The Northeast Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (NEINFAME) and Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne held a signing day for students accepted into the first cohort of NEINFAME recruits on April 30. Thirteen students, along with company representatives and mentors, signed contracts in Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s newly renovated Flex Lab within The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center.

“The employer members are excited to welcome all of the students both into the program and into their facilities,” said Jeff Hansen, Northeast Indiana FAME chair in a news release. “The education that will be provided by Ivy Tech together with the on-the-job experience provided by the employer will provide each student with a great foundation for future success in manufacturing.”

Program recruits will pursue a two-year associate degree in Advanced Manufacturing at Ivy Tech while working for a NEINFAME sponsor company. Sponsor companies will provide students with a paid work experience allowing them the opportunity to earn enough income to pay for the costs of the program, graduate debt-free, and begin a challenging career in just two years.

The 2021 NEINFAME recruits are:

Braden Bryant, Leo High School (LH Industries)

Aiden Hoffman, Whitko High School (SDI)

Morgan Miller, Whitko High School (FW Metals)

Landin Markins, Columbia City High School (FW Metals)

Sam Heller, South Side High School (AMT)

Quentin Aldridge, Tippecanoe Valley High School (Zimmer Biomet)

Nadia Handy, Warsaw High School (Zimmer Biomet)

Arthur Wischman, Wabash High School (Zimmer Biomet)

Mason Knuth, Columbia City High School (Micropulse)

Nicolas Suddarth, Homestead High School (Micropulse)

Curtis Martin, DeKalb High School (SDI)

Jayce Meyer, Angola High School (SDI)

Slate Edwards, Woodlan High School (SDI)

“These students are making a big commitment to their future by choosing to get industry training while earning college credentials and getting paid to do it,” said Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Warsaw Chancellor Jerrilee Mosier in the news release. “That commitment should be celebrated by all of the beneficiaries including the students, their families, future employers, and the region where they’ll put their skills to work”

The newly renovated Flex Lab space at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne is a multi-million-dollar facility that will be used to train students and apprentices in advanced manufacturing technologies including robotics, automation, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, safety, and more. The renovation cost approximately $600,000 and will house state-of-the-art equipment including mechatronic fully automated systems, FANUC robots, Allen Bradley programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives, IO- Link, and Cognex machine vision. It was funded, in part, by NEINFAME sponsor companies.

NEINFAME sponsor companies include Fort Wayne Metals, LH Industries, Micropulse, Steel Dynamics Inc., Advanced Machine and Tool (AMT), and Zimmer Biomet. NEINFAME is part of the national FAME-USA network (fame-usa.com), which currently has 31 partnerships across 13 states, supported by more than 400 employers. NEINFAME is also part of the statewide Indiana FAME initiative, which has built similar partnerships in four regions around Indiana (www.indianafame.com).

Applications for the fall 2022 cohort will open July 2021. Learn more about NEINFAME at www.northeastindianafame.com. Contact Kim Waugh at kwaugh7@ivytech.edu for more information.

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