INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is expanding Indiana’s Next Level Jobs program. Governor Eric Holcomb’s office says the two programs that make up the initiative will temporarily increase the program’s eligibility, offerings and funding caps through December 30.
The GWC says CARES Act funding has enabled it to expand the program through the state’s Rapid Recovery for a Better Future initiative. Nearly $40 million of the funding will expand the two grant programs.
“Expanding the Next Level Jobs program will give thousands of additional Hoosiers the opportunity to gain the skills needed to succeed in high-demand careers,” said Holcomb. “Investing in these proven programs with our federal dollars will ensure Hoosiers across our state can recover quickly from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 and secure quality jobs.”
The GWC says individuals can receive free job training for jobs in high-demand fields through the Workforce Ready Grant. More than $20 million of the CARES Act funding is going toward the WRG, allowing a minimum of 10,000 additional Hoosiers to utilize the grant.
The grant will be temporarily expanded in the following ways:
- Hoosiers with two-and four-year degrees are temporarily eligible to receive full tuition reimbursement for short-term Workforce Ready Grant-eligible programs through December 30.
- Nearly 50 new certificates have been approved for addition to the current list of eligible programs, including Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Driver’s License, Phlebotomy and CNC Machining certifications.
- The funding cap per individual has been raised from $5,500 to $10,000 to cover high-quality programs that cost more than $5,500.
The Employer Training Grant, administered by the Department of Workforce Development, supports employers to train new employees, and upskill or reskill workers.
The GWC says the Employer Training Grant will be temporarily expanded in the following ways:
- The maximum amount of funding available to an employer has been increased to $100,000.
- $5 million will be allocated specifically for minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
“Our goal is to ensure that all employers with good, high-demand jobs are aware of the Employer Training Grant funding available, and that each takes advantage of it, including minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses,” said Fred Payne, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. “The inclusion of these businesses assists our state in ensuring that the promise of an educated and skilled workforce is realized by all Hoosiers and Hoosier businesses.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GWC says state data indicates Hoosiers have a heightened interest in Next Level Jobs. Since February, there have been almost 10,000 additional leads to Ivy Tech Community College, Vincennes University and other training providers.
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