ELKHART — The commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said that his department is actively seeking both short-term and long-term solutions to the state's employee shortage.
Perhaps nowhere else in the state are the effects of an employee shortage felt more then here in Elkhart County, where some development officials estimate that there is a 20,000 employee gap that needs filled.
Commissioner Steve Braun said the DWD is working with a number of programs that he hopes will have an immediate impact on drawing people back to the state to live and work.
"We have our workforce ready grants that we can sell as an opportunity for people to go back to school and get in-demand certifications," he said. "These are the certifications that employers need to fill the open positions that they have."
The grants which are anticipated to be rolled out in July will cover the costs for an individual to attend a high-demand certificate program from Ivy Tech, Vincennes University or other approved training providers. Students with only a high school diploma or some college, but no credentials, are the main target of the grants.
Braun said that Indiana needs to continue to retain the over 30,000 students in classrooms around the state and encourage them to train and get certified for positions right out of high school.
"Long-term we want to take the opportunities we have here and continue to attract student's from the large talent pool we have in our schools," he said. "We want them to know about the good jobs they can have right out of school and allow them to get the certifications they need to secure those jobs."