Vectren And Ivy Tech Work Together To Improve Southwest Indiana
The employees at Vectren, an energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, provide a critical service that helps keep the region's homes and businesses running. To ensure their workers have the skills they need, Vectren has partnered with Ivy Tech Community College for a variety of training programs.
"As a large employer in the community, we need well-trained and highly-skilled employees in all facets of our business, from operating our power plants, to installing our infrastructure or maintaining our information technology systems," says Jeff Whiteside, president of the Vectren Foundation. "Ivy Tech helps meet the needs of Vectren and many other southwest Indiana businesses."
Vectren's support of Ivy Tech goes beyond this training partnership, however. For more than a decade, Vectren has supported the campus through cash and in-kind gifts. In 2001, then CEO Niel Ellerbrook played a major role in leading the Ivy Tech Foundation capital campaign, which resulted in raising $9 million. Strong support from Vectren included sponsorship of the Ivy Tech Workforce Certification Center, dedication of the Vectren Auditorium and a commitment of $200,000 over five years.
In 2008, Vectren donated a power plant simulator valued at $110,000 to the Evansville campus so that students specializing in power plants in the Industrial Technology program could get hands-on experience in the utilities field. In 2010 and again in 2012, Vectren donated hardware for use by students in the Electrical Technology and Maintenance programs.
Most recently, the Vectren Foundation supported the first annual Ivy Tech Southwest Gala event as the Platinum Sponsor, with a gift of $10,000. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman attended the Gala and spoke about the impact Ivy Tech has had on southwest Indiana and the opportunities he sees Ivy Tech making available in the future.
Vectren's executive vice president Bill Doty has also donated valuable time and leadership by serving on the Ivy Tech Southwest Board of Directors and by hosting events at the Vectren headquarters.
Ivy Tech Southwest Chancellor Dan Schenk says the value of Vectren's partnership with the College is immeasurable.
"Vectren is a statewide leader in the business community in Indiana," Chancellor Schenk says. "We're grateful to have them here in our area and even more grateful for their steadfast and generous support during the past decade. Just when we think they;ve done so much for us, they step up with yet another way to help us create the campus of the future. They not only support us, but they help propel us forward. This campus and our programs would not be the same without them."
It's a partnership Vectren hopes to extend long into the future.
"We find that partnerships create a very effective environment and solid outcomes," Whiteside says. "Whether in the board room or the classroom, working together helps both parties define critical needs and the best solution to meet those needs."