THE HERALD BULLETIN
ANDERSON — When the first class of the Anderson Advanced Manufacturing Program graduated, there were more available jobs than graduates. The first 18 people completed the four-week program and graduated on April 26 during ceremonies at Purdue Polytechnic Institute.
Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said 31 positions were available at four manufacturing facilities in Madison County. “Some of the graduates received more than one job offer,” Broderick said. “Everyone who graduated ended with getting a job.”
NTN Driveshaft made 10 offers, NTK Precision Axle offered 13 positions, Sirmax made two offers and Red Gold another six. The Anderson program is a collaborative effort with the local manufacturing community and in partnership with WorkOne/JobSource, the Flagship Enterprise Center and Purdue Polytechnic. Broderick said following the completion of the first class the graduates and potential employers were asked to fill out a survey.
“We want to improve the program,” Broderick said. “The next class will start in June.” The program provides training to equip unemployed and underemployed Hoosiers with the skills to join the indemand manufacturing field. The Anderson Advanced Manufacturing Program was launched April 1 at Purdue Polytechnic Institute and was a 160-hour course over a fourweek period. AAMP training slots are paid positions and participants are paid $1,600 for the entire program.
Broderick said at least one other local company has expressed an interest in being a part of the program. “The city began last year in developing the program and reached out to community members to form a partnership to make a meaningful program geared toward providing a successful path to real job opportunities for participating students,” he said.
Partnering with the city of Anderson at the inception of the program were Purdue University, NTN, NTK, Sirmax, Red Gold, JobSource and Flagship Enterprise. Earlier this year Anderson provided $120,000 from food and beverage tax funds to launch the program.
Conexus Indiana has become a new partner in the program. Conexus Indiana had previously developed the Catapult Indiana program in Lafayette, which has successfully reduced new employee turnover by 60% while reducing costs. Anderson modeled its program after the Catapult program and with input from the manufacturing partners.
The Catapult Indiana initiative, received an $80,000 grant from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette- in-Indiana, to support its expansion into Anderson. Conexus Indiana’s Catapult Indiana initiative seeks to prepare Hoosiers for some of the more than 85,000 jobs in Indiana that remain unfilled due to a skills mismatch.
“Catapult is designed to help build a stronger workforce pipeline, increase the employment participation rate and worker wages,” Brad Rhorer, chief talent programs officer of Conexus Indiana, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have the city of Anderson join us in our mission of bridging the skills gap and driving the Hoosier workforce forward.”