Momentum Builds for Indiana’s Next Level Jobs Initiative

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb will attend his first meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in Washington D.C. today where he will share that more Hoosiers are achieving education and training beyond high school due in part to his Next Level Jobs initiative.

“Indiana’s greatest asset is our people, and my focus is on ensuring all Hoosiers have the tools they need to find meaningful work and careers,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I’m thrilled to see Indiana gaining ground. We will continue to support those seeking education and training so that everyone has a pathway to success.”
The number of Hoosiers with education beyond a high school diploma reached 43.4 percent in 2018, bringing Indiana closer to its 60 percent attainment goal by 2025. This new data from Lumina Foundation represents an increase of 1.5 percentage points in one year and 10 percentage points since 2008. These gains are supported by Next Level Jobs, which provides tuition-free certificates in high-demand fields and funding for employers who hire, train and retain new employees.
Since Next Level Jobs launched in August 2017, 36,000 people have completed the short survey to connect directly with an education provider, including Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University. Over 13,800 people have enrolled in Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant program, and more than 5,000 of them have completed a certificate program in some of Indiana’s highest demand sectors, including healthcare, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.
“We know that in today’s world learning beyond high school is crucial to grow our state’s economy, meet workforce demand and improve individual quality of life,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “As we continue to make progress toward Indiana’s big goal for 60 percent of Hoosiers to have a postsecondary credential by 2025, Next Level Jobs reaches an important group of Hoosiers who will help us get there.”
Next Level Jobs builds on recent efforts and reforms at the K-12 level to better prepare students for future success–such as computer science courses in every school and graduation pathways requirements for high school students that incorporate a focus on career exploration and postsecondary readiness.
Currently, workforce certificates account for about 5 percent of Indiana’s 43.4 percent higher education attainment rate. Next Level Jobs provides full-tuition Workforce Ready Grants for individuals who want to skill-up quickly to enter a high-demand job that improves their employability.
Employer Training Grants provide funding to Indiana companies who hire new employees, train them and keep them for at least six months. Along with the steady growth of people earning a certificate with the Workforce Ready Grant, more than 450 employers and nearly 7,000 Hoosiers utilized the Employer Training Grant.
“The high-value training and credentials achieved through this initiative are directly assisting people and employers with moving to their next level,” said Fred Payne, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “It’s great to see employers enhancing their training programs and hiring as a result of the Employer Training Grants, and thousands of Hoosiers advancing their careers through the Workforce Ready Grants.”
To apply for a Next Level Jobs grant, individuals and employers can go to and complete a quick survey that gathers information about their needs and interests. Within 72 hours, individuals are contacted by an education or training provider and employers are contacted by someone from the Department of Workforce Development. This direct and individualized outreach ensures that people are connected to the best programs and resources to suit their unique needs.