Hammond Area Career Center Launches Precision Machining Academy State Earn and Learn

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Hammond Area Career Center Launches Precision Machining Academy State Earn and Learn


INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 28, 2020)  – The Hammond Area Career Center’s (HACC) new Precision Machining Academy was officially recognized as a certified Indiana State Earn and Learn (SEAL) by officials from the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA) during an Oct. 16 ceremony at the Lake County Campus of Ivy Tech.

The Precision Machining Academy launched this school year with nine students participating. Students enrolled in the academy will gain valuable work experience while earning 25 college credits and a certificate in Machine Tool Technology from Ivy Tech Community College. In addition, students earn three industry-valued credentials in metal working.

“I am so excited about this SEAL program because it truly creates a path for Region students to join the industry right outside their back door,” said Lauren Dado, director of the HACC. “For kids’ entire lives, they are surrounded by industry here in Northwest Indiana, but most have no idea how to get into those jobs. This program is one of many efforts to provide the groundwork to get our students into the workforce around us that needs them so desperately. “

The creation of the Precision Machining Academy was a collaborative effort between School City of Hammond, the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Committee, Hammond Machine Works, Ivy Tech, Center of Workforce Innovations, and the OWBLA.  

“This was a true collaboration between local education and manufacturing,” said Mark Van Fleet, chairman of the Lakeshore Chamber Manufacturing Committee. “The more we worked together, the more it became clear that preparing young people for careers in modern manufacturing was the common purpose that melted the borders between schools and industry.”

In addition to being certified as a SEAL, the Precision Machining Academy is also a Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program with its employer partner Hammond Machine Works. Region 1 Workforce Board, Center of Workforce Innovations, is serving as an intermediary supporting the program.

“This SEAL program is a model for what quality partnership looks like in building comprehensive work-based learning opportunities for Indiana students,” said, Matt Presley, a regional director of the OWBLA. “I look forward to sharing this best-practice model with both employers and schools across the region as they work like Hammond to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.”

SEALs are Indiana’s state-level apprenticeship-type programs. They are designed to deliver work-and-learn experience for participants along with the skills and certifications that employers value. These programs are geared toward both adult and youth populations and satisfy Indiana’s new graduation pathway requirements.

DWD projects Indiana employers will need to fill more than 1 million additional jobs in the next 10 years, half of which will not require a four-year college degree, but some type of certification or credential beyond a high school diploma.

For more information about the Hammond Precision Machining Academy  SEAL or SEALs in general, visit the OWBLA website at www.INwbl.com or email the DWD Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship at wbl@dwd.in.gov.



About the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship:
The Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, located within the Department of Workforce Development and part of Governor Holcomb’s NextLevel Agenda, serves to develop and implement a framework of work-based learning pathways for both youth and adult populations with a concentration on certified State Earn and Learn (SEAL) and U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs.

About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

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