STATEHOUSE —Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), Chairman of the House Education Committee, is pleased that the Decatur Excel Center, a charter high school for dropouts with an emphasis in logistics, is one of eight high schools selected in Indiana to participate in an advanced manufacturing and logistics curriculum pilot program. This is the nation’s first high school level, credential based Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics (AML) curriculum pilot program.
“Making these programs available to Hoosier students is critically important to keep our state a leader in logistics manufacturing and students ready to compete in the 21st Century job market,” said Rep. Behning. “This program will be especially beneficial at the Decatur Excel Center. Here, students can earn a high school diploma, gain a technical certification and perhaps move onto employment at one of the AmeriPlex distribution centers, where the school is located.”
Conexus Indiana developed a prototype of the curriculum's online delivery model in 2010. The program received the unanimous endorsement of its Champion network of educators. Ensuring that students were learning industry skills and meeting state education standards was of upmost importance when crafting this curriculum. Conexus received input from the Indiana Department of Education, high school educators, and human resource and operation executives from companies across Indiana.
“The majority of U.S. manufacturing positions now require effective education beyond high school – you need critical thinking, information management and communication skills, and technical know-how,” said Conexus President & CEO Steve Dwyer. “But even though Indiana is the most manufacturing-intensive state in the country, we don’t have enough students pursuing the right education for these careers. It’s time to make a real connection between our students and the jobs that need to be filled in manufacturing and logistics.”
According to a release from Conexus, the objective of this program is to create a consistent, quality, plug-and-play curriculum that industry and educators can rely on to deliver industry-required skills. Those students who complete the AML curriculum can earn up to five nationally portable industry credentials in advanced manufacturing and logistics from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) and The Association for Operations Management (APICS).
Following the successful completion of the pilot program in 2013, the curriculum will be rolled out to high schools throughout the state.
“This pilot program will help fill the skills gap of workers created by the shift from low and medium skilled manufacturing jobs to high skilled occupations,” said Rep. Behning.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, during the last part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century, high skill manufacturing jobs grew by 37 percent, while low and medium skilled jobs declined by 24 percent and 18 percent respectively.
“I am immensely pleased that this curriculum is being made available to local students. This initiative will keep Indiana’s workforce highly skilled and ready to compete for jobs,” Said Rep. Behning