ROI Annual Report to the Region: Indiana’s Next Level Jobs Initiative

Continued from ROI Annual Report to the Region: What’s Next for Education & Workforce Programs

After attending morning breakout sessions, attendees gathered again in the ballroom for lunch, award presentations, and a keynote by Danny Lopez, the former Chair of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. Mr. Lopez’s presentation, titled “Pathways, Pipeline, & Partnership” showcased Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Jobs Initiative.

Mr. Lopez shared that the number-one question the governor gets from businesses interested in locating or expanding in Indiana is, “Are you going to be able to supply the people we need with the skills we need for the jobs of the future?” Indiana state government is committed to YES.

When it comes to workforce development, there’s a new sense of urgency in education. Eighty thousand Hoosiers are soon retiring from the workforce, a “silver tsunami” that will contribute to critical shortages in trained workers in its wake—a million high-skilled job openings by 2025. Meanwhile, two million Hoosiers need additional training to compete in the 21st-century workforce, but Career and Technical Education (CTE) stigma still deters many from getting it. The age of innovation and disruption affects every industry. The need has changed, and so workforce preparation needs to change, too.

One solution to this upcoming dilemma, and the goal of Next Level Jobs is to attract more Hoosiers into job training programs that meet people where they are in their skill level and get them where they need—not through a compliance mentality, but by offering real opportunity. To do this, Mr. Lopez explained, we need to remove obstacles for employees and employers, to shift from the mode of “First You Learn, Then You Earn” to an integrated training program that allows working people to increase their skills on the job, while getting paid, and supports employers in investing in developing talent and skills.

Next Level Jobs provides Hoosiers with free state-wide training in high-paying, in-demand industries—and provides Indiana employers with reimbursements up to $50,000 to train their employees in these high-growth fields.

Next Level Jobs offers Upland businesses and employees a powerful new resource in preparing for the future. Learn more at

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