Indiana Tech receives $1.5 million Economic Development Administration grantMay 13, 2022
Indiana Tech has received a $1.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant will fund the purchase of technical equipment needed to train students in 11 engineering and manufacturing-related certification programs. The programs will prepare students to sit for and pass certification exams in fields such as automation, 3-D printing, artificial intelligence, drone operation, printed circuit board design, battery management and cybersecurity.
Indiana Tech’s grant proposal was titled “Launching the Northeast Indiana Center for Engineering (N.I.C.E.) for Industry Revolution 4.0.” Indiana Tech’s new Northeast Indiana Center for Engineering (NICE) provides a physical location to house economic and workforce development, and prototyping and fabrication resources and equipment, that are needed throughout Northeast Indiana. It will be housed in the newly expanded renovated Zollner Engineering Center on Indiana Tech’s main campus in Fort Wayne; the NICE space will be the location for the new equipment funded by the EDA grant.
The grant will help boost the economy of Northeast Indiana by serving the needs of wide-ranging industries, and will help prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for in-demand, well-paying jobs in Indiana’s strong and growing technology and manufacturing sectors.
Dr. Ying Shang, dean of Indiana Tech’s Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, commented, “The Economic Development Administration grant is an exciting opportunity not just for Indiana Tech, but for our entire region to further develop the talented and highly-trained workforce our area industries need. Thanks to the grant, our Northeast Indiana Center for Engineering will be the home of the state-of-the-art equipment needed to train students to enter a wide range of innovative fields. All of us at Indiana Tech are grateful for the support of our work by the EDA.”
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo commented, “This EDA investment at Indiana Tech provides hands-on training in high-demand jobs that are critical to Northeast Indiana and across the country, rapidly meeting the needs of local employers and boosting U.S. global competitiveness.” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo further noted that “The Economic Development Administration provides direct support to communities across the country that were hit hard by the pandemic. The EDA investment in Indiana Tech will train thousands of students and help the region grapple with its dual challenges of high unemployment, especially among underserved populations, and the shortage of skilled workers.”
The Northeast Indiana Center for Engineering initiative supported by the grant is a part of the Zollner Engineering Center project, a major expansion and renovation of Indiana Tech’s engineering and computer sciences center. The university is investing $21.5 million in the project, which will nearly double the current size of the facility and result in an all-new home for Indiana Tech’s growing programs in engineering, computer sciences, cybersecurity, life sciences, mechatronics and robotics, technology and more. Construction began in May 2021, and the first phase of the project, a 30,000-square-foot addition to the east side of the current facility, will be complete in August 2022. The next phases of the project will begin in late May 2022 and include a complete renovation of the existing Zollner space, resulting in an all-new, 70,000-square-foot, three-floor facility that will be complete in the fall of 2023.
For more information about the project, Indiana Tech and its Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, visit indianatech.edu/zollner.