New tech training coming to Washington

Apr. 22—Daviess County is looking to improve the technical skills of its workforce. The Daviess County Economic Development Corporation is partnering with the Mill, Regional Opportunity Initiatives and Ivy Tech to launch a program providing free training that will expand Indiana's tech talent pool and help people access higher-paying jobs in the digital world.

"They are doing a series of engagements with targeted counties. They piloted three and Daviess, Dubois and Orange are in the next group," said Daviess County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Bob Grewe. "It is called the Coding IT Academy. The first one will be a 10-week training session two times a week. It will be held in our office in the conference room and Ivy Tech will supply the instructor."

Grewe says the training will put people in line to score tech jobs in the future, jobs that will be in demand, that people might have missed the chance to train for.

"This is an opportunity for folks who want to maybe change their career, maybe wanted to do something in the past in tech and never got the opportunity for whatever reason," he said. "We are trying to create an environment for folks to gain this skill. Everybody needs this. Manufacturer's need it to program their computer driven machines. It is a great skill. It can give people a jump start on a different career."

It can also create the first step toward filling a skills gap that has plagued counties like Daviess who have low unemployment rates.

"This can help fill that gap. So many time people with IT and computer coding degrees might be drawn to the big companies in more urban areas," said Grewe. "This might be our chance to develop our home-grown talent in that area."

The 10-week academy will meet Tuesday and Thursday at the EDC office starting June 11 and ending on Aug. 10.

"We are going to begin recruiting for students. They will make a short application and the Mill folks will help us with this first pass," said Grewe.

"This is a stepping stone toward developing the tech skills we are increasingly seeing businesses like those working with Crane and some of our other local industry are needing. We intend to try a second round of training in the fall and after that perhaps even more training programs in the technology space.""

The DCEDC will also be hiring a facilitator to manage the classes that are taught on-line by Ivy Tech.

"The training is being done remotely. We need someone in the classroom to make certain the zoom-link is working and that we have refreshments handy, just be a moderator, facilitator type," said Grewe.

Applications for the facilitator can be made directly to the DCEDC.