ELKHART — On a tour of the state to roll out his 2018 legislative agenda, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb visited the ETHOS Science Center Friday to discuss his multi-pronged plan to expand the state’s economy and fill skilled jobs.
The visit to Elkhart comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the state has created 28,846 jobs so far in 2017, a record high since the establishment of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in 2005.
In August, the new Work Ready Grant program began. It funds tuition for students studying advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences, information technology and logistics in two-year associates degree programs at Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University.
Holcomb said so far the website where individuals can apply for the grant, NextLevelJobs.org, has already been visited 213,000 times.
The ETHOS Science Centers’ new building, planned to be fully completed in January, will host a number of programs to help teach students science, technology, engineering and mathematics, hosting skills training programs and housing businesses that will also take part in teaching and training students in specific fields.
Holcomb said a huge “aspirational cohort” of workers in the state are looking to improve themselves, and that the program not only helps them achieve those goals, but also helps to narrow the skills gaps the state faces.
“We have a shortage of skilled and ready workers throughout the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said. “We have to take somewhat of a new approach at cracking this code.”