KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region is scheduling classes eligible for full state funding for qualified students under the new Workforce Ready Grant program. The first courses offered under this program will be offered during the fall semester’s second eight-week session, which begins Oct. 16.

Details of the Workforce Ready Grant program, a new financial aid opportunity for Hoosier working adults to gain the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century economy, were shared by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb in an Aug. 14 press conference. As he announced, the grant will pay full tuition and fees to allow qualifying working-age Hoosiers with high school diplomas to earn a high-value certificate at Ivy Tech in one of the five sectors that align with Indiana’s economy: advanced manufacturing, building and construction, health and life sciences, information technology and business services, and transportation and logistics. More than $14 million in state funding has been provided for this initiative by the General Assembly and Commission for Higher Education over the next two years.

Ivy Tech Community College is a key partner in this effort, with the mission of providing the training to prepare students to gain the certifications they need. In the Kokomo Region, Ivy Tech is offering 18 programs covered by the grant.

To be eligible, a person must be a working-age Indiana resident with a high school diploma or its equivalent. Applicants may not have previously received either an associate or bachelor’s degree and must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The place to learn more, and to apply, is NextLevelJobs.org. Former or current Ivy Tech students can learn more about their eligibility by contacting the Kokomo Express Enrollment Center at 765-252-5468.  In Logansport and Peru, prospective students may contact Suzanne Dillman at sdillman@ivytech.edu.

To kick off the program, Ivy Tech Kokomo Region is offering 12 classes covered by the grant, starting Oct. 16. Courses in the structural welding certificate program will be offered in Logansport, while courses in the following certificate or technical certificate programs will begin in Kokomo: health care specialist, outpatient insurance coding, phlebotomy technician, automotive technology, online business operations, applications and technology, Microsoft office specialist, online information technology support, and information technology support help desk. Many more will be scheduled in January.

“We expect more people will be able to qualify to begin classes in January,” said Kim King, Acting Chancellor for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region “but anyone who is interested and can meet the qualifications by Oct. 16 can get a head start in achieving certifications that will open doors to new careers or career advancement.”

Workforce Ready is managed in partnership by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and is one of two grant programs under the umbrella of the Indiana Next Level Jobs initiative that is aimed at upskilling Indiana adults for high-wage, high-demand jobs.

In talking about the significance of this effort, Gov. Holcomb said:  “Indiana’s unemployment rate has reached historic lows, and we currently have about 95,000 job openings around the state. Now more than ever, our state needs to ramp up efforts to prepare Hoosiers for the jobs available today—and for the one million more we expect over the next decade. Next Level Jobs will drive our efforts to meet that demand and will put hardworking Hoosiers in high-need, high-wage careers.”

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo