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Federal Grant Will Train Unemployed Hoosiers For New Economy

Gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence (inside left) announces his plan for vocational training Tuesday at Central Nine Career Center in Greenwood.

Indiana is getting more federal grant money to boost its efforts retraining out-of-work Hoosiers for new economy jobs. A new $2.4 million federal grant adds to a $58 million state effort for retraining laid-off workers.

Out of the 30 states receiving the U.S. Department of Labor grant, Indiana is receiving the second-highest per capita percentage of those dollars.  Governor Mike Pence says that’s in part because there are more than a million Hoosiers who lack the skills necessary to find one of the thousands of unfilled jobs in the state.

But he says focusing on free or low-cost education for out-of-work adults is only part of the solution in curbing the state’s unemployment rate, which remains above 8 percent.

“We also want to make sure that our high schools, our post-secondary institutions are creating more effective pathways so that our young people are entering the workforce with the background and the training that they need,” Pence says.

Pence says over the last decade, high quality career and vocational education programs have sprung up throughout the state, but most of those initiatives have been solely regional efforts.

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