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In this issue..
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development, working with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, is offering a new program to help Hoosiers pay the tuition of a two-year college program, books and fees. The program, called the Workforce Acceleration Grant, uses federal stimulus funds to pay up to $3,000 per year for a student's expected family contribution, unfunded tuition costs, books and fees in an associate degree or vocational training program.
Workforce Acceleration Grant recipients can pursue areas of study at more than 50 colleges and universities in Indiana that provide occupational training leading to an associate degree or certificate program. General studies, liberal arts, baccalaureate and graduate programs are not covered. A complete list of eligible schools can be found at www.IN.gov/dwd.
"Governor Daniels insisted on making the best investment possible with these one-time funds and nothing compares to helping Hoosiers acquire the college education or training they need to excel in the 21st Century workplace," said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education.
Workforce Acceleration Grants are open to Hoosiers, aged 18 or older, who have a legal right to work in the US, AND meet one of the two below criteria:
Hoosiers interested in applying for a Workforce Acceleration Grant should visit their local WorkOne Center to determine their eligibility. Approximately 9,000 current students may qualify for a Workforce Acceleration Grant. Hoosiers can find their nearest WorkOne Center by visiting http://www.workoneworks.com/
With today's increasingly competitive job market, thinking ahead has never been more important. The good news is that Indiana juniors are still making plans for their pursuit of careers, according to Results of Indiana's Annual Career and College Information Survey.
Learn More Indiana surveyed 59,394 ninth-grade students and 47,299 eleventh grade students across the state about their plans for life after high school. Survey results show that more juniors, class of 2012, are taking action to prepare them for their pursuit of careers and necessary education after high school. Results include:
While this is exciting news, there is still work to be done to ensure a bright economic future for Indiana. Here's what you can do to help; join Indiana's College Success Coalition and help get kids in your area on the right track for success. Local organizations are coming together through this Coalition to share lessons learned, coordinate college and career success efforts and raise awareness of available resources. Visit www.learnmoreindiana.org/coalition to join and find out more.
Turn to Learn More Indiana
In addition to free career resources, Learn More Indiana also provides information to students, teachers, parents and counselors about the steps it takes to get into and successfully complete college. Visit http://www.learnmoreindiana.org/ for advice on how to do better in high school, plan for college, apply for financial aid and more. Hoosiers can request free publications to keep them on track for college, including helpful checklists and magazines, by calling 1-800-992-2076.
Learn More Indiana is a partnership of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, with additional support from Indiana's colleges and universities, USA Funds and the Lumina Foundation for Education—all working together to provide information that supports learning.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development recently promoted IndianaCAREERconnect.com, the State of Indiana's number one source for available jobs, at the 2009 Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. The Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is a two-week long celebration of African-American heritage and culture. Visitors to the exhibit hall were able to check out local merchants, get information on a variety of programs and sample the latest consumer products. Attendees stopped by the DWD booth to pick up the latest information on www.IndianaCAREERconnect.com, Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs, and other programs and initiatives available through the WorkOne.
During the past year, the unemployment rate for the nation and the state has received wide coverage in the media. Many people ask DWD how the unemployment rate is calculated and mistakenly believe that it only counts people who collect unemployment insurance benefits.
DWD calculates the monthly unemployment rate using a statistical model provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This model is specifically designed to determine employment levels by utilizing a combination of factors. Data input into this model includes:
The BLS requires each state to use the same model to calculate labor and employment estimates (including the unemployment rate) so the data is consistent and comparable across geography and time. For more information on how the unemployment rate is calculated visit http://www.bls.gov/Lau/.
Like many Hoosiers in the Elkhart area, Vicki McGlinsey was employed in the RV industry and became a dislocated worker. After experiencing some tough times initially, Vicki got the help she needed at her local WorkOne office.
"I ended up in the dislocated workers program," said Vicki. "I went through the WorkKeys assessments in South Bend and some of their workshops such as resume writing and interviewing. They also helped me to understand that I was eligible for unemployment."
During her initial process, Vicki admits she wanted to give up. She credits WorkOne supervisor Nancy Leighty for motivating her to keep a positive attitude.
"She seemed to truly want to hear my story," said Vicki. "She said she was new. She seemed to really care about me.
"Half way through she went and talked with Danielle Gyuriak and came back to tell me that Danielle would be my caseworker. Danielle took me to her office. She got me into the system and she even called MapleTronics to see if any spots were open for the class I wanted to take.
"Danielle was so sweet!"
Vicki will complete computer training in October but she is also taking other positive steps in her search for employment by utilizing www.indianaCareerconnect.com.
"I search the site about twice a week for any jobs that I may be qualified for," said Vicki. "I have put in for about 100 jobs and have had three interviews since January."
Vicki has some simple advice to anyone going through tough times - never quit.
"I encourage anyone who had trouble with the old system to not give up," she says. "I did not and, thanks to the training I am getting, I feel hopeful that I will be successful in getting a job in a field that I love."
Jenna Johnston, the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) at the Gary WorkOne Center has been named the American Legion National Economic Commission's Indiana LVER of the year for 2008. The award recognizes her for excellent services providing job counseling, testing and placement assistance to unemployed and underemployed veterans.
"The criterion for this award is the same as the other service organizations," said State Veterans' Coordinator Ricky St. John. "Veteran Staff who go beyond the normal duties of the position they are assigned to are recognized for outstanding service to our Hoosier Veterans."
Johnston was awarded on July 11 at the American Legion's National Headquarters Convention in Indianapolis.
This is the fifth award Jenna has received for her dedication and outstanding employment services. In 2008, she won the On-the-Spot performance award, the Veteran's of Foreign Wars State of Indiana LVER of the year and the State of Indiana Individual Incentive Award. This year, she was awarded the Appreciation Trophy from Portage High School.
Jenna is a Navy veteran, who served as a Hospital Corpsman from 1993-1997. She has been a LVER since July of 2007 and has gone above and beyond on a daily basis, earning local, state and national recognition for her service. Congratulations Jenna and keep up the good work!
Scott Sanders is the Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Workforce Development and oversees all financial aspects of the agency. Scott brings many years of financial management experience to DWD from his years working in several executive and financial management positions at Guardian Life Insurance Company/First Commonwealth in Chicago. He earned his MBA at Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and received his undergraduate degree in accounting at Miami University.
Scott and his staff are responsible for all DWD budgeting, employer tax audits, employer unemployment insurance taxes, facilities management, grant accounting, payroll, and procurement. He and his team have worked very hard to make DWD as efficient as possible and to stretch every dollar in these tough economic times.
The main goal for Scott and his staff is to improve relationships with DWD business partners. Scott said, "It is our intention to become more customer focused with our partners and to improve our operations through measurement and reporting."
Of course, probably the most important thing you should know about Scott Sanders is that he roots for "Da Bears" and believes this is the year the Cubs will win it all!