Fifth Annual Grow Southwest Indiana Teachers’ Manufacturing Bootcamp to begin in June

Program designed to create new, job-ready workforce

Teachers and guidance counselors from a five-county area have been selected for a unique program that will provide hands-on instruction to teachers about careers in manufacturing, the backbone of Indiana’s economy.

The “Teachers’ Manufacturing Bootcamp,” a program administered by the Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Development Board, provides a weekly stipend to teachers during the two-week program and free, professional growth credit from the University of Southern Indiana.

The Teachers’ Manufacturing Bootcamp will be targeted to educators and will involve hands-on instruction at manufacturing locations with assistance from Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Southern Indiana.

According to data from the National Association of Manufacturers, the annual average wage for manufacturing careers in the state of Indiana is $74,849. Also, research shows that more than 500,000 people are employed by Indiana manufacturers.

Also, manufacturing is the biggest segment of the state’s economy, outranking every other economic sector. It has accounted for more than half of the state’s growth in the last five years. Despite these impressive numbers, manufacturers report difficulty in recruiting and preparing the next generation of employees for these rewarding careers.

The goal of the Teachers’ Manufacturing Bootcamp is to demonstrate to educators the rewarding careers available in manufacturing and also break stereotypes about the jobs that are available today.

“Many manufacturers in our region are aware of their future workforce needs and the inaccurate perception of their industry,” says Jim Heck, executive director of Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Investment Board, Inc. “This program will arm teachers with the knowledge to influence the future pipeline of employees.”

The program kicks off with orientation on June 10, 2019 at 2pm in Innovation Pointe Media Suite. The educators work begins on Monday, June 17, and will include time at four participating manufacturers – Alcoa, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Berry Global and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana.

The curriculum for the program has been developed in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College and will include material on manufacturing safety, quality, lean manufacturing, process management, and reliability excellence. During visits to manufacturing locations, the educators will learn about job responsibilities, wages, work conditions, and career potential.

In addition, participating teachers will complete homework assignments, incorporate what they learn into classroom lessons, receive a weekly stipend of $550 and professional growth credit from the University of Southern Indiana.

Here is a list of the teachers who have been selected for the 2019 Grow Southwest Indiana Teachers’ Manufacturing Bootcamp:

Jane Baker – Tecumseh High School
Cassie Crowder – Henderson Central Academy
Rene Freudenberg – Newburgh Elementary School
Jeff Kranning – Boonville High School
Sean Lehman – Castle High School
Morgan Ransom – Boonville High School
Kayla Richard – Castle High School
Stephanie Son – Boonville High School
Emily Strahle – Boonville High School
Sarah Stuart – Castle South Middle School
Devan Wiser – Henderson County High School
Michael Beam – Mt Vernon Junior High School
Kelley Bland – Evansville Christian School
Dawn Bowen – Marrs Elementary School
Kristy Bryant – Helfrich Park STEM Academy
Kiersten Buckner – Evansville North High School
Scott Dallas – Mt Vernon West Elementary
Becky DeBaillie – Cedar Hall Elementary
Michael Flake – Evansville North Junior High School
Sarah Gmutza – Evansville Lodge Elementary
Stephen Helm – Evansville North Junior High School
Rebecca Price – Washington Middle School
Emily Wannemuehler – Washington Middle School

For more information or to apply for the Teachers’ Manufacturing Bootcamp visit or contact Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce, 812.492.4505. 

The program is funded through grants from: Alcoa Foundation, Berry Global, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana.