The Lawrence County Workforce Coalition in rural southwest Indiana was recently selected to participate in a national workforce development program. It aims to increase education and job pathways for rural, low-income residents.
Columbus-based CivicLab, along with the Ascendium Education Group, will give the Lawrence County group about $150,000 in strategy-development support.
Over two years, a team of local representatives from business, government, and schools will come up with systems and partnerships to connect education to good-paying jobs in the county.
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Joe Timbrook, Lawrence County Economic Growth Council director of career development, said while he applauds the state’s initiatives to train workers, many are ineffective in rural areas with few resources. That makes it even more important to rally their local employers and schools around a local job training strategy.
“There’s no place to train them,” he said. “So you’ve got people you want to upskill or train, but they have to go an hour away to a training facility.”
Four other regions in California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas were also given grants to participate in the workforce planning program.