House passes bill that helps business retrain current employees
By John Sittler
INDIANAPOLIS— The House unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would expand the funding and scope of the Training 2000 program.
The bill’s author, Rep. Kathy Heuer, R-Columbia City, said she aims to clarify the current law while reducing the skills gap for Hoosier workers.
“Now is the time to fill in our gaps,” she said. “It is for our employers, it is for our existing workers.”
House Bill 1170 would provide financial assistance to new or expanding businesses for the training or retraining of existing employees. It also gives money to existing businesses in Indiana for the retraining and upgrading of employee skills required by updates to existing capital investment.
The legislation would update current law, which authorizes funding only for new capital investments. Businesses can get money from the state for employee training on brand new machines. Under the bill, they could receive money to retrain employees without investing in brand new machines.
Since 2010, the IEDC has offered 213 qualifying businesses $18 million in Training 2000 funds, according to Heuer.
The measure received bi-partisan support. “It’s a united, statewide effort,” said Rep. Christina Hale, D-Indianapolis.
The bill now moves to the Senate where it will be sponsored by Republican Susan Glick of LaGrange.
John Sittler is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.