NOBLESVILLE — Fewer high school graduates are going to college in Indiana, and manufacturing jobs are in demand here in the Hoosier state.
To attract young people to the career field, manufacturing companies partnered up to introduce it to them on Friday.
Manufacturing companies are starting to bring their production back to the states after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the CEO of the German manufacturing company INDEX Corporation says there is one problem – a lack of skilled labor workers.
“We want to onshore so our customers can buy our machines, but they have to be skilled to run those machines,” Crispin Taylor, CEO and President of INDEX Corporation, said.
Several manufacturing companies have started offering apprenticeships where they recruit high school graduates to learn on the job.
"I didn't really have any interest in doing the traditional college route,” Will Adams, an INDEX Corporation Apprenticeship Participant, said. “I wanted to work more with my hands, get dirty and actually learn something I thought would actually apply to something more in the future. "
Adams is a Noblesville High School graduate and one of the first people to go through INDEX Corps apprenticeship program. His lack of interest in college isn't uncommon in Indiana.
According to the most recent data from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, in 2015 65% of Hoosier high school graduates went to college. In 2020, that number decreased to 53%.
Oct. 6 is National Manufacturing Day, which is why INDEX Corp brought students to their factory. They hope it piques their interest in the field and potentially get them interested in their apprenticeship program.
"I think it's cool,” Vincent Tyson, a freshman at Noblesville High School, said. “I mean, even for me already. I've been here for maybe under an hour and I think this could already be an option for me. I think people should know what there is in the world."
Those interested in learning more about INDEX Corps apprenticeship program, click here.