Wabash and Purdue Online form educational partnership aimed at digital transformation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind – The business of manufacturing, logistics and transportation, like a lot of businesses, is undergoing a data-driven digital transformation, and Wabash, an innovation leader for engineered solutions in those fields, intends to stay ahead of the curve.

Wabash, formerly Wabash National, has a homecourt advantage in working to achieve its goal. Just across the Wabash River from the company, which is based in Lafayette, Indiana, lies Purdue University, routinely ranked as one of the most innovative universities in the US

In December 2021, Wabash and Purdue announced a five-year research and development partnership that could apply cutting-edge knowledge in areas ranging from advanced engineering and quantum computing to materials science and electric vehicles to challenges facing the company and its customers, among them the exploding growth of e-commerce and home delivery and a growing emphasis on sustainability and automation.

Now, Wabash is working with Purdue Online in an educational partnership to train employees to better lead and implement digital transformation measures to match the accelerating pace of change in the industry. To start, Wabash is putting selected employees through Purdue’s online Data Science in Finance and Data Storytelling courses and five certificate programs – in Data Science, Applied Data Analytics, Business Analytics, Information Management and Cybersecurity. The company pays for tuition, fees and books.

“At Wabash, our purpose is to change how the world reaches you, said Dave Teeter, senior director, talent and organizational effectiveness. “We understand as a forward thinking that this can be powerfully enabled in a significant part by digital transformation. It is critical that we enhance our collective organizational understanding of the concepts within this space and use them to move our business forward and create additional value for our customers.”

“In addition to Purdue University being a critical and valued partner to Wabash across multiple areas, they are also a recognized leader in delivering this type of learning and education,” Teeter said. “They have worked with us collaboratively to meet our learning needs and deliver in a way that benefits our dynamic workforce.”

Nile Gilmanov, an IT security engineer who’s worked at Wabash for nine years, is taking Purdue’s Cybersecurity Certificate series with modules covering Secure Foundations and Secure Applications. He said the program is enhancing his skills – and enhancing the security of the company’s digital assets in the process.

“It’s filling in some gaps for me, and it’s also refreshing things I knew but may have forgotten,” Gilmanov said. “It helps me make better decisions and helps me apply more best practices in making decisions.”

Amanda Garman, manager of talent, learning and development, said Wabash sees the educational partnership with Purdue only expanding in the future.

“This first cohort of students is a pilot,” Garman said. “We have a small subset of employees utilizing the program now, with the expectation that we grow exponentially over the coming years.”

The educational partnership aligns with the research partnership with Purdue, Garman said, and it fits with Wabash’s culture, which emphasizes employees having a growth mindset, being curious and always learning.

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