INDIANA – More than 20 high schools and regional partnerships have been selected for the state’s pilot program to match those students and employers to work-based learning opportunities via the Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana grant including North Lawrence Career Center.
The EARN Indiana program is the state’s work-study program, previously limited to college-enrolled students. Now, high schoolers with financial needs also will have access to resume-building, experiential, paid internships, while employers receive state matching funds – 50% of the student’s hourly rate – for hiring them.
The EARN Indiana program is funded by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and managed through the state’s partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Work and Learn Indiana. The application review process was conducted by Work and Learn Indiana with the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.
“The history of the EARN Indiana program is serving students that might not otherwise be able to participate in work-based learning experiences,” explains Todd Hurst, executive director of the Institute for Workforce Excellence, a subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber. “With this investment, we look forward to helping hundreds of Indiana high school students be able to take advantage of this opportunity and create meaningful resume-building experiences, networking opportunities, career exploration, and increased graduation pathways.”
School awardees span the state and include:
• Career Academy, Fort Wayne Community Schools
• Columbia City High School, Whitley County Consolidated Schools
• Community School Corporation of Eastern Hancock
• Daleville Community Schools
• East Central Educational Service Center
• Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation OptIN
• Gary Community School Corporation
• Hendricks College Network, Inc.
• Lincoln Middle/High School
• Lost River Career Cooperative
• Monroe County Community School Corporation and Richland Bean-Blossom
• MSD Lawrence Township
• MSD Washington Township/North Central High School
• North Lawrence Career Center
• Oak Hill United School Corporation
• Pike Career and STEM Center
• South Bend Regional Chamber
• Tri-Creek School Corporation, Lowell High School
• Washington High School – College & Career Academy
• Whitko Career Academy
• Winchester Community High School
“Work-based learning experiences are critical to helping students find the right career and educational pathways for their individual lives,” says Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We applaud the innovative ways the grant recipients plan on using the funding and look forward to seeing the outcomes from this pilot program.”
Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education, concurs.
“Whether a student is working towards employment, enrollment or enlistment leading to service, our students deserve to have access to pathways leading them towards their unique goals,” Jenner adds. “By expanding access to the EARN Indiana program into high school, more students will gain work-based learning experiences before graduation, better preparing them for a successful future ahead.”
Awardees will go through an implementation phase with the Work and Learn Indiana team, Indiana Department of Education and Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. They will receive supplemental grant funds to assist with implementation.
Throughout the grant process, Work and Learn Indiana will work with state partners to potentially expand access and opportunity to even more students in the coming months.