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  • Indiana Chamber Program Promotes High School EARN Internship Grant, Seeks School Applications

    (INDIANAPOLIS) – Work and Learn Indiana is requesting applications from schools for the newly-launched Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana grant for high school students.

    Through Work and Learn Indiana, the state of Indiana has expanded its partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce to match students and employers to EARN-eligible work-based learning opportunities. Previously, EARN has been limited to college-age students.

    EARN Indiana was created to ensure students with financial need have equitable access to resume-building, experiential, paid internship opportunities. In return for hiring low-income Hoosier students and meeting program quality standards, Indiana employers receive state matching funds that reimburse up to 50% of the student's hourly wages.

    “Since its inception in 2013, the EARN Indiana program has provided nearly 8,000 internship positions to eligible Hoosier students,” relays Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “Expanding the program eligibility to high school students will allow them to explore future career pathways through high-quality, paid internships with employers in their communities.”

    In preparation for the statewide expansion, the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Commission for Higher Education and Indiana Chamber are seeking applications from Hoosier school communities for a $1 million pilot grant opportunity in partnership with area employers. 

    Approximately $1 million in total grant funding is available during the pilot grant cycle, including the EARN wage subsidy and supplemental school support grants. Total funding amounts for each school community will be set by the selection committee based on intended number of students served and grant capacity. Reimbursement will take place after the program or initiative is completed.
    Work and Learn Indiana High School EARN Program- Expansion Grant

    The pilot grants aim to build local capacity to connecting high school students with high-quality internship/pre-apprenticeship experiences beginning in summer 2022 and continuing through the 2022-23 academic school year. Up to 10 schools will be chosen for the pilot.

    “The impact of this program expanding into high schools will be immense,” says Jason Bearce, vice president of education and workforce development for the Indiana Chamber. “We’re excited for Work and Learn Indiana to play a part in helping these schools through the process because an internship connection could be pivotal for these students, plus it gives employers further access to young talent.”

    Work and Learn Indiana will host webinars on the following dates. Those interested in learning more about the grant and applicants are strongly encouraged to attend:
    • Monday, Oct. 25 - 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 28 - 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Nov. 4 - 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Nov. 10 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
    • Monday, Nov. 15 - 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Applications are due online at workandlearnindiana.com on December 15th.

    Information regarding the grant application and upcoming timelines can be found at www.workandlearnindiana.com/high-school-earn-program-expansion-grant. Related questions also may be emailed to Sally Saydshoev, assistant director for educator engagement, at ssaydshoev@indianachamber.com.

    The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”

    Work and Learn Indiana is a program of the Institute for Workforce Excellence, a subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The program links employers, learners, high schools, colleges and universities.