The Indiana Chamber announced February 2, 2022, more than 20 high schools and regional partnerships have been selected for the state’s pilot program to match those students and employers to work-based learning opportunities via the Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana grant.
The EARN Indiana program is the state’s work-study program, previously limited to college-enrolled students. Now, high schoolers with financial need also will have access to resume-building, experiential, paid internships, while employers receive state matching funds – 50% of the student’s hourly rate – for hiring them.
The EARN Indiana program is funded by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and managed through the state’s partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Work and Learn Indiana. The application review process was conducted by Work and Learn Indiana with the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Commission for Higher Education and Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.
“The history of the EARN Indiana program is serving students that might not otherwise be able to participate in work-based learning experiences,” explains Todd Hurst, executive director of the Institute for Workforce Excellence, a subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber. “With this investment, we look forward to helping hundreds of Indiana high school students be able to take advantage of this opportunity and create meaningful resume-building experiences, networking opportunities, career exploration and increased graduation pathways.”
Awardees will go through an implementation phase with the Work and Learn Indiana team, Indiana Department of Education and Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. They will receive supplemental grant funds to assist with implementation.
Throughout the grant process, Work and Learn Indiana will work with state partners to potentially expand access and opportunity to even more students in the coming months.