-- Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb unveiled a program on Monday that will pay
training and education costs for employers and workers in high demand
The Republican says
the education entitlement should help train workers -- from welders and
machinists, to nursing assistants and IT techs -- for skilled and advanced
technology jobs, which require more than a high school diploma.
"Indiana is going
to cover the cost of our Hoosiers getting the certificates they need to move
up that economic ladder," Holcomb said during a news conference at the
Allison Transmission factory in Indianapolis.
The "Next Level
Jobs" initiative, as it is called, sets aside about $24 million over the
next two years.
Roughly $14 million
will go toward covering the cost of tuition for certificate programs that
takes less than two years to complete at Ivy Tech Community College and
Vincennes University, according to state officials.
The other $10
million will be used to reimburse employers that provide specialized
on-the-job training for new hires. Each employer could collect up to $2,500
The program is
targeted to specific industries including advanced manufacturing,
construction health sciences, IT services and transportation.
It's not clear how
many people will be able to take advantage of the program at its current
Teresa Lubbers, who
oversees Indiana's Commission for Higher Education, says a certificate
program can cost anywhere between $300 and $3,000, depending on the number
of credits required.
If the effort were
to run out of money, Lubbers says that would be a "best news scenario"
because it would demonstrate the popularity of the program and set the stage
for Holcomb to request more money from the Legislature.
Still, the program
more-or-less amounts to the kind of big government entitlements that many
Republicans have historically excoriated.
responding directly to questions to that effect.