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State Representative
Woody Burton
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A special guest column from state representative Woody Burton 

Next Level Jobs initiative helps Hoosier

job seekers and employers for qualified workers

despite near record low unemployment levels






Guest column by

State rep Woody Burton

Publish prep by Allen Watts


    Hoosier job seekers now have access to new resources to find better-paying jobs thanks to the recently launched Next Level Jobs initiative, according to State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland).


    Burton said while Indiana’s unemployment rate is near record low, employers in high-need, high-wage fields are searching for qualified workers. To meet immediate and future workforce demands, Gov. Eric Holcomb recently launched the Next Level Jobs initiative, which includes and two new grant programs.


    The website connects job seekers with local training and resources to find jobs in high-demand industries. Burton said while a two- or four-year degree isn’t for everyone, Workforce Ready Grants cover the costs of tuition for working adults earning a high-value certificate at Ivy Tech or Vincennes University.


    “More and more employers are choosing to call Indiana home, creating thousands of jobs that need to be filled,” said Burton, who supported legislation creating the grant. “Over the next few years, we know two-thirds of all jobs will require training beyond high school. In order to better prepare job seekers to take these new positions, we’ve created the Workforce Ready Grant, which can cover the costs of tuition for working adults. This will give hardworking Hoosiers the opportunity to gain useful skills to advance their career, while still providing for their family.”


    According to the Department of Workforce Development, 1 million job openings are expected in Indiana by 2025 and, of those, about 400,000 will be in high-wage, high-need fields. These industries include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics.


    To help employers in these industries train and retain workers, the new Employer Training Grant will provide up to $2,500 per new employee to qualifying companies.


    Burton said over the next two years, these grant programs will provide roughly $20 million to help Hoosier workers and employers meet workforce demands.


    Information and applications for both grants can be found online at


State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) represents House

District 58, which includes a portion of Johnson County.