A John Deere equipment dealer with locations in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan has partnered with Ivy Tech Community College to offer a pathway to its apprentices for a technical certificate for heavy construction equipment mechanics at the college.
The partnership between the college, Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, and West Side Tractor Sales also includes a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Building America program.
The grant program is designed to expand and modernize registered apprenticeship by increasing the number of programs and apprentices, diversifying the industries that use registered apprenticeship, and improving the access to and performance of such programs for underrepresented and underserved communities.
Approved under Ivy Tech Community College sponsorship for a four-year program, West Side Tractor Sales apprentices will be paired with an experienced technician mentor who acts as a trusted resource for assistance and guides learning activities.
"Ivy Tech is committed to fostering the growth of apprenticeships across Indiana as the model provides in-depth training and mastery of the careers most critical to the state's economic success,” said Sue Griffith Smith, Ivy Tech Community College. vice president of advanced manufacturing, engineering, and applied science. “We are excited and proud to partner with West Side Tractor Sales as they use this tried-and-true approach for their apprentices to become heavy equipment technicians with great futures and prosperous careers.”
The initial program will begin in Terre Haute and later expand to West Side Tractor Sales locations in Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Lafayette, Terre Haute, and Indianapolis. West Side Tractor Sales is the first heavy equipment dealership in the state of Indiana to create a partnership with Ivy Tech with grant approvals from the DOL.
“Creating partnerships like this one is critical for our dealership to develop the next generation of our workforce,” said Jen Snow, West Side Tractor Sales senior vice president of operations. “We are excited to offer students and current employees these learning opportunities at Ivy Tech.”