Indiana Governor Honors Teachers Helping to Fill Manufacturing and Logistics Workforce

Statewide students to learn Conexus Indiana’s Hire Technology curriculum

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. July 19, 2013) ─ Indiana Governor Mike Pence today will honor more than 50 teachers from around the state who are participating in Conexus Indiana’s Hire Technology curriculum program that partners industry with high schools to help fill middle skill jobs in advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML).

“Finding skilled workers in the AML industry is a critical problem for Indiana’s economy,” said Claudia Cummings, vice president of workforce and education for Conexus Indiana.  “We are honored that Governor Pence recognizes the efforts of these teachers and our partner companies in helping to prepare students for the high-skilled AML workforce.” It is estimated that there are more than 11,000 AML jobs available in Indiana each year.

“All honest work is honorable work, and our schools should work just as well for our kids who want to get a job as they do for our kids who want to get a college degree,” said Governor Pence. “As career and technical education curriculum deepens to meet employer identified needs resulting in attainment of industry recognized credentials, our high school students are just as well prepared to enter careers as they are to enter postsecondary education upon graduation. I applaud the teachers who participated in the Conexus Indiana’s Hire Technology curriculum program and their commitment to help train Hoosier students in the skilled fields of advanced manufacturing and logistics.”

The Hire Technology pilot program, which started last year, has grown from nine schools to more than 80 schools statewide, demonstrating a need for this type of curriculum that allows high school students to earn dual credits through Ivy Tech Community College and industry certifications.

The teachers are finishing a week-long intensive training program in Indianapolis that is preparing them to teach the turn-key high school curriculum that includes principles such as advanced manufacturing, safety practices, lean principles and basic business. As a part of this training, the teachers also received a manufacturing quality presentation from Allison Transmission subject matter experts.  David L. Parish, senior vice president of Allison Transmission Operations and Purchasing said, “Today, the quality aspects of manufacturing require a workforce that is technologically-savvy, computer literate, and willing to continuously improve.  I believe that the Hire Technology students will leave the program with these attributes.”

The teachers also toured Roche Diagnostics’ North American headquarters, home to U.S. research and development, laboratory, manufacturing, distribution, information technology and corporate headquarters operations, to learn about its manufacturing and packaging operations in Central Indiana.

“This first-of-its-kind program, which is driven by industry, introduces students to AML careers that they may never have known existed. Our AML companies, also known as A+ Partners, show students how they can apply their education to real-world situations while creating contacts with industry members close to home,” said Cummings.

“I’ve seen firsthand that the Hire Technology class gives our students an edge for jobs,” said Brent Freeman, director of the Excel Center-Meadows in Indianapolis. “Students are presented with real world problems, and solve them collaboratively, which is what employers tell us are 21st century skills. Plus, as educators, we don’t often find college credits, certifications, and internships all in one curriculum package, like we have with Hire Technology.”

The curriculum program will be taught to nearly 1,000 students statewide in the upcoming school year with plans to double that number by the 2014-2015 school year. The program also has nearly 100         A+ Partners.

Governor Pence will honor the teachers with certificates at the McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology at 7250 E. 75th St. in Indianapolis, Ind. at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics.  Learn more at

The newly trained and pilot teachers are:

Albion: Brady Truex, Central Noble High School

Batesville: Craig Hughes, Batesville High School

Boone: Don Gray, Western Boone Jr./Sr. High School

Brownstown: Dan Schwartz, Brownstown High School

Calumet: Mark Vecchi, Calumet New Tech High School

Cayuga: Rob Clemence, North Vermillion Jr./Sr. High

Clayton: Steve Martin, Cascade High School

Daleville: David Beard, Daleville Jr./Sr. High School

Decatur: Dean Adler, Decatur Central High School

Greenwood: Sam Hoagland, Central Nine Career Center

Elkhart: Scott Sassaman, Elkhart Career Center

Elwood: Nick Sparks, Elwood Community High School

Fort Wayne: Phil Springer, North Side High School


  • Eric Baird, North High School
  • Beau Brandt, North High School
  • Eric Havener, New Tech Institute

Hammond: Jim Bryant, George Rogers Clark Jr./Sr. High School

Highland: Brad Spiegel, Highland High School


  • Khalilah Palmer, Excel Center-Franklin
  • Brian Williams, Excel Center-Franklin
  • Brittany Clifton, Excel Center – Meadows
  • Jason Daniels, Walker Career Center
  • Brent Freeman, Excel Center-Meadows
  • Kym Flowers, IPS Career Technical Center
  • Chad Grosz, Excel Center-Indianapolis
  • Breacy’a Jackson, Excel Center – Michigan St.
  • Vicki Ketchum, IPS Washington High School
  • Scott McClelland, Excel Center-West 38th St.
  • Kyle Mullins, Area 31 Career Center
  • Christal Redd, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School
  • Jeff Scott, John Marshall High School

Jeffersonville: Kyle Wanke, Jeffersonville High School

Kokomo: Amy Kieckbusch, Excel Center – Kokomo

LaCrosse: Jessica Westerhoff, LaCrosse High School


  • Drew Hooker, Lafayette Jefferson High School
  • Scott Winberry, Excel Center-Lafayette

Leopold: Gary Hanan, Perry Central Jr./Sr. High School

Michigan City: Chris Smith, A.K. Smith Career Center


  • Kevin Jones, Mooresville High School
  • Adam Trebel, Mooresville High School

Noblesville: Luke Wiseman, Noblesville High School

North Vernon: Rob Clemence, North Vermillion Jr./Sr. High School


  • Markous Jewett, Excel Center-Richmond
  • Roxie Deer, Excel Center-Richmond

Shelbyville: Gregg Cory, Shelbyville Senior High School

Speedway: Kyle Owens, Speedway High School

South Bend: Jasen Gibbens, South Bend Career Academy

Tell City: Glenn Goffinet, Tell City Jr./Sr. High School

Terre Haute: Kris Painter, Terre Haute North High School

Yorktown: Troy Davis, Yorktown High School

Vevay: Jim Hess, Switzerland Co. High School