Indiana approves free adult high school education, job training program

By Riia O’Donnell, HRDive

Dive Brief:

  • Indiana state residents over the age of 22 will soon be able to earn a high school diploma in addition to certain workforce credentials for free thanks to a new program approved by the state’s Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.
  • The Workforce Development Program, operated by education company Graduation Alliance, will allow Hoosiers to pursue credentials including certified production technician (CPT), certified logistics technician (CLT) and landscape industry certified technician, among others. Academic instructors and career counselors will support the program, which will officially begin enrollment on or before Oct. 1, 2019.
  • “Each of these individuals is an investment,” Greg Harp, Graduation Alliance’s chief development officer, said in a statement. “When provided with employability skills development, job-ready certifications and, of course, a fully accredited high school diploma, people who are stuck in low-wage, insecure jobs are able to lift themselves into living wage work.”

Dive Insight:

It’s an established trend that public and private institutions are collaborating on efforts to provide job training to U.S. workers. Besides the news out of Indiana, another example has come from the rise of coding boot camps that target adult learners. Nonprofits and similar organizations are also part of the conversation: for example, the Obama Foundation last year announced a partnership with the Urban Alliance to create workforce training programs in Chicago.

The goal of such partnerships is often two-fold. On one hand, community stakeholders aim to those already participating in the workforce increase and maintain their individual skill sets. But some initiatives also target specific demographic groups to recognize underrepresented talent pools and potentially boost diversity initiatives. Facebook aimed to do so when it partnered with coding school Ironhack to launch a $250,000 scholarship program for underrepresented groups in the tech industry.

Organizations can’t stop pledging resources and funding, however. Those operating programs for learning adults must apply specific measurements to ensure learners are getting what they need out of training, experts previously told HR Dive. Providing programming that is directly applicable to near-term and long-term job opportunities — and that fits learners’ personal and professional schedules — can help to combat learner stress and fatigue. Employers and their partners might also need to think strategically about balancing their own needs and the needs of employees when designing training.

 

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