Industrial Maintenance Grant Class Graduates

WABASH COUNTY, IN – Grow Wabash County and our workforce partners are pleased to announce that the second Industrial Maintenance Certification class, as part of a workforce development grant in Wabash County, has graduated at the Wabash County Community Learning Center (formerly Ivy Tech Community College) on Monday, September 24th.

This program was a lengthy commitment. These graduates, as well as their family and employers who supported them throughout the process, should be commended. Along with their full-time jobs, all graduates completed eight hours of coursework and nearly eight hours of homework each week for seven months. At the graduation, participants celebrated what they learned with the audience by showcasing their advanced capstone project, an automated can-crusher.

The graduates recognized at the ceremony included: Eric Benedict, Kaylee Bixby, Steve Foust, Jason Green, Brian Kuckewski, and David Wappes. All of these graduates received 90% or above on their at-home portion, received OSHA – 10 cards, and nearly all received a Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician Certification as well.

Eric Benedict, one of the students who graduated and received certifications from this grant program, told the audience, “My favorite part of the class was to be able to learn everything and apply it to a physically working machine.”

Gary Hall Industrial Trainer, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast said, “Once again a group of Wabash area incumbent workers has completed a 6 month long, jam packed, Industrial Maintenance Training Course. This Ivy Tech Course is a project-based learning experience that consists of 200 hours or more of computer based homework along with 200 hours of class room learning. We delve into Safety, General Manufacturing, Fluid Power, Electrical, and Automation. I like to say, we take people that don’t know the difference between a black wire and a white wire and at the end of 6 months we have them programming PLC’s. The focus is on troubleshooting. The can crusher project they plumb, wire, and program, gives the students extensive hands-on experience – thinking through and solving various types of industrial grade problems.”

Manufacturing employs more people than any other industry in Wabash County and there is high demand for skilled manufacturing employees. These graduates join other Wabash County residents gaining an advantage in this field by earning free industry-recognized certifications in the manufacturing industry over the past two years. They have achieved this advantage by earning certification in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machinist, Welding, and Industrial Maintenance through a grant opportunity. These training certification courses were free to qualified applicants; made possible by a grant awarded to Grow Wabash County and Wabash County through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The grant would not have been possible without the support of our partnering agencies: Northeast Indiana Works, Huntington County Economic Development, Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation, WorkOne of Northern Indiana, Wabash County Commissioners, and the Community Foundation of Wabash County.

“On behalf of Grow Wabash County, we offer our sincere congratulations to the six graduates who completed the intense, 26-week training program for Industrial Maintenance,” said Keith Gillenwater, President and CEO of Grow Wabash County.  “This skillset is in high demand in our local companies, and I commend those employers that invested in their staff to receive this training which will pay dividends to the company and employee themselves going forward.”


Please click here to download the full press release and to see photos taken at the graduation.