A full house for a monumental event Image: Madison County Chamber
ANDERSON- This Friday saw the public dedication of the new Purdue Polytechnic Institute and Flagship Enterprise Center off Scatterfield Road in Anderson. After decades of inter-agency and bipartisan cooperation, Anderson has a victory on the books, and it's one that few communities in the nation can claim equal to.
A unique facility and concept, the Polytechnic Institute hosts a variety of labs, tooling and specialized classrooms for hosting industry seminars, lessons and demonstrations. Corey Sharp, Director of the new facility, has pushed this vision to completion with Purdue's Director of Polytechnic Institutes Gary Bertoline. What is a unique facility for the Polytechnic Institutes of Purdue is a one of a kind facility for the region on the whole. The cooperation with the Flagship and it's partnering organizations increases the appeal to students of the institute, many of which can look for work with companies cooperating with the Flagship in the same facility.
Mayor Tom Broderick, the last in a long line of office holders to work on the project, was on hand for the celebration, "It's is really a beginning in some ways, a lot of folks came together to make this a reality but it's a reality of something that's going to kick-start things and keep going it's way into the future. It's a really exciting time to be able to be part of that, and to work with all these great partners that we've got here in the community, whether or not they're businesses or educators, they've all come together to help move Anderson move forward."
Specially equipped labs are available to students for projects, as well as the community at large through membership models Purdue is looking to release soon. All in the hopes that the community and it's students will have access to the resources they will need to be nimble in an ever changing industrial revolution. Gary Bertoline spoke to this and on the need for graduates to be versatile and agile in an ever-changing industry, "It is predicted that about 45% of jobs in existence today will be gone in 20 years because of artificial intelligence, the internet of things, the cyber infrastructure we've built out, mobile devices... it's sometimes called the 4th industrial revolution." What is certainly a "revolutionary" occasion for the region seems all the more necessary, even critical, as a stones throw from the new facility a painful reminder to a past of industrial disappointment is slowly fading away.
A beautifully maintained Laurel automobile juxtaposed with a ultra-efficient smart vehicle developed at the Flagship Image: Madison County Chamber
Anderson has played host to more than it's fair share of automotive history, as once the historic Laurel automobiles we're produced in town. The years made way to mass production at the GM plant off of Scatterfield, and the economic boon it was. The age of slow progression and steady work ended with the internet age, and the fire-starter that was for the economy has never stopped burning. It seems more than ever acquiring the skills to adapt and move on are critical because the rapidly-changing industry can only shift into a higher gear. As Bertoline reminded, "...people that came to the plant 40 or 50 years ago and retired here, that's just not the way the world works anymore. "
Jim Schellinger, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Image: Madison County Chamber