Training facility opens up options

November 16th, 2013

News Coverage:

Training facility opens up options

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 7:03 am, Sat Nov 16, 2013.

By Jennifer Decker

ANGOLA — Angola Mayor Dick Hickman said the new City of Angola Training Center is a moving target in training and encouraging economic development.

Run by the Kendallville-based Freedom Academy, the Angola center, 306 W. Mill St., is offering workforce skills development classes based on area demand. Those offerings were highlighted at a Friday open house.

Freedom Academy has a month-to-month lease on the building with the city under a partnership. The city bought the building that was the site of the former Angola Lumber earlier this year.

“You’re standing in a building not on the city’s radar six months ago,” Hickman said. “The reason we bought it was for storage … Fortunately Anita Shepherd was driving by and started talking about Freedom Academy.”

Hickman said those involved in economic development endeavors in Steuben County and beyond often talk about the need for technical training to meet job demands.

He noted part of Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s Vision 2020 was to encourage top global competition and to update and provide necessary training.

“We’ve been waiting,” Hickman said. “I’m a proponent of vocational training and I’m excited with the programs. From now on, it’s going to be all about education. We think it’s going to be a good partnership.”

Two local industrial representatives checked out what the center offers. Kai Hartman, a Univertical mechanical engineer, said his company is considering electrical motor controls training to keep up with industry demand.

Another, Dennis Steele, Metaldyne’s maintenance manager, said he needs more employees technically trained.

Melissa Carpenter, Freedom Academy director, said the city’s acceptance to the center has been remarkable. Four of five classes centered around lean manufacturing have been offered and each was full with students.

“It’s imperative we start reaching out to let people know certification is available,” she said. “Angola has been very receptive.”

Dave Koenig, executive director of the Steuben County Economic Development Corp., said the training venture at the Angola center is much needed, as local industrial leaders often report.

“I can’t imagine a project that could have a bigger effect … to provide a skilled workforce,” Koenig said.

Anita Shepherd, Freedom Academy director of client services, said currently a seven-week course in electrical motor control with an enrollment of 12 students ends Dec. 19.

Classes offered in Angola won’t only be in technical fields. Carpenter said some medical-related training is on the way.

Classes for next year are being scheduled and are expected to include a father-child robotics program, hydraulics, programmable logistics controllers, maintenance troubleshooting, certified maintenance, reliability technology, electronic systems, supervision, additional lean training, roof cause analysis and more programmable logistics control. In the medical field, patient access will be offered.

Enrollment is ongoing and financial assistance is available.

For more details, visit or call 800-200-6499 and ask for Shepherd.