“I had no idea,” I said to Dr. Dan Schenk for perhaps the third time on a recent Friday morning tour. The morning had started in a conference room, and before the tour began I was completely bowled over (not easy after winter) by what Ivy Tech Community College means to our community and region through a brief PowerPoint presentation.
As we walked the immaculate hallways and ventured into classrooms, two things immediately struck me. The first was that the majority of the students were non-traditional and of all ages. The second was that the vast majority of the coursework was what I would refer to as very hands-on. In academic settings that sometimes teach theory versus reality, the reality here is that students are performing actual world tasks in an academic setting, utilizing the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
In the automotive lab that day, students were gathered around an engine (one of many donated by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana) working with their instructor. In the welding area, sparks arced as Dr. Schenk explained that as soon as most welders receive certifications, they are recruited by area companies that know Ivy Tech graduates have the necessary skills to help their companies succeed — the need for the workers is immediate. At the This is IT Gala on April 20, culinary arts students will prepare appetizers for the assembled guests. Last year, guests referred to the dishes as “extraordinary.” In our feature “Industrial Strength” (page 30), I think you will be a bit surprised at what is going on out on N. First Avenue. You might even say, “I had no idea.”
Also inside, you will find the 2012 Vectren Foundation Annual Report entitled “Everyday opportunities. Extraordinary outcomes.” The report serves as a reminder of the contributions that Vectren Corporation makes in the communities it serves.
The give back from our local utility is not only impressive but also extremely impactful, especially to our nonprofit corporations. Over the last few years, many of these nonprofits have endured cutbacks and, in some cases, hardship. I know I see Vectren consistently taking a leadership role in many different roles in our region, and it is appreciated by many.
After 30 years of service to WNIN and our community, David Dial is retiring as president and general manager of WNIN Tri-State Public Media Inc. We profile him in “Back Talk” (page 68).
A new successor will be named April 15. What Dial has accomplished is impressive, and he will long be remembered as the face of WNIN. Thanks, David, for your terrific years of service to our community.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker