LIFT and IN-MaC Partner to Bring MakerMinded Manufacturing Learning Platform to Indiana

Program connects students to STEM experiences and skills to build Indiana’s future advanced manufacturing workforce

Indianapolis, IN – October 29, 2018—LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a Manufacturing USA institute, and IN-MaC today announced the official launch of LIFT’s MakerMinded program in Indiana. MakerMinded will expand students’ and schools’ access to world-class advanced manufacturing and STEM learning experiences through a digital platform and student competition. Through these transformational experiences, middle and high school students will gain 21st century skills and secure their path to in-demand STEM careers.

Originally designed by LIFT and Tennessee Tech University’s iCUBE and launched in 2016, MakerMinded impassions students about advanced manufacturing and equips them with the skills and mindsets needed in the innovation economy. It directly links students to a diverse range of national and local STEM and advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities and project-based learning. MakerMinded also drives a sense of competition, as students and schools receive points for each completed activity, which are tallied on a real-time online leader board, with the top schools being celebrated at year-end recognition events.

Expansion to Indiana students is of critical importance because manufacturing accounts for 28.8
percent of the total state output and employs over 500,000 individuals.

“IN-MaC’s Education and Workforce Development team continues to shape the emergence of manufacturing workforce talent through accessible learning pathways. MakerMinded is another way to engage students in STEM activities and professional skills through exploration and skill development. Giving student the opportunity to learn through these hands-on experiences is critical to the exposure to future careers,” said Sascha Harrell, Director of Education Workforce Development, IN-MaC.

The program’s expansion into Indiana is made possible through a grant from the U.S.  Department of Defense’s National Defense Education Program, to help fulfill the mission to attract, inspire, and develop exceptional STEM talent across the education continuum. Through exposure to cutting-edge education programs and activities, MakerMinded students can become the future workforce needed to meet the nation’s most complex defense technological and manufacturing challenges.

Indiana will become part of a national MakerMinded initiative that includes campaigns in Detroit, Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia, where LIFT works with local partners to onboard schools and activate students’ participation. To date, over 5,000 students and teachers from over 400 middle and high schools are active on the platform.

“LIFT’s innovative MakerMinded platform has proven success in attracting students to the world of advanced manufacturers. We are proud to be part of the movement to prepare the next generation of Hoosier innovators and makers,” said Emily DeRocco, vice-president, education and workforce development, LIFT. “The experiences MakerMinded provides help build the foundational technical and employability skills young students need as they prepare to enter a competitive career and adulthood.”

“The Indiana Manufacturers Association is very pleased to partner with our friends at IN-MaC on the MakerMinded program in Indiana,” said Stephanie Wells, Vice President of Workforce Development Policy & Administration. “This is a critical step to improving awareness around the opportunities in the high-wage, high-growth, high-tech 21st century manufacturing industry. As the development of STEM talent becomes more important to growing our industry, it is initiatives such as MakerMinded that will become increasingly more important in building a sustainable talent pipeline for the largest economic sector of Indiana.”

The Indiana MakerMinded’s goal is to sign up 50 schools and 1,000 users across the state by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. Awards will be presented to the top performing schools for their engagement in May 2019.

Students, schools, employers and others interested in joining the Indiana MakerMinded campaign should visit

All Indiana educators interested in getting their schools involved are invited to join informational
webinars on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 or Thursday, November 1.
Register for Oct. 30 Webinar Here
Register for Nov. 1 Webinar Here

About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and  deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.

About IN-MaC – The Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center
IN-MaC is a non-profit, 501 c (3), is hosted by Purdue University and delivered in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University to catalyze growth and reinvigorate  the American dream for future generations. Manufacturing is an economic engine that drives innovation and prosperity while improving our quality of life with a wide range of useful products. The United States enjoyed a lead in manufacturing for over 100 years — a lead that has since eroded as others have taken advantage of lower-wage labor markets plus other factors to draw
industry away from the heartland. It is imperative that Indiana reassert its leadership in manufacturing by leveraging our talents to leap-frog to the top of global competitiveness by mainstreaming new technologies and modern practices while cultivating a more competitive and capable workforce. We do so by addressing challenges such as: shortage of trained workers capable of filling open positions; integration of modern technologies and practices throughout the value chain; and smart investments in research with near-term applications to strengthen
our manufacturing ecosystem.

Jacey Cavanagh
(610) 637-2796

Joe Steele
(313) 309-9132