Josiah White’s launches Conexus Indiana Catapult program with ribbon cutting

Josiah White’s held a ribbon cutting on their Wabash campus on Tuesday, October 12, at 11 a.m. to celebrate the launch of their new advanced manufacturing and logistics training program in partnership with Conexus Indiana. The ribbon was cut by Kenny Harvey, Director of Experiential Learning, and speakers included Ron Evans (President and CEO of Josiah White’s), Brad Rhorer (Chief Talent Programs Officer of Conexus Indiana) and Laura Macknick (Executive Director of Don Wood Foundation).

Housed within Josiah White’s vocational development program, Growing Teens for Life (GTFL), the Catapult training program will equip select students within Josiah White’s residential programs with the skills needed to obtain one of the 85,000 open jobs in the manufacturing sector throughout the state. Students participating in this program will spend the first half of their day in school and the second half in the Catapult lab, totaling 160 hours over the 16-week semester. Upon completion of the program, students will walk away with an advanced manufacturing certification from Conexus along with six college credits from Ivy Tech, opening them up to the many job opportunities in manufacturing across Indiana.

“The exciting part is Indiana is the #1 manufacturing state in the country per capita. No matter where in the state our students come from, there’s a manufacturing opportunity somewhere,” said Kenny Harvey, director of Experiential Learning. “This is a great opportunity for a lot of these students to increase their chances of getting a well-paying job and getting that job will reduce their chance of recidivism.”

Josiah White’s is thrilled about their partnership with Conexus that allows them to offer this new opportunity to students in the GTFL program and looks forward to continuing to equip residential students with the skills they need for their future.

“Catapult Indiana is a proven hands-on training program that has graduated hundreds of Hoosiers, 90 percent of whom are employed with local advanced manufacturers after completing the 160-hour program,” said Brad Rhorer, chief talent programs officer for Conexus Indiana. “Catapult is offered to underemployed and unemployed adults and high school students in six communities across Indiana in partnership with community-based organizations that are dedicated to serving local residents. It’s been an honor to work with Josiah White’s to launch Catapult in Wabash and to offer a program that complements and closely aligns with their mission.”

Supporters of this project include Don Wood Foundation, CenterPoint Energy Foundation, Guardian Long Range Competition, The Dekko Foundation Inc., First Christian Church Peru, Beacon Credit Union, Duke Energy Foundation, Grow Wabash County, Boren Foundation and Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP).