Friday, June 11, 2010

Industry and Educators Collaborate with Never-Before-Seen Partnership

We are excited to announce today a special, never-before-seen partnership between the Chamber, local industry leaders, and local educators. Today we unveil a new program called Industry to Educators Externship.

rom July 19 to 23, 2010, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and ITT Defense & Information Solutions (members of the Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association - NIDIA) will host 15 math and science educators at their facilities. The educators will be taken step-by-step through each company, learning what they do, what talent they are seeking, and how they can equip and prepare students for a career in science, technology, engineering and math-related (STEM) fields.

The ultimate goal of this collaboration is to equip teachers to provide a superior classroom experience with real-world problems, provide students with a solid education in math and science, facilitate shared experiences between a variety of local educators, provide teachers with valuable industry connections for classroom speaking and career advising, and finally, to facilitate collaboration between school administrators and local leadership.

The Fort Wayne Chamber is highly involved with local defense companies through the Graduate Retention Program’s work to facilitate student internships in order to retain students to the region upon high school and college graduation. In response to the clear need for educated talent for local industries, the Chamber has facilitated the Industry to Educators collaboration between NIDIA and local educators to provide maximum impact for teachers and students, and ultimately, greater economic impact for the region.

The end result will enable teachers to answer that common student question - "
When will I ever use this in real life?" Here's a few points you should know:

  • The concept of an externship was originated by Raytheon in 2007.
  • This is the first year that multiple defense companies have collaborated on an externship! 
  • This initiative is supported by the Talent Initiative, who is funding stipends for the 15 educators who will dedicate a week out of their summer months off to this collaboration.
  • Industry to Educators is designed to push back against the potential talent gap the community faces. 
  • The last day of the Externship week, Friday, July 23, will be opened up to educational counselors and administrators from the community. 
  • On Friday evening, July 23 from 5 to 7, students and parents are invited to come to Indiana Tech's Andorfer Commons to meet high-tech defense company leaders as well as educators to learn about high-skill, high-wage jobs in the area.  
To say the least, this is a groundbreaking program, and nothing quite like it has ever been done before to such an extent. The companies of the Northeast Indiana Defense Association, along with the Chamber, and the Talent Initiative, are taking a major step in preventing a foreseen talent gap, saving employers costly recruiting efforts, and retaining highly educated and skilled students to the community to fill important jobs. If you have any questions about this initiative, contact Tanya Young with the Chamber's Graduate Retention Program at (260) 413-9788 or, and read more about this program here

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