Local companies having a hard time finding qualified employees

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- The job market is so good right now it's leaving some companies struggling to find employees.

The unemployment rate in Indiana is at 3.2 percent, which is lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent.

The Department of Workforce Development wants local companies struggling to find employees to try something new-- recruiting employees with little to no experience and training them.

Just recently, the state decided to increase the amount of funding available to companies in Indiana. If a company is able to hire and train new employees and keep them for six months, they could get a $5,000 reimbursement per new employee. That goes up to $50,000 per company.

Workforce development director Bryon Silk says they are estimating the need for new employees to continue to increase.

"We need to fill one million jobs in the next ten years, and if you roll in the retirement and that need that kind of up-scales that number, I am very excited as a workforce developer but somewhat nervous as a member of the community," Silk said.

The department has gotten more than 700 applications in the past year for the Next Level Jobs grant. The most applications are coming from advanced manufacturing companies. The next are Health Science companies, and in third are building and construction trades.

"They’re really excited to have a renewed focus on training," Silk said. "Back in the recession we saw a lot of companies turn away from training and this is reinvigorated that internal culture to do more continuous development and improvement of the staff."

The grant started off with $10 million in available funds. There's still $3 million available, but they estimate all of it being used up by August.

For more information on how to apply click here.

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