Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Indianapolis Vocational Education Campus

Facilities managers face a growing skilled labor shortage amid a sharp decline in applications for skilled-labor jobs, according to data online recruiting platform Handshake shared with NPR. Staffing firm PeopleReady reports that 40% of the existing skilled labor pool is over age 45. Indianapolis Vocational Education Campus.

Alleviating the shortage could significantly reduce construction and maintenance expenses, according to an economic analysis commissioned by LIXIL Group, a building materials manufacturer. Its analysis found that adding 16,400 new plumbers to the U.S. workforce would reduce plumbing costs by nearly $1.3 billion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the U.S. to have 48,600 plumbing job openings per year from 2021 to 2031.

Vocational schools like The Match High School and Career Center play a key role in expanding the training pipeline, Hill said.

“By offering state-of-the-art facilities, the Career Center and Matchbook Learning aim to attract and train a skilled workforce to address critical shortages in technical fields in the Indianapolis area,” he said.

The Match High School will use “cutting-edge tools such as virtual reality and gamification to make learning more engaging and interactive,” while offering students pathways to “high school diplomas, career certifications, college credits toward an associate degree and apprenticeship opportunities,” according to the school’s website. The career center will offer classroom instruction and hands-on training in welding, engineering and construction trades, the news release said.

Learning Labs

Louis Maltezos, Ameresco executive vice president for the West region and Canada, told Facilities Dive that the buildings themselves will be “learning labs” that support Matchbook Learning’s vocational mission.

“The intent is to use the facilities [to] provide real-world examples of building system components,” such as pipes, conduits and ductwork, he said.

Ameresco has done approximately $2 billion in work for K-12 schools, Maltezos said, but the Matchbook Learning project stands out as a true adaptive reuse project that will transform two aging warehouses into state-of-the-art learning centers.

Such a project brings unique challenges, like floor plans that limit the total amount of enclosed classroom space students and instructors can use, Maltezos said. To solve that problem and ensure efficient use of the available instruction area, teachers will share classroom spaces and move their materials around the facilities on portable carts.

“The directive to Ameresco and the design team has been to maintain flexibility in the spaces and allow for an evolution of potential careers and training programs [that] the school might provide,” Maltezos said.

Matchbook Learning’s high school and career center will occupy about 54,000 square feet in the two buildings. The career center building is expected to open this August, with the high school building to follow in January 2025, the news release said.

Dive Brief:

  • A $5.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renew America’s Schools program will partially finance The Match High School and Career Center, a new vocational education campus near downtown Indianapolis that Ameresco is developing with Matchbook Learning Schools of Indiana.
  • Plans for the more than $20 million campus call for a 165-kW rooftop solar array with integrated battery energy storage, heat pump hot water heaters, LED lighting and “ultra-high efficiency rooftop [HVAC] units with building automation controls and a variable refrigerant flow heat recovery and ventilation system,” according to a news release from the two organizations.
  • The school and career center will support a technologically-enhanced curriculum that will focus on construction trades, welding, engineering and entrepreneurship, Matchbook Learning said. “If we are preparing students to build sustainable energy efficient buildings in the future, they should learn in and from a building with green and sustainable energy features,” The Match High School Principal James Hill told Facilities Dive in an email.

Source: Indianapolis Vocational Education Campus

$5.3M DOE grant to fund Indianapolis vocational education campus

Ameresco and charter school operator Matchbook Learning are building a high school and career center powered by renewable energy.

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