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Indiana officials launch ‘Next Level Jobs’ initiative to train Hoosiers for better jobs, help offset costs for employers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and other state officials launched the “Next Level Jobs” initiative Monday morning by announcing a pair of grant programs aimed to place Hoosiers in high-demand, high-paying jobs.

Gov. Holcomb’s office says the Workforce Ready Grant will help adults gain skills to fill jobs in industries with high demand. It was created by the Indiana General Assembly earlier this year.

The grant covers full tuition costs for adults to earn career certificates in high-growth sectors of Indiana’s economy: advanced manufacturing, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics. The certificates can be earned through Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University campuses.

The Employer Training Grant, developed by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, aims to help employers with the cost of training new employees.

It will provide up to $2,500 to qualifying companies for each new employee needing training or retraining. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will launch a pilot of the grant for 2018 and 2019, which will be paid for with $10 million in Career and Technical Education Innovation and Advancement Funds.

The new programs will provide more than $20 million over the next two years. Applications for the grant programs can be found here. After submitting an application, applicants will receive individualized contact from DWD or an eligible training provider within 48 hours.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate has reached historic lows, and we currently have about 95,000 job openings around the state. Now more than ever, our state needs to ramp up efforts to prepare Hoosiers for the jobs available today—and for the one million more we expect over the next decade,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Next Level Jobs will drive our efforts to meet that demand and will put hardworking Hoosiers in high-need, high-wage careers.”

Indiana’s first Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo will ensure Hoosiers are connected with these grants make sure that employers are connected to postsecondary institutions, organizations and state programs that can help meet workforce demands.

“Connecting business leaders and employees will continue to be a key focus as workforce demands grow, as baby boomers retire and our economy expands and diversifies,” Secretary Milo said. “Next Level Jobs presents a streamlined way for Hoosiers and employers to access state resources and programs that help address our workforce needs.”

Gov. Holcomb is expected to announce the initiative during a 2:15 p.m. press conference Monday.