Education coalition gets Lilly grant

December 19th, 2013

News Coverage:

Education coalition gets Lilly grant

Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 3:38 pm

A coalition of northeast Indiana organizations that helped area colleges and universities secure $1-million grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. has itself been awarded a $375,000 grant, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership announced.

The grant will allow the College to Career Action Team, which was formed through the regional partnerships Big Goal Collaborative initiative, to:

• Build a database of the skills, education and training needs of area employers that colleges and universities can consult when developing or changing programs;

• Establish stronger relationships between employers and area schools, and find opportunities for collaboration, including internships and training programs; and

• Examine area schools to find gaps between educational programs offered and the skills and training employers desire.

The College to Career Action Team includes representatives of Huntington University, Indiana Tech, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, Manchester University, the University of Saint Francis, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s graduate retention program, Northeast Indiana Works and the Questa Education Foundation.

Through the efforts of the College to Career Action Team, Huntington, Indiana Tech, Manchester and USF earlier this month were each awarded $1-million grants from Lilly Endowment to fund educational initiatives designed to advance economic development and entrepreneurism within northeast Indiana. They were among 39 institutions that received close to $63 million in grants from Lilly Endowment.

Community Partnership Inc., which supports the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, will be the fiscal sponsor for the $375,000 grant to the College to Career Action Team. The regional partnership will oversee operations.

"By engaging and connecting northeast Indiana employers and post-secondary educators, we can ensure that our institutions play a direct and active role in growing the number and quality of jobs in the region," Ryan Twiss, director of the Big Goal Collaborative, said in the announcement.

The Big Goal Collaborative aims to raise the percentage of northeast Indiana residents ages 25 to 64 who have a professional certification or two- or four-year degree to 65 percent by 2025.