PLAINFIELD — Vincennes University officials turned the keys of its new Logistics Training & Education Center over to Robin Brandgard, president of the Plainfield Town Council, this week to mark the dedication of the facility.
The symbolic gesture took place during a special ceremony Jan. 27 at the new class space at 853 S. Columbia Road, Suite 151, Plainfield.
In April 2011, the Plainfield Town Council approved $500,000 over five years in start up costs for the training and education center.
“It’s been great to work together on this project,” Brandgard said. “It will benefit both the university and the community. I hope this is the start of a long-term relationship between Vincennes University and Plainfield.”
James Dolan came on board with the project a year ago as the director of logistics for Vincennes University.
“And now we have 30,000 square feet of flexible lab space and classroom space,” Dolan said. “We also have a fully operational warehouse. Our goal is to train people for the logistics industry and offer the skills the workforce needs.”
VU, with the help of Dolan and other community partners, studied the area and developed classes based on the industry needs in the area.
“We listened to the industry and created solutions and programs to meet those needs,” he said.
The facility is currently offering classes on forklift operations, material handling, and CDL licenses.
“We are going to be very flexible on our classes,” Dolan said.
The school is unique in that there is an operating warehouse set up where students can learn how to work in a real life situation.
“Firstbook.org has partnered with us,” Dolan said. “It’s a national organization that donates books to medium to low income children.”
The shipping of the books is completed at the new VU facility.
Dave Tucker, vice president for workforce development and community services for Vincennes University, spoke about why VU has expanded its Central Indiana operations to include a logistics and education center.
“A reporter once asked Willie Sutton why he robbed banks,” Tucker said. “Willie said, ‘Because that’s where the money is.’”
“People ask us why VU is opening this training center and the answer is just as obvious,” he said. “This is where the warehouses are.”
Information on the VU logistics programs are available online at www.vinu.edu/logistics.