(INDIANAPOLIS) – More than 10,000 Hoosiers have completed a high-demand certificate program through Indiana’s Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant, which provides tuition-free certificates in five of the state’s most sought-after sectors, including health and life sciences; IT and business services; building and construction, transportation and logistics; and advanced manufacturing.
Additionally, more than 900 employers have taken advantage of the state’s Employer Training Grant to train more than 9,000 employees. Since Gov. Eric Holcomb introduced Next Level Jobs in 2017, over 23,000 Hoosiers have enrolled in the Workforce Ready Grant program.
Gov. Holcomb announced these updated workforce figures during his annual Indiana State of the State address on January 14.
“We are focused on driving economic growth in Indiana and that starts with leveraging the tools we have available, beginning with education and training,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Indiana is moving in the right direction and these 10,000-plus Hoosier adults that have put themselves on a better path are helping us get closer to our goal. But we’re not done yet and we won’t rest until all Hoosiers are skilled-up and prospering.”
Next Level Jobs supports Indiana’s goal of having 60 percent of Hoosiers with a quality credential beyond a high school diploma by 2025, a goal aligned to projected future workforce needs. Currently, the state’s educational attainment is at 43.4 percent, which represents an increase of 10 percentage points since 2008. Workforce certificates account for about 5 percent of Indiana’s rate.
Next Level Jobs builds on recent efforts and reforms at the K-12 level to better prepare students for future success and ease the transition to higher learning – including graduation pathways requirements for high school students to incorporate a focus on career exploration and postsecondary readiness.
Other efforts to increase the educational attainment among Hoosiers include seeking out adults who were previously enrolled in college but didn’t finish and encouraging them to complete their degrees. To date, 2,000 adults have re-enrolled and completed their degrees with the support of Indiana’s Adult Student Grant, while another 19,000 have re-enrolled and are in the process of completing their degrees.
“Indiana’s workforce demands a talent system that is accessible for learners and allows them to improve their individual quality of life,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We cannot meet the state’s educational achievement goal without reaching our adult populations and offering them the opportunities continued education and lifelong learning can afford.”
Employer Training Grants provide funding to Indiana companies who hire new employees, train them and keep them for at least six months. The grants offer up to $5,000 per employee or up to $50,000 per employer and is an integral part of the Next Level Jobs initiative.
“These grants are positively impacting employers’ efforts to educate and train people on the latest advancements in equipment and technology,” said Fred Payne, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “We want to prepare Indiana’s workforce to meet current and future business needs, while helping people gain the training and education that will assist them in reaching their next level. Employer Training Grants are helping to achieve that.”
To apply for a Next Level Jobs grant, individuals and employers can go to www.NextLevelJobs.org and complete a quick survey that gathers information about their needs and interests. Once individuals are contacted by an education or training provider and employers are contacted by someone from the Department of Workforce Development. This direct and individualized outreach ensures that people are connected to the best programs and resources to suit their unique needs.