‘WorkMatters at Ivy Tech’ – Matching Grant Between Don Wood Foundation/George and Frances Ball Foundation

Ivy Tech Muncie, Cowan Road Facility. Artist rendering.Ivy Tech Muncie, Cowan Road Facility. Artist rendering.

By Lesley DeVoss—

MUNCIE, Ind The Don Wood Foundation has joined the George and Frances Ball Foundation in supporting the Ivy Tech Muncie Campus’s WorkMatters initiative through a matching grant of $79,000 each. These grants, awarded to the Ivy Tech Foundation, will support the WorkMatters initiative through the pilot year of 2022-23.

WorkMatters is a collaborative effort between Ivy Tech Muncie and workforce partners in Delaware and Henry counties to bolster the economy through manufacturing education, leadership, and life-skills training for justice-involved persons. The ultimate goal is to leverage resources to reduce recidivism by providing education, support, and earnings attainment for this underserved population while fueling immediate workforce needs. This collaborative gift from these amazing foundations gives us the support we need to get the initiative off the ground,” Jennifer Gasiorek, Vice Chancellor of Workforce Partnerships and Strategic Communication, said.

The Don Wood Foundation has a long legacy of supporting underserved students entering the manufacturing sector. Through this grant opportunity, the foundation was able to continue their mission while helping to support a new initiative that supports an underserved population. Additionally, by funding this initiative, the Don Wood Foundation was able to foster a new collaborative relationship with the George and Frances Ball Foundation.

“I believe WorkMatters is a great opportunity to collaborate with Ivy Tech Muncie-Henry County, the WorkMatters program partners, and the George and Frances Ball Foundation,” said Laura Macknick, executive director for the Don Wood Foundation. “Our foundation strives to work with other community partners to help underserved, justice-involved clients have an opportunity for a better life. Chancellor Scott’s leadership on this initiative and other workforce programs for Ivy Tech campuses throughout other areas of Indiana is quite the win for the East Central region.”

The George and Frances Ball Foundation has a long history of supporting initiatives that support the local economy and workforce of the Muncie community. The foundation focuses on a cradle to career model, dedicated to helping Muncie locals gain the education and experience needed to increase their earning potential.

“As we work together as a community to advance economic mobility through Cradle to Career Muncie, it is encouraging and inspiring to see a program like WorkMatters come to fruition. Ivy Tech has been working collaboratively with others on this concept for years, and because of their innovation and strategic thinking, justice-involved students will have the opportunity to further their education and find successful, meaningful employment. We appreciate the opportunity to invest in such good work, and it is an honor to do so alongside other like-minded funders at the Don Wood Foundation,” Kortney Zimmerman, Senior Program Officer of George and Frances Ball Foundation, said.

Learn more about the WorkMatters initiative and Ivy Tech Community College Muncie-Henry County, visit online at ivytech.edu/Muncie or email askmuncie@ivytech.edu.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns to the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree.

About the Don Wood Foundation

With a vision to transform the region’s industrial workforce, The Don Wood Foundation is an extraordinary gift to the educational community in our area, with a goal of aligning opportunities between students, community, and industry. Don Wood created the foundation to bolster the pipeline of manufacturing employees by supporting training and education in the areas of:

  • Industrial Technology
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Sales
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership