Local lawmakers: Hoosier jobseekers should consider free job training, skilling-up amid COVID-19

Posted by: Jake Thompson  | Friday, May 29, 2020

STATEHOUSE (May 29, 2020) – Fort Wayne area lawmakers encourage Hoosiers whose jobs were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of tuition-free training grants offered through Indiana's Next Level Jobs program. 

Established in 2017 through a law supported by State Reps. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne), Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) and Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), this program provides Workforce Ready Grants to help Indiana residents who have a high school diploma or equivalent but less than a college degree receive training in high-demand job fields. With more than 500,000 Hoosiers filing for unemployment since March, Carbaugh said these grants could help those who are laid off or furloughed to build on their skills and get a better paying job.

"This is a way for some workers to dive deeper into a career they love," Carbaugh said. "The Next Level Jobs program positions them to be ready for that next step."

Hoosiers can visit NextLevelJobs.org to apply for training grants, which cover the cost of tuition and fees for working adults to earn a high-value certificate at Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University. Heine said jobseekers can connect to local training and resources to find jobs in high-demand industries, including advanced manufacturing, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics. 

"First and foremost, this opportunity comes at no cost for those who are eligible," Heine said. "Through continuing your education and developing more skills, you can increase your chances for career advancement and a higher-paying job." 

The IvyTech campus in Fort Wayne offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate or technical certificate as a building construction management specialist, carpentry specialist, electrical specialist and more. For information, visit IvyTech.edu/Fort Wayne.  

Students interested in attending Ivy Tech have until June 8 to enroll in summer courses. The summer session will run through Aug. 1. Registration for Vincennes University is open until July 2. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all courses will be offered online. 

According to Morris, businesses in high-demand industries can apply for Employer Training Grants, which provide $5,000 for each employee who is trained, hired and retained for six months. 

"As a small-business owner, employees that further their education stand out," Morris said. "It's clear by their actions they have initiative and a good work ethic, and I certainly take that into consideration. It's a win for employers because you have dedicated people that want to skill up and take on more responsibility." 

Hoosiers can learn more about eligibility requirements and apply for a Workforce Ready Grant or Employer Training Grant at NextLevelJobs.org. Anyone who needs help with the application process can call 317-715-9007 to speak one-on-one with a financial aid expert for free through INvestEd.


State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 81, which includes a portion of Allen County.

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State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 85, which includes a portion of Allen County.

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State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 84, which includes a portion of Allen County.

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