Shelbyville and Shelby County both have recently entered into agreements with Terre Haute-based Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to implement a suite of programs that the city and county hope will help make strong students and bring young talent to the area.
The programs, officials say, will stretch from a school setting to adult entrepreneurs.
While colleges and universities will reach out to a community to implement a program or two, few, if any, have tried to implement a wide-ranging set of programs in a community all at once.
Tuesday Strong, director of academic programs for Rose-Hulman, said the college has several programs but this is the first try at putting them all together.
"We didn't put them all together and make some customization for a community, if you will," Strong said of the difference between what the college has done and what it's doing in Shelby County.
Rose-Hulman will modify five of its current programs to fit Shelbyville and Shelby County.
The city and the county each agreed to spend $93,000, for a total of $186,000, on the project, which could be implemented as soon as this fall. The overall local project is formally called Innovative Model: Positioning Communities for Transformation 2016, or IMPaCT for short.
Operation Catapult is designed to take 10 academically strong local high school juniors and expose them to science and engineering while staying at the Rose-Hulman campus over the summer. That is at a cost of $21,000 per year.
EMERGE, "a tele-mentoring program" to give ninth-graders information on science and technology careers, is supposed to enhance achievement in math, science and technology. The cost is $61,736 the first year.
The Shelby County Entrepreneurial Internship Program will place Rose-Hulman engineering students in a regional company, especially manufacturers, with the hopes that the students will stay in the area after graduation. The cost is $32,000 for five interns in the first year.
The Rose-Hulman Ventures Innovation Partnership will help students with ideas or ways to help real-life problems in companies develop ideas and solutions. The cost will be $50,000 the first year.
Rose-Hulman also hopes to develop co-branding with the city. A budget item has $20,000 for communications and marketing for the first year.
Rose-Hulman also has plans to offer classes at the Intelliplex certified technology park, said Shelbyville Director of Redevelopment Amy Haacker. That location will likely offer a master's degree in engineering management.
At an April panel discussion organized by the university, the focus was manufacturing. And, while Rose-Hulman's programs aren't just focused on manufacturing, it's one of Shelby County's strengths, Haacker said.
"That's something that's become a theme," Haacker said. "A lot of it is about attracting talent."