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

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

Posted by: Jake Thompson  | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

STATEHOUSE (May 26, 2020) – State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) encourages 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, 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, Smaltz said these grants could help those who are laid off or furloughed to build on their skills and get a better paying job.

"For some, this may be the time to consider a career change, and gaining the needed education is the first step," Smaltz said. "Being able to do this without incurring debt is an amazing opportunity. I urge those thinking about moving on from their current occupation to seriously consider this as an option." 

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. 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. 

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/fortwayne

Students interested in attending Ivy Tech have until June 8 to enroll in summer courses. Smaltz said the summer session will run through Aug. 1. Anyone interested in opportunities through Vincennes University have until May 26 to register for the first round of summer courses and the second round of enrollment is open until July 2. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all courses will be offered online.

According to Smaltz, 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. 

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.

-30- 

State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents House District 52, which

includes all of DeKalb County, and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.