Indiana’s economy is on the move. During the first half of 2017, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation secured commitments from 164 employers to create 17,823 new Hoosier jobs and invest $5.4 billion in their Indiana operations in the coming years.
While these numbers are a testament to our state’s success, it’s become clear that new and innovative measures are needed to help our workforce continue to develop and thrive.
In 2017, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce released an employer survey report, which found that 47 percent of responding businesses left jobs unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants.
As Indiana attracts more high-wage, high-demand jobs, it is critically important that our state has a trained, skilled workforce to fill these positions. Over the past several months, the General Assembly and Gov. Eric Holcomb have been working hard to address this issue.
In August, Gov. Holcomb announced two new workforce development grants – the Workforce Ready Grant and the Employer Training Grant.
These grants are on track to provide more than $20 million over the next two years to help Indiana residents meet the demands of our workforce.
The Workforce Ready Grant, which was established by Senate Enrolled Act 198, will help Hoosiers obtain the skills necessary for these new, high-demand jobs by covering tuition costs for adults enrolled in a high-value industry certificate program at Ivy Tech or Vincennes University.
The Employer Training Grant, on the other hand, provides assistance to employers by helping to offset the costs associated with training employees.
Closing the skills gap in Indiana is an important aspect of economic development. Together, these grants will provide much-needed training opportunities, and I encourage Hoosiers to take advantage of them.
To learn more about the grants and to apply, visit www.nextleveljobs.org/2017 always, I welcome your input on this topic or others. My office can be reached by phone at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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