recipient demonstrated a direct connection with local advanced manufacturers with the goal of recruiting more students to CTE and graduating job-ready students with experience and credentials that apply to local employers.
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