NWI.Life: WorkOne Northwest Indiana offers funding to train employees at region businesses

By: Curtis Hankins,

Last Updated: January 28, 2020

The modern workplace requires workers and employers to be more adaptable than ever. There is a constant need to fill new roles, learn new skills, and face tough challenges. Often, the default response for businesses around the Region is to hire a new worker to fill the gaps. A better, more cost effective option exists thanks to the Center of Workforce Innovations and the Northwest Indiana Board. It’s called incumbent employee training.

Thanks to the funds from the Department of Labor, the State of Indiana, and generous grant providers, WorkOne offers the financial support and expertise necessary to train a company’s current workers for any role or skill.

“We’re able to reimburse employers for the cost of upscaling their current employees,” said Natalie Aponte, Skills Training Manager for WorkOne. “Let’s say a business has regular maintenance technicians, but they don’t have any electrical experience. If that employer reaches out to us, we can work with a training provider to complete that electrical training on a contract that provides financial reimbursement to the employer.”

WorkOne provides this assistance to any type of employer, from industrial to healthcare. If someone needs training, they can reimburse it.

“Just the other day, we were working with one of the leading medical providers in Northwest Indiana that’s growing by leaps and bounds,” said Becky Fry, WorkOne Business Services Manager. “Even though we’d talked with them in the past, they weren’t aware of all the different kinds of funding and abilities we had to help them upscale their employees.”

Fry, Aponte, and the rest of the WorkOne team work closely with employers to identify exactly what their needs are and chart the best path to filling them. The results of these efforts are significantly more cost effective than hiring and training an entirely new employee. Beyond the financial costs, upscaling your employees works as an investment in your company’s culture.

“If you bring in someone new, they have to learn everything about your company from the acronyms to the culture,” Fry said. “This kind of investment helps with employee retention, and shows your team that you have faith in them. It helps to make your business work more efficiently.”

Another common situation is bringing on a new staff member who is a perfect fit for your company’s culture but is missing a certain skill they need in order to excel. WorkOne’s reimbursement extends to on-the-job training in these cases, letting a business upscale their new employee at reduced cost.

“We’re able to pay half of an employee’s wages during their training course,” Aponte said. “It’s great for when your new hire has some experience, but not all the experience.”

WorkOne makes the upscaling process simple and easy for every business.

“I think if businesses in Northwest Indiana knew that there was a way to have some of their training reimbursed financially, they’d jump at it,” Fry said. “We’re ready to come and help, whenever they need it.”

To learn more about how WorkOne Northwest Indiana can support your business’s employee training, visit www.gotoworkonenw.com or call 877-607-0680 with any questions.

The Center of Workforce Innovations serves as staff to the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board and provide oversight of nine WorkOne centers in the region that provide no-cost workforce and employment resources for employers and job seekers.

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