Indiana's auto industry on the rebound; are workers prepared?

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It's another step in the comeback of Indiana's auto industry. An auto parts maker says it will add 225 new jobs - but it may be a challenge to find qualified Hoosiers to fill them.

If the machines at an Ivy Tech classroom represent the future of high tech manufacturing, it is hard to understand why they are not being utilized. James Moulder is an instructor at Ivy Tech in Indianapolis.

"The jobs are available. We have people who call us three or four times a week asking about our graduates and we just don't have enough graduates to fill the field," said Moulder.

So the push is on. Students at Ivy Tech are learning how to design the very parts they will eventually build themselves. Some are first-time students and some are giving it a second chance. The average age student here is 27 years old.

Matt Bell serves as the President of the Corporation College Division at Ivy Tech.

"We can put folks to work today leaving Ivy Tech in jobs in demand all across the state with earnings that in many cases exceed those four-year degree holders," said Bell.

Chrysler's announcement last week to build the worlds largest transmission complex in Kokomo will mean 1,200 new jobs.

Brian Geitner, the president of NextGear Capital, made another announcement Monday in Carmel.

"Over the next 18 months, NextGear Capital will add approximately 225 additional jobs right here in Carmel, Indiana," he said.

NextGear provides inventory financing programs for more than 17,000 automotive dealers across the country. It will invest $19.5 million to lease and renovate a second 33,000-square-foot office in Carmel. It already owns and operates a space on City Center Drive.

Monday's NextGear Capital announcement of 225 additional jobs providing inventory financing programs adds another dimension. But 68 percent of residents who live in Hamilton County have college degrees and will most likely be able to fill the administrative jobs offered there. NextGear says the jobs will be call center operators, mobile app developers and accountants.

Governor Mike Pence was on hand for the announcement. He knows the state has work to do to get and fill these jobs.

"By some estimates we've got a million people in the market place today. Adult Hoosiers who lack the skills to compete for good paying jobs. We need to make sure we are educating our adult workforce that allows them to compete in the 21st century," said Pence.

That is why Governor Pence has emphasized adult and high school vocational education.

As a teacher at Ivy Tech, Moulder says this is the time for a Hoosier to step up and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.

"The opportunities here have never been any better than what they are right now in this field. We don't have enough people to fill up the jobs that are available," he said. 

The Ivy Tech program runs 40 weeks.