The two entities announced the creation of a four-year apprenticeship program last week aimed at providing full-time workers a route to certification as an industrial maintenance mechanic technician, in the process creating as many as 15 new full-time positions at local companies.
It’s scheduled to begin Aug. 19 as long as the ideal number of applicants pass the thorough screening process. Easley doesn’t foresee that to be a problem.
Any apprentices hired by the Dilling Group will be filling new positions created by the company, Easley indicated.
Ivy Tech-Kokomo Region chancellor Stephen J. Daily indicated the program is just one of several the college hopes to organize in the next several years, and encouraged other industrial businesses to partner with the college to provide apprenticeship positions.
“There are jobs available that require a variety of skills, and those skills do not appear in the current population,” Daily said. It does the area no good, he added, to attract businesses with high-paying jobs “if we don’t have a skilled work force to fill those jobs.”
Representatives of the Dilling Group and Ivy Tech started laying out plans for the apprenticeship program in September 2012. Ivy Tech applied for certification about a month ago through the Indiana Department of Labor Apprenticeship so graduates’ credentials could be recognized nationally. It obtained the certification.
Dilling has had its own in-house apprenticeship program for more than 30 years. That program trains employees primarily on specific equipment the company uses, explained Eric Ott, vice president of Dilling Group. The program has taken 150 to 200 Dilling employees through plumbing and electrical training, Ott said, and will continue to run as before. The new apprenticeship program is in addition to it, not in its place, Ott added.
The difference in the Ivy Tech-Dilling program will be that it includes college-level classroom instruction on broader topics instead of particular machinery.