Many Hoosiers Feeling Squeezed Economically
State working hard to maintain and create jobs
Although Indiana’s business climate continues to improve, many Hoosier families are feeling the strain of the national economic downturn. As gas and food prices increase and healthcare costs continue to rise, family budgets are getting squeezed. These problems are even greater when Hoosier families are faced with unemployment and underemployment.
Indiana’s General Assembly, in partnership with Gov. Mitch Daniels, has worked on several initiatives to help train and re-train Hoosiers and to bring new investments and opportunities to the state:
1. Indiana’s Strategic Skills Initiative helps increase funding for training opportunities in advanced manufacturing, healthcare and agribusiness. By increasing access to job training in critical areas, Indiana can now help ensure the availability of highly-skilled Hoosier workers, for high-wage jobs in the future.
2. When Indiana invested $4 billion in the nation’s only fully-funded 10-year road improvement project, lawmakers understood it would employ tens of thousands of highly-skilled construction workers. Indiana’s Major Opportunities Program offers pre-apprenticeship and on-the-job training to help fill worker shortages in the state’s construction industry.
3. Today’s businesses require an educated and highly-trained workforce. In preparation for the workforce and our four-year universities, more and more students are turning to Indiana’s expanded community college system, which offers more than 150 career-focused programs and concentrations on 23 campuses statewide. Course schedules at Ivy Tech Community College are flexible to fit the busy lives of working adults; an associates degree or certification can be earned in two years for less than $6,000 and financial aid may be available.
Experts agree Indiana is better prepared to handle these economic times than our neighbors in the Midwest. I will continue to work for job training opportunities for Hoosiers and an environment where new and existing businesses continue to invest and grow.
Here are some helpful resources for those who are feeling squeezed by today’s tough economic times.
•Apply for jobs, create a resume or post an opening on Indiana’s Career Connect Web site at www.indianacareerconnect.com
•Find out more about WorkOne’s programs and services at www.workoneworks.com or 1-800-891-6499
•Search for information about the Major Opportunities Program at www.dosomethingmajor.com or call the Department of Workforce Development at 1-800-465-4616
•Explore Ivy Tech Community College by visiting www.ivytech.edu or call 1-888-IVY-LINE (1-888-489-5463)
•Learn about Federal Student Aid information by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov or contacting them at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
•Seek information on expanding or starting an Indiana business from the Business Development Division of the Indiana Economic Development Commission online at www.in.gov/iedc/ or by calling 1-800-463-8081
•Discover information on venture capital at the Ball State University Toolbox Guide to Development Funds, available online at www.bsu.edu/cecd/toolbox/
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro-Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.