U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today announced that Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley will receive an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help establish the Precision Agricultural Equipment Technology Center of Excellence, a workforce training facility, at the Terre Haute campus. The Center will expand Ivy Tech’s vocational training curriculum to include training related to planting crops, applying fertilizer, harvesting, and other farming operations. This facility will drive diversity in the local workforce and help stimulate economic growth. Donnelly wrote a letter in support of Ivy Tech Wabash Valley’s application to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Donnelly said, “With the Precision Agricultural Equipment Technology Center of Excellence at Ivy Tech Wabash Valley, Hoosier students will gain access to skills and training needed to find a good paying job in the agriculture industry. I was proud to support Ivy Tech Wabash Valley’s application and I’m pleased they are receiving this grant. I look forward to seeing many Hoosier students take advantage of this opportunity to build a career in agriculture.”
Jonathan Weinzapfel, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Wabash Valley/Southwest regions, said, “The EDA grant will allow Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley to renovate property already owned by Ivy Tech at the southern Vigo County Industrial Park, for use by the Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology Program Center of Excellence. Precision Ag will provide training in geospatial technology related to crop planting, fertilization, harvesting, and other farming operations. With these skills, the project will strengthen Indiana’s position as a global leader in workforce development, job creation, and workplace advancement for the agriculture industry.
“We are so grateful for Sen. Donnelly’s support of this project. Through his leadership and assistance, the economic impact of this project will not only create jobs, but also aid employers by providing skills to individuals who previously may have only received on-the-job training.”
According to a recent study from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, agricultural business in Indiana contributes to more than $44 billion to the state’s economy each year and supports nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs. In preparation for offering this field of study, Ivy Tech Wabash Valley has sought guidance and support from a number of manufacturing and production leaders from the agriculture industry as well as local farmers and economic development professionals. The Center will provide students with the necessary trainings and skills to support agriculture career readiness.