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EVANSVILLE, VINCENNES (Inside INdiana Business) — Two universities in southwest Indiana have developed a partnership to pool their resources to save money and increase diversity in their suppliers and contractors. The University of Southern Indiana and Vincennes University say they share mutual challenges due to geography and the size of their orders for goods and materials for their schools.

The institutions say they will start pooling their resources for cost savings and sharing best practices when hiring outside help.

“Both USI and VU are state-supported institutions operating primarily in the largely rural southwest corner of the state. Because of our location and the relatively smaller scale of our projects, VU and USI often don’t attract attention from contractors east of I-65 or north of I-70,” said VU President Chuck Johnson.

Johnson and USI President Ronald Rochon say both universities have undertaken efforts to increase diversity to help meet benchmarks set by Governor Eric Holcomb’s Commission for Supplier Diversity. The commission set goals for the percentage of state budgets spent with certified “Minority-Owned Enterprises”, “Women-Owned Enterprises”, and “Veteran-Owned Enterprises.”

The universities say the alliance begins immediately and will include sharing certified supplier and contractor lists, coordinating bid processes, and working collaboratively to identify potentially qualified suppliers and contractors.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Vincennes University is partnering with four major Indiana employers to launch a training program to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing, and help companies find skilled technical talent.

The Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education initiative provides select students with training in automation, robotics, and other aspects of advanced manufacturing, while also earning an associate degree from Vincennes. 

This is VU’s second INFAME program. The university also has the program at its main campus. This new program will be based at the VU’s Aviation Technology Center at Indianapolis International Airport.

The partner companies are Eli Lilly, Major Tool & Machine, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and 3M.

“The VU location available in Indianapolis should be very convenient for students and is a great facility to host the space needed for the AMT program,” said Kendra O’Brien, vice president of human resources at Major Tool & Machine. “INFAME is an opportunity for employers to reach out to highly talented people that may not be aware of how promising a career in high-tech manufacturing is.”

VU says students who successfully pass the Advanced Manufacturing Technician program will be qualified to start full-time work immediately after graduation.

Since students who get accepted to the INFAME program are also paid, they can complete their education with little to no student loan debt, according to the university.

“This program will offer students not only great experience and a highly-valued education and skill set, but it will also give them a great source of income to help pay for the cost of that education,” VU President Chuck Johnson said.

Interested candidates must be first admitted to VU, apply for the program and submit test scores. The university expects to welcome the first class to the Indianapolis-area program in the fall of 2020.

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) – Vincennes University is giving class credits to some Indiana state troopers to make it easier for them to earn college degrees.

The southwestern Indiana school says it will award credits equal to three law enforcement classes to members of the State Police who’ve completed Indiana Law Enforcement Academy certification. And the school will grant additional course credits for officers based on their years of experience.

State Police Superintendent Doug Carter says the agreement with the university creates a way for troopers to get college credit hours for their police academy training and police experience.

The law enforcement program is one of the largest at Vincennes, with its focus on preparing students for entry-level police positions.