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State awards 600k to logistics-job-skills networking group

The Hendricks Logistics Sector Partnership (HLSP) recently received $600,000 in state funding from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) through the “Skill UP! Indiana” program.

The award is part of a larger $9.546 million grant aimed at helping communities improve local avenues for skill-specific training and certification. HLSP is one of only 11 recipients and was selected from among 92 applicants spanning every county in the state, according to a DWD press release.

“The large number of Skill UP Indiana! applications received, which more than doubled the previous two rounds, are a reflection of the desire to develop local talent through effective collaboration,” said Mike Barnes, DWD associate chief operating officer for employer engagement. “After a very thorough and multi-agency review process, we have selected 11 groups that will support local employers and expand the talent pipeline.”

The program began in 2015 and this marks the end of its third round of grants. The focus for this year was on employer-led networks formed through partnerships between K-12 institutions, adult education providers, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, community foundations and workforce and education development agencies.

“HCN keeps a pulse of the education and training needs in our community and we realize that the industry has training needs that span across the board,” said Brandy Perrill, HCN executive director. “Some workers have entry-level opportunities while others may benefit from training ranging from short-term certifications to multiple levels of degrees. We work with our post-secondary partners to ensure the skills needed for the industry are available and accessible to our students, so they can thrive in their careers. The opportunities that will come from the network formed from this project will set the local workforce and entire industry up for continued success.”

HLSP’s current network, which includes six county school districts, all for chambers of commerce, multiple post-secondary institutions, the Hendricks County Community Foundation, and a slew of employers, was formed over two-years through collaboration between the Hendricks College Network (HCN) and the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership (HCEDP).

“The collaboration and exchange of ideas between our two organizations and all of our partners has been very encouraging and a true example of how Hendricks County comes together to tackle challenges,” said Jeff Pipkin, executive director for the HCEDP.

“The most exciting part of this project is we get to expose people of all demographics to the career opportunities in supply chain. After a recent visit to an automation manufacturer in Ohio, it’s pretty clear that the next wave of this industry is going to be all about technology,” said program implementation director Lora Steele of HCEDP. “What’s more, working with HCN has helped this sector partnership identify the massive variety of pathways that include diverse opportunities for pursuing the ideal education that fits with an individual’s goals.”

HLSP will meet with industry partners at its “Skills Mapping” event May 14.

The “Skill Up Indiana!” grant covers two years and requires a private match by the recipients. For more information on Skills Up Indiana!, visit in.gov/dwd/skillup.htm.

Edited press release

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