Frye: More Hoosier workers can now receive free training

Posted by: Randy Spieth  | Friday, July 31, 2020

These last few months have made many workers want to evaluate their careers and pursue a better-paying, high-demand job. Recently, Indiana's Next Level Jobs program expanded to help even more people obtain high-value certificates and enter a growing industry. That's because Indiana directed an additional $40 million from federal CARES Act to this popular program, to help more Hoosiers than ever before receive free training to learn a new skill and a better career.

More than 13,300 people have already completed a Workforce Ready-eligible certificate program. With this additional funding, another 10,000 Hoosiers could obtain a Workforce Ready Grant, which provides full tuition reimbursement to earn a certificate. The expansion makes Hoosiers who were previously excluded from the program, like those who have already earned a two- or four-year degree, eligible to apply. Applicants can receive tuition reimbursement through the end of the year. Interested job seekers could return to school for courses in advanced manufacturing, information technology, construction and several other fields. Currently, there are more than 2,000 available jobs in our area. More can be learned about the program and job openings at NextLevelJobs.org

Indiana's community colleges offer dozens of certifications that qualify, with 50 more added through this expansion. Vincennes University and Ivy Tech have locations throughout the state and online courses to make classes convenient. Visit vinu.edu to learn more about Vincennes University's programs, including Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Driver’s License, Phlebotomy and CNC Machining certifications.

At Ivy Tech, in addition to Next Level Jobs grants, the school still offers the Volunteer Firefighter Scholarship to any volunteer firefighter or EMS personnel. This scholarship opportunity is something I worked on in 2019 and is an effort to encourage more Hoosiers to join their local volunteer fire department. Right now may be the right time to pick up new skills as a volunteer, meet new people and give back to our community. Learn more about this scholarship and available courses at IvyTech.edu.

Employers can also benefit through Next Level Jobs Employer Training Grant. This program funds new worker training and added training for people already on staff. The increased funding now allows businesses to request up to $100,000 to skill up employees.

This has been a difficult year for many workers, but now may be a good time to train for a better-paying job with more stability and opportunity to advance. Through the Next Level Jobs grant, workers can pursue the skills and jobs they want without taking on debt. Learn more or enroll at NextLevelJobs.org.

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State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) represents House District 67, which includes
all of Ohio and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Dearborn,
Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties.

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