By: Jud Fisher—
Muncie, IN—A grant totaling $160,000 to Purdue University was among the $3,656,341 in total grants the foundation awarded at its October board meeting. Ball Brothers Foundation approved awards to 17 organizations in its latest round of grants.
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute grant will assist local Purdue officials as they partner in building a better workforce for Muncie and East Central Indiana. The programs the institute will provide include certificate attainment, associates degrees, a path to bachelors degree attainment, engaging in K-12 outreach, partnering with PHYXTGEARS and other school based robotics programs, and supporting the local maker movement. All the programs will address the needs of local and statewide manufacturing companies.
Purdue Polytechnic’s expansion to the Muncie community comes at the same time that the state of Indiana is launching its “Next Level Jobs Initiative.” The Initiative is aimed at providing Hoosiers with the needed skills to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs in fast-growing industries, like advanced manufacturing which is a focus of the Purdue program. With over one million jobs projected to be vacant in Indiana by 2025, Purdue Polytechnic’s educational offerings will provide new, local training options.
“The grant will help enhance the workforce of East Central Indiana,” stated Jud Fisher, president and COO of Ball Brothers Foundation. “This adds depth to our industrial heritage while adjusting for a future of constant innovation in manufacturing. Purdue brings its expertise to the table in the technology and engineering programming that will be available. The courses Purdue will offer complement existing workforce training programs and provide best-in-class opportunities to young adults. Also, I love the fact that they will work with talented groups like the local robotics clubs.”
Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, said that the Muncie location will help leverage science and engineering opportunities from elementary school through higher education. “Purdue looks forward to working with nonprofits, local government, businesses, and other educational providers to help attract, launch and retain businesses in Muncie and Delaware County. Cultivating talent and sustaining that talent is so important, and Purdue looks forward to providing the benefits of higher education to all young people from any and all backgrounds.”
“The Muncie Manufacturing Alliance is excited about the Purdue Polytechnic program locating right here in Muncie,” said Todd Murray, owner of Mursix and chair of the Muncie Manufacturing Alliance. “There is a critical need among local manufacturers for workers who are reliable, who are problem-solvers, and who are critical thinkers. Furthermore, today’s manufacturing environments are dependent on skilled workers able to run and maintain complex machinery, robots, and computer systems. In meeting with representatives from Purdue, we are confident that Purdue Polytechnic’s high-quality training will play a key role in doing just this. We look forward to working with Purdue to help train the next generation of advanced manufacturing workers and leaders.”
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute will begin offering courses and other services in 2018 and will be located in MadJax in downtown Muncie. For more information, contact Corey Sharp, director of Purdue Polytechnic, Anderson, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other grants approved during Ball Brothers Foundation’s second grantmaking round of 2017:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County, One-to-One Mentoring, $18,016; Burris Laboratory School, Burris Backyard, $75,000; Cornerstone Center for the Arts, 2018 Operations/Programming and Facility Upgrade, $100,000; Crossroads of America Council, Scoutreach and Camp Redwing, $15,000; Delaware County BY5, 2018 Operations, $50,000; East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Regional Marketing, $100,000; ecoREHAB, Home Rehabilitation and Capacity Building, $122,500; Independent Colleges of Indiana, Ball Venture Fund, $75,000; Innovation Connector, Facility System Upgrade, $30,000; Inside Out Community Development Corporation, Community Center Electrical Upgrade, $51,675; Minnetrista, 2018 Operations and Capital Support, $2,620,000; Muncie Action Plan, MAP Coordinator and Plan Printing, $10,150; Muncie Civic Theatre, Mainstage Theatre Seating Replacement, $64,000; Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Together in Music, $40,000; Ross Community Center, General Operating Support, $40,000; Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Capacity Building—Trailer Purchase, $85,000.
Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Last year, Ball Brothers Foundation celebrated its 90th anniversary, awarding $7.25 million in grants supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state.