Rep. Olthoff: Next Level Jobs initiative helps Hoosier job seekers, employers

Posted by: Brenda Holmes  | Monday, August 21, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Aug. 21, 2017) – Hoosier job seekers now have access to new resources to find better-paying jobs thanks to the recently launched Next Level Jobs initiative, according to State Rep. Julie Olthoff (R-Crown Point).

Olthoff said while Indiana’s unemployment rate is near record low, employers in high-need, high-wage fields are searching for qualified workers. To meet immediate and future workforce demands, Gov. Eric Holcomb recently launched the Next Level Jobs initiative, which includes nextleveljobs.org and two new grant programs.

The website connects job seekers with local training and resources to find jobs in high-demand industries. Olthoff said while a two- or four-year degree isn’t for everyone, Workforce Ready Grants cover the costs of tuition for working adults earning a high-value certificate at Ivy Tech or Vincennes University.

“We need to prepare Hoosiers for jobs that are available today and for new jobs that are being created,” said Olthoff, who supported legislation creating the grant. “There are currently openings around Indiana that require post-secondary training. These grants will remove barriers for working adults as they seek a higher-paying position.”

According to the Department of Workforce Development, 1 million job openings are expected in Indiana by 2025 and, of those, about 400,000 will be in high-wage, high-need fields. These industries include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics.

To help employers in these industries train and retain workers, the new Employer Training Grant will provide up to $2,500 per new employee to qualifying companies.

Olthoff said over the next two years, these grant programs will provide roughly $20 million to help Hoosier workers and employers meet workforce demands.

Information and applications for both grants can be found online at nextleveljobs.org.

Olthoff also supported legislation creating a scholarship program last year to help incentivize top-performing students to pursue a career teaching in Hoosier classrooms. 

According to Olthoff, the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship pays $7,500 per year for up to four years to students who obtain their teaching license and commit to teaching in Indiana for five consecutive years. The scholarship is available to 200 high-achieving high school and college students each year who either graduate in the top 20 percent of their class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT.

The 2018-2019 application will be available beginning in the fall. Visit www.LearnMoreIndiana.org/nextteacher for more information.

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State Rep. Julie Olthoff represents House District 19,

which includes a portions of Lake and Porter counties.

A high-resolution photo of Olthoff can be downloaded by clicking here.