UPDATE: D'Amico calls work force biggest challenge

June 26, 2007

Former Ivy Tech Community College executive Carol D'Amico this afternoon confirmed she's been named president and CEO of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership's new advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative.

D'Amico will attempt to organize Indiana manufacturers and logistics firms and align them with the state's colleges and universities. It's the same strategy that CICP's BioCrossroads initiative has employed for the life science sector since that effort launched in 2002.

D'Amico called her new job an expansion of her career as an educator.

"The biggest single challenge we have to building a competitive environment for manufacturing and logistics and other areas is a qualified work force," she said. "In that sense, it's a natural extension of what I've done."

CICP will formally announce D'Amico's hiring at a 4 p.m. news conference tomorrow at Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indianapolis. CICP also will reveal the initiative's brand name, board composition, industry membership and funding.

In March, Ivy Tech passed over D'Amico and hired Thomas J. Snyder to succeed president Gerald Lamkin, who is retiring June 30. Snyder is a former president of Delco International Corp., an auto parts supplier headquartered in Anderson.

D'Amico said that after she stepped down this spring as executive vice president of Ivy Tech, she fielded numerous job offers from public and private educational institutions. But her priority was to remain in Indiana. She negotiated with CICP for about a month.

In addition to overseeing BioCrossroads and the new manufacturing and logistics initiative, CICP is the parent of the information-technology trade group Techpoint and the economic-development group Indy Partnership.

Indiana leaders expected to be on hand for tomorrow's announcement include Gov. Mitch Daniels, Snyder, Purdue University President Martin Jischke, Rolls-Royce Chief Operating Officer Steve Dwyer and CICP CEO Mark Miles.

D'Amico said she hopes to increase the size and skill of Indiana's manufacturing and logistics work force. Her plans, which will be revealed in detail tomorrow, will aim to leverage assistance from Ivy Tech and Purdue.

"We have an older work force compared to other states," she said. "We're going to have to build both the quality and the quantity to be competitive."

Citing figures from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., D'Amico said the state has enormous manufacturing and logistics opportunities. She said that Indiana has seen $4.3 billion in new investments and commitments for nearly 30,000 jobs in those industries since the start of 2005.

Indiana also has endured many plant closings during that time. But D'Amico said she's upbeat.

"The actual numbers have been pretty flat, not the decline that's in people's minds. Part of the initiative will be about raising awareness of what's going on and creating opportunity for success," she said.

"There's been churning in these industries, that's for sure. But we've had some great successes these past few years."

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