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Local colleges work to fight current and future Indiana job gap

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 “We’re not meeting the need, we’re not meeting the demand,” said Mike Sanders, Location Director at Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

80,000. That’s about how many jobs sit unfilled across the Hoosier state, but with a booming industry and the unemployment rate at only 3.2%, people aren’t exactly fighting for those positions right now.

“Everybody that wants a job/needs a job, has a job, but it still is not meeting the demand,” said Sanders. “That’s all of our challenge right now.”

So Purdue Polytechnic Institute in South Bend is collaborating in a long term effort with Indiana University of South Bend to help fill an estimated one million Indiana job openings come 2025.

“CareerMakers is a new initiative and so we’re at the very beginnings of that,” said Sanders.

In order to fill those positions with the right people, Mike Pace communicates directly with those industries and students on a daily.

“They need people and they need people to get ready and work.” BUTT: “They can’t afford to train someone for a long length of time. It costs money,” said Mike Pace, Asst. Professor of Practice at Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Part of the work students do in this new program will happen inside the Polytechnic Institute building, but most of it will happen in the field. That’s where many are even now.

“They can hit the classroom with better questions to ask and be better prepared to learn more and grow. They’ll know exactly what they’re getting into, both parties,” said Pace.

“They’re very in-touch with what industry is doing, what industry needs,” said Sanders.

And so far, staff says they’re already receiving requests for student employment.

“We already are delivering here locally in industrial, mechanical, electrical, robotics, root cause analysis, PLC training for industry,” said Sanders.

“They are the most important part. They are accountable for coming to the table ready to play. Understanding what that job entails and going after it themselves,” said Pace.

Sanders says it’s they’re just in the beginning stages of the initiative but it’s growing into something very exciting. Soon to open is an extension of their office 2 miles from the current building in the Studebaker Renaissance District with tons of new state of the art equipment those students will also use to prepare for those various industries. Those pictures are above.

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