The Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, or CREED, held it second quarterly meeting of 2019 on May 22 on the IUPUI campus.
David Gard, assistant vice president for economic engagement shared campus updates since the previous meeting in February.
“IU awarded over 21,000 degrees this year, the highest of any institution of the state. The vast majority of all graduates will remain in Indiana for employment,” Gard said. “We have finalized a relationship with zWORKS, Zionsville’s coworking hub, which will foster greater connectivity with local alumni and entrepreneurs. Our team also recently visited The Root in New Albany to explore similar opportunities at Southern Indiana’s first coworking space.”
CREED representatives spoke about campus projects that received funding from the Sustaining Talent, Engaging Partners grant program. Lilly Endowment Inc. funds the program, which helps regional campuses expand community relationships and translate the current student population into tomorrow’s workforce.
IU East’s program targeted young professionals ages 25 to 30. Jason Troutwine said the topics included creating a will, buying a house, getting life insurance and making the most of networking. Future topics might include interviewing skills and establishing a personal brand. Two professionals, either IU alumni or community leaders with a good reputation, led each session.
In IU Kokomo’s program, students visited Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Michigan, as part of an externship. Cathy Valcke said that while the Kokomo area relies heavily on advanced manufacturing, students may not know about available opportunities. Students made several contacts during the visit and saw executive-level jobs for employees working in Indiana. They later made a presentation to their peers about advanced manufacturing.
IU Northwest’s program brought together students, academic leaders and business leaders to talk about their disparate views about experiential learning. Subir Bandyopadhyay said the in-class project led to the discussion of about a dozen related items.
IU South Bend’s program focused on the community’s views about the River Park Business District. Rick Kolbe said two neighborhood meetings were held to discuss the district’s potential. During the first meeting, attendees were instructed to take photos of what they liked and didn’t like about the district. In the second meeting, attendees compiled their photos and discussed their thoughts in detail. A third meeting will be held in the future to discuss results, including how the neighborhood and its relationship to the university can be stronger.
IU Southeast’s program was divided into four parts. Uric Dufrene said local employers attended a panel of other employers who discussed how to manage interns; students participated in excursions to local companies; three career fairs were organized, including one about STEM careers; and students attended a résumé-writing workshop.
“The STEP grant program has created new opportunities at the regional campuses to put into practice key learnings from the Education-to-Employment Convergence event series,” Gard said.
Suggestions to improve STEP-supported programs included making student participation mandatory by including them as course work, noting the quantity and quality of engagements with companies, and focusing on smaller groups so attendees can bond more readily.
2019 E2E Convergence summary
The 2019 Education-to-Employment event was targeted to university personnel who focus on career services. All campuses and academic centers were represented at the Indianapolis event. National expert Jim Woodell provided examples of university innovations to prepare students for the workforce. He also facilitated a working discussion among attendees.
Kirsten Adams of the Office of the Vice President for Engagement said they received compliments about the event from attendees, who said they rarely have the opportunity to connect with peers and focus on student success initiatives.
2019 legislative session recap
Trevor Foughty, assistant vice president for state relations, said the 2019 legislative session was relatively quiet, giving him and his colleagues time to focus primarily on the budget.
“At the start of the session, there were about 2,100 bills filed, and we flagged about 140 to focus on,” Foughty said. “But that number dropped to about 30. Along with focusing on the budget, we worked on bills to do with gaming and betting, hazing, and workforce development.
“Sometimes legislative leaders feel workforce development has only to do with technical or trade schools They may not think institutes of higher learning deal with it. But the information today about the STEP grant-supported programs show that’s untrue.
“Questions about workforce development discussed during this and other CREED meetings are the questions that legislators are asking themselves now and in the future.”
Focus on IU Kokomo
Cathy Valcke, director of external relations and public affairs at IU Kokomo, highlighted key points about the campus, including its new curriculum that leans toward experiential learning. Students majoring in accounting, criminal justice, business, hospitality and tourism management, computer science, informatics, and history have traveled throughout the state and world as part of their course work.
“More than 800 students each year travel in state, nationally or internationally for experiential learning. We want them to take several learning trips during their college careers,” Valcke said. “IU Kokomo pays for in-state trips, and students are asked to pay only a nominal amount for national or international travel. Scholarships are available for students who are unable to do so.”
Valcke said the 23,000-square-foot Student Activities and Event Center is under construction. It will include a gym, locker rooms, athletic coaches’ offices and a 1,100-seat venue for events.
“Athletics have been an important part of IU Kokomo’s culture. It helps us to connect with students we might not otherwise have known about,” Valcke said.
IU Kokomo will celebrate its 75-year anniversary in 2020. The campus will host celebrations including an official kickoff Sept. 16 to 20. A gala event will take place June 6, 2020.
Center for the Business of Life Sciences
George Telthorst, director of the Center for the Business of Life Sciences at the Kelley School of Business, said the state of Indiana has a strong footprint in the life sciences sector; only California exported more than the $10.2 billion of goods that Indiana exported in 2018. More than 56,000 workers are employed at 1,751 life sciences companies; their average annual wage was $97,607.
“The goals of the Center for the Business of Life Sciences include attracting and developing talent in the industry, creating and sharing knowledge, and promoting the growth of the industry in the state and region,” Telthorst said.
The center offers three Life Sciences Collaboration Conferences annually to encourage an exchange of ideas and networking. They take place in Indianapolis and Bloomington, although they are occasionally held in other parts of the state.
“An average of 100 to 125 people attend the conferences, with 75 percent being industry professionals,” Telthorst said. “The rest are mostly faculty and students. Full-time students from any university in the state can attend for free.
“Our 2019-20 conferences will include ‘On the Front Lines of Treating Cancer’ in November, ‘Capital Makes the (Life Sciences) World Go ‘Round’ in February, and ‘Medicare for All and the Alternatives’ in May.”
RED Fund awards
Two applications for RED, or Regional Economic Development, funds were approved.
- IU Kokomo received a $1,750 award for “Partnership to Provide Financial Literacy Workshops to a Disadvantaged Community.” IU Kokomo will work with a local community center to offer four workshop series, each with four one-hour sessions. Two series will teach financial literacy and well-being to individuals. The others will address financial literacy for small-business owners and entrepreneurs.
- IU Northwest received a $2,450 award for “How the Art of Marketing Can Help in Marketing of Arts.” IU Northwest marketing experts will provide workshop participants with a template of a marketing plan. Participants also will learn about cost-effective traditional marketing and digital marketing tools.
The next CREED meeting will be Aug. 28 in Indianapolis.