By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — A way to get experience and certifications while completing industry-approved welding projects is in the works for Logansport.
A welding institute will be implemented at the Logansport campus of Ivy Tech starting Oct. 14. The “institute model” structures classes in 40-week programs and will span 12 months from start to finish.
“There is a strong skill set needed for welding at Logansport,” said Rodni Lytle, an Ivy Tech Kokomo Region administrator. “There are small and large manufacturers in the area along with a diverse population that could benefit from the training.”
Lytle, dean of the school of technology and school of applied science and engineering technology for Ivy Tech Kokomo Region, which includes Logansport’s campus, said he’s familiar with the institute method, since the Kokomo campus has an automotive and welding institute.
“The welding institute is a different way of packaging technical skills and meeting any skill gaps,” Lytle said. “Each session is designed to help students see completion.”
Five eight-week sessions will make room for students to start in October, January, March, June and August. During each session, the class will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Students will be able to earn seven American Welding Society certifications.
Ivy Tech will also reach out to other counties to see if people are interested in signing up, according to Kevin Bostic, vice chancellor and campus dean at the Logansport campus.
The institute model has been successful at other Ivy Tech sites, Bostic said. The automotive institute program on the Kokomo campus has the largest enrollment in the state. Because of that, additional classes have been added and there has been a waitlist to join, he said.
Lytle anticipates that will happen at Logansport’s campus, too.
The new welding institute leader, Nellie Neal, is a licensed secondary education teacher and certified welding educator with professional experience in manufacturing and supervision, according to a press release from Ivy Tech.
Neal has experience as a pipefitter for Eli Lilly and Co. and its Tippecanoe labs and as a pipefitter/welder for A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co. in Lafayette.
“Nellie brings decades of manufacturing experience here,” said Marcia Worland, executive director of marketing and communications for Ivy Tech. “We have added value through an outstanding faculty. We feel we’re making the classroom rich with experience they can share.”
The goal, Lytle said, is that students stay with the same group throughout the program. The foundation classes, like math, are incorporated within the program, as are the certification exams.
The technology-focused program will include instruction and lab preparation in safety and Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements, welding process and equipment, blueprint reading and a variety of other subjects.
The institute is a partnership with the American Welding Society. There are seven certifications that students will be able to receive in the five sessions. A list of certifications can be found under welding at http://www.ivytech.edu/ivy-institute.
Students can take the entire 40-week program for less than $8,000 and are eligible to receive financial aid.
One person has signed up for the first session and about a dozen others have expressed interest, Bostic said.
Those interested in signing up for the welding institute can contact Suzanne Dillman at 574-753-5101 ext. 2179 or email@example.com. Registration for the first group of students who will begin Oct. 14 is under way.
The campus is also looking to partner with local businesses who would be interested in giving the campus scrap metal or similar equipment for upcoming classes. Those interested in donating can contact Bostic at firstname.lastname@example.org.