Hamilton County lawmakers: Indiana expands Next Level Jobs to include more job seekers, employers

Posted by: Andi TenBarge  | Monday, July 20, 2020

STATEHOUSE (July 20, 2020) – Indiana is temporarily expanding its successful Next Level Jobs program through Dec. 30 to include more job seekers and employers, according to Hamilton County lawmakers.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said Indiana is directing nearly $40 million from the federal CARES Act to expand the program's eligibility, offerings and funding caps for Workforce Ready Grants and Employer Training Grants.

"Through the Workforce Ready Grant, working adults can take advantage of local, tuition-free opportunities to earn high-value certificates and connect to better-paying jobs," Huston said. "While we recover from the pandemic, these grants can help those who are left without work and looking to skill-up or make a career change."

State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) said the new funding opens doors for more Hoosiers, especially those out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Since the pandemic hit Indiana, many Hoosiers may find themselves looking or needing to take a different career path," Cook said. "Opportunities are available right now to build on your skills and boost your resume, so you can take that next step with confidence."

More than $20 million of the CARES Act funding will allow a minimum of 10,000 additional Hoosiers to utilize the Workforce Ready Grant as the program temporarily expands:

  • Hoosiers with two- and four-year degrees are temporarily eligible to receive full tuition reimbursement for short-term Workforce Ready Grant-eligible programs through Dec. 30;
  • Nearly 50 new certificates are temporarily added to the list of eligible programs, including Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Driver’s License, Phlebotomy and CNC Machining certifications; and
  • The individual funding cap is raised from $5,500 to $10,000 to cover high-quality programs. 

"Indiana is wisely investing in our Hoosier workforce, and it's especially critical during this time of economic recovery," said State Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville). "Skilling up is within reach for working adults and I hope to see more Hoosiers take advantage of this program and obtain a higher-paying job."

In addition, the Employer Training Grant, administered by the Department of Workforce Development, will be temporarily expanded to support more businesses that train new employees, and upskill or reskill workers. State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) said the maximum amount of funding available to an employer increased from $50,000 to $100,000, and $5 million will specifically support minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.

"This temporary expansion shows Indiana's dedication to pushing through this pandemic and getting our state back on track," Schaibley said. "Indiana's workforce needs to be prepared to fill these in-demand jobs as it can help rejuvenate our state's economy."

State Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) said Hoosiers can find out more by visiting NextLevelJobs.org.

"These Workforce Ready Grants have helped thousands of workers find a higher paying job, which helps support their families and local communities," Torr said. "This program has proven to help Hoosiers skill up and it is encouraging to see it expand to help more people as we continue to navigate this pandemic."

The Employer Training Grant has served more than 530 employers and trained nearly 9,000 employees.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32,

which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton,

Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

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State Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) represents House District 29,

which includes portions of Hamilton County.

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House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) represents House District 37, 
which includes portions of Hamilton County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24,
which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.

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State Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) represents House District 39, 
which includes portions of Hamilton County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.