Sourced from Dubois County Free Press
Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML) initiative, honored Jasper Engines & Transmissions with a 2017 Conexus Indiana Touchstone Award. The award recognizes the company’s commitment to the innovative Hire Tech program and its extraordinary contributions to the future of Hoosier students as they prepare for a challenging and successful future in the AML industry.
Jasper Engines is one of 252 Conexus Indiana A+ Partners, companies that work closely with their local high schools to bring advanced manufacturing and logistics awareness, learning opportunities, and experience to the classroom. The company earned this year’s Touchstone Award for its comprehensive outreach efforts to schools and students, and its commitment to training and hiring Hire Tech students.
Conexus created the A+ Partner program to support Hire Tech, a 2-year turn-key high school curriculum developed in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Education and Ivy Tech Community College. The high school curriculum offers students up to 15 dual credits toward an associate degree following high school graduation, and industry credentials that will help them enter an AML career after high school.
Since 2012, when Hire Tech was introduced, students have completed almost 18,000 college credit hours valued at $2.4 million. Hire Tech students also have earned more than 8,000 industry credentials. Hire Tech is offered at 205 schools and has been delivered to more than 7,000 students statewide.
“Jasper Engines & Transmissions has been an enthusiastic A+ Partner,” said Claudia Cummings, Conexus Indiana’s vice president of Workforce and Strategic Initiatives. “This year, they’ve introduced some very successful and creative programs that we hope to see replicated in other regions. The company has made a real commitment to working with the education system to build tomorrow’s workforce.”
“This year, we actually went to a deeper level and did a workplace simulation at one of our local high schools. We sent Jasper associates into the classroom every week and did presentations, simulations, anything that we could to give students a real-life experience of what it’s like to be in the workforce,” said People Services Generalist Kate Schwenk.
Between their two Southern Indiana locations, Jasper Engines has partnered with schools, including Perry Central High School and South Harrison Community Schools, in at least 5 counties. The company has engaged with students through workplace simulations, facility tours and innovative, hands-on projects.
Jasper Engines also is a strong supporter of Conexus Interns and regularly engages students through work experiences in the summer and throughout the year.
“We’ve had experience with the A+ Partners, with Hire Tech, and with the Conexus Interns program,” said John Schroeder, vice president of Drivetrain Manufacturing. “We’ve seen a lot of success with these programs, and are excited about where we can go in the future.”