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Observers like Ivy Tech choice

March 23, 2007
Ivy Tech Community College’s choice of businessman Tom Snyder as its new president bodes well for Indiana’s health care and manufacturing industries, observers say.

The school’s nursing program will greatly benefit in part because Snyder served on the board of St. John’s Hospital in Anderson before it was acquired by St. Vincent Health several years ago, said St. Vincent CEO Vince Caponi.

“I have a very deep respect for Tom and think he’ll do a great job,” said Caponi, who got to know Snyder during the hospital buyout.

Snyder, 62, was chosen yesterday over the other finalist, Thomas D. Klincar, a commandant at Community College of the Air Force at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. He will succeed longtime leader Gerald Lamkin, who is retiring in June.

His knowledge of hospitals will help him bolster Ivy Tech’s health care degree programs, especially those in nursing, Caponi said.

“[Tom] will need to pay attention to those programs,” said Caponi, who chaired a committee that raised money for the school’s nursing program. “Right now there is a great need for registered nurses. And they don’t all come from the same place.”

Snyder also needs to ensure the school maintains its work with health care providers to move up workers like nurse technicians and licensed practical nurses by getting them into Ivy Tech’s registered nursing program.

“We need RNs at every single level from management to floor nursing,” said Caponi, who considers the school an attractive partner due to its multiple locations, role in the community and affordability.

In addition to health care, Snyder—who led Anderson auto parts manufacturer Remy International Inc. for 12 years—will do good things for manufacturing, said Brian Burton, vice president of the Indiana Manufacturers Association.

“We’re encouraged by Mr. Snyder’s appointment because of his blend of both an academic and business background,” said Burton, adding that its members recruit heavily from Ivy Tech, among other schools.

Ivy Tech has long partnered with companies and organizations to boost the state’s workforce development and preparedness.

Last month, for example, the school joined with the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council to become the exclusive provider of the council’s assessment and certification programs. The council is a national industry-based skill standards, training and certification system for all sectors of manufacturing.

And Ivy Tech’s automotive technology program recently was named the top program in post-secondary, non-manufacturing-affiliated education in Indiana by the Automotive Industry Planning Council.

Ivy Tech has made great strides to create an environment that provides the types of training needed in today’s advanced and changing workforce, Burton said.

“The key to a successful training program is to provide flexibility and react to the marketplace quickly,” Burton said.
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