By: Jud Fisher—
Muncie, Indiana—Ball Brothers Foundation has invited four local organizations to apply for funding in 2019 to address current and anticipated community workforce development needs. The “Future of Work” funding opportunity comes as local manufacturers, K-12 school representatives, and higher education institutions have been seeking opportunities to better collaborate.
“It is no secret that all across Indiana—and the country—major shifts are taking place related to workforce needs,” shared BBF President and COO, Jud Fisher. “We know that by 2025, there could be over one million job openings in Indiana due to retirements and new job creation. But we also know that employers in Delaware County have openings that are going unfilled today. It is critical to ensure that today’s job seekers have the skills needed to fill these jobs and that employers have access to best-in-class training for their current employees. We also need to create pathways for students who will be entering the workforce in the coming years.”
Organizations invited to apply for “Future of Work” funding in 2019 include: Ball State University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, Ivy Tech Community College, and Sustainable Muncie Corporation, the non-profit entity that operates MadJax, Muncie’s downtown makerspace.
Funding will be targeted toward collaborative efforts that create shared space and strengthen operations and programming in the 80,000 square foot+ makerspace building. Funding is intended to benefit K-12 students, young adults interested in obtaining certificates and credentials, those who are employed but are looking to obtain additional job credentials, people interested in learning trades, college students, and non-profit organizations.
The intended impact of funding is to:
- build direct linkages between K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions, and employers,
- develop physical spaces inside MadJax that inspire innovation and entrepreneurship in children, youth, and adults, and
- support local employers in both building a pipeline of future employees and strengthening the skill sets of existing employees.
“For over a century, our community’s identity has been rooted in ‘making’ things. From steel wire to glass jars to bridges to gears, transmissions, and batteries, the hard-working men and women of this region have created a tremendous legacy. Our hope is that BBF funding can be used as a catalyst to expand on this heritage and provide opportunities for a new generation of workers to create and innovate,” commented Jud Fisher.
Preliminary proposals from the four targeted organizations are due February 15, 2019. Funding decisions will be announced in June 2019.
Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Annually, the foundation awards approximately $7 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.