The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, Northern Indiana Workforce Board, and Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship co-hosted a public launch of a new Advanced Industry and Manufacturing U.S. Department of Labor – Registered Apprenticeship Program to kick-off National Apprenticeship Week 2021.
SOUTH BEND – ELKHART, Ind. (Nov. 16. 2021) — Economic development and workforce leaders, state and local government officials, and regional industry partners came together on November 9th to formally launch the LIFT Network Registered Apprenticeship Program and celebrate the South Bend – Elkhart region’s support of U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship programs.
The Apprenticeship Program serves as a key workforce development initiative of the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network, an initiative catalyzed by a $42.4 million grant awarded to the University of Notre Dame in 2019 from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant supports Notre Dame’s partnership with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership to advance the initiative’s programs and goals. The Northern Indiana Workforce Board serves as a co-lead organization for the LIFT Network Apprenticeship Program and serves as the intermediary sponsor between all companies and the U.S. Department of Labor.
“One of the most consistent challenges that we hear from companies either looking to expand their operations or relocate their business to the region is that finding skilled maintenance and technician level talent is a reoccurring problem,” shares South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership President and CEO, Regina Emberton. “With the ever-growing talent demands for frontline workers to be equipped with digital workforce skills – exasperated by COVID-19 – we are excited to add a workforce training model and tool that will enable employers to develop more Robotics Technicians, CNC Machinists, Industrial Maintenance Mechanics, and more.”
The event hosted attendees both virtually and in-person at the Lerner Theater in Elkhart, Ind.
During the Employer Panel, Rob Michalak, President of Masterbilt, Inc. shared employer insights tied to the ever-growing demands for regional industry leaders to find and cultivate skilled, technical talent. Masterbilt is one such company that plans to launch a program in early 2022, as the company is currently working with the LIFT Network to develop and launch a CNC Machining Registered Apprenticeship program.
“We thought that this was the perfect way to get people in the door … but then help us develop a [training] system that we don’t have time to do – or don’t take the time, right?” Michalak said.
Additionally, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership released a Registered Apprenticeship Employer Playbook intended to aid employers during the planning and development processes to establish and launch programs under the LIFT Network Registered Apprenticeship model. To view the Apprenticeship Employer Playbook, click here.
Below is a list speaker panels that participated in the half-day launch event:
State of Indiana Agency Speakers During State Policy Sessions:
- Joshua Garrison – Associate Commissioner, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
- Karrah Herring – Chief Equity Office, State of Indiana
- Patrick McGrew – Executive Director, Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet
- Darrel Zeck – Executive Director, Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship
Pilot Employer Partner Speakers Sharing their Insights on Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Workforce Training:
- Joe Gambill – Training Director, South Bend Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center (JATC) 153
- Krystal Levi – President, Northern Indiana Workforce Board
- Rob Michalak – President and CEO, Masterbilt, Inc.
Regional Economic Development Panel:
- David Balkin – Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College, South Bend – Elkhart
- Regina Emberton – President and CEO, South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
- Scott Ford – Managing Director: iNDustry Labs at The University of Notre Dame
- Chris Stager – President and CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County
- The public program launch comes at the heels of successful pilots launched for Robotics Technicians and Industrial Maintenance Mechanics at regional companies.
Individuals interested in learning more about the LIFT Network Apprenticeship Program, including how Advanced Industry and Manufacturing employers can partner and start an apprenticeship program, may reach out to South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Director of Education and Workforce, Leighton Johnson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: Educating a world-class WORKFORCE, Recruiting and retaining great TALENT, Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES, Promoting INCLUSION and sparking opportunities for minorities and Helping ENTREPRENEURS thrive. The Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region work to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.
About Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network
The Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network was established to formalize the collaborative opportunities among the South Bend – Elkhart region’s innovation, R&D, workforce training, and educational assets to provide a comprehensive portfolio of cutting-edge resources to support advancement in the region’s key industrial sectors. Collectively these efforts will support the South Bend – Elkhart region through the transformation to an increasingly digital and automated future, enhancing the current manufacturing base with new business models, technologies and tailored workforce training programs while accelerating new high-tech sector growth in the region. For more information about the LIFT Network, visit liftsbe.org.
LIFT Network and the associated iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame were catalyzed by a $42.4 million grant awarded to the University of Notre Dame in 2019 from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant supports Notre Dame’s partnership with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership in establishing and advancing the LIFT Network.
About National Apprenticeship Week:
National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a nationwide celebration that brings together business leaders, career seekers, labor, educational institutions, and other critical partners to demonstrate their support for apprenticeship. NAW also provides apprenticeship sponsors with the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices in their community. The week-long celebration highlights the benefits of apprenticeship in preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of employers across diverse industries. NAW 2021 is on November 15-21, 2021.
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
574.344.4686 ext 4805