Indianapolis, In. — Indiana’s unemployment rate is 3.1 percent, which is one of the lowest rates in the nation. In order to keep up this momentum with the ever-changing technology and job market, Hoosiers need to be prepared to meet the increased demands of employers that are locating and expanding here. I recently joined Gov. Eric Holcomb when he visited Batesville and Madison to launch the Next Level Jobs initiative. This initiative provides Hoosiers access to new resources to secure advanced and better-paying jobs, and gives employers additional tools to help fill positions in high-demand fields.According to the Department of Workforce Development, 1 million job openings are expected by 2025 and, of those, about 400,000 are in high-wage, high-need fields. These industries include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics.To help Hoosiers gain the skills needed to fill these positions, Workforce Ready Grants are available through the Next Level Jobs initiative. While a two- or four-year degree isn’t for everyone, we are fortunate to have multiple Ivy Tech locations in our area that accept Workforce Read Grants to cover the costs of tuition for working adults earning a high-value certificate.For most of my life, I had multiple jobs at the same time to ensure my family’s needs were met. I understand the struggles in finding the time and extra money to gain new skills needed to obtain a better-paying job. With Workforce Ready Grants, which I voted in favor of establishing, busy adults can benefit from having their costs of tuition covered, removing some of the financial hurdles that could be holding them back from acquiring the skills and training needed to secure higher-salaried jobs.To help employers train and retain workers in the industries requiring advanced skills, the new Employer Training Grant offers up to $2,500 per new employee to qualifying companies. Over the next two years, these grant programs will provide about $20 million to help Hoosier workers and employers meet workforce demands.Information about Workforce Ready Grants and Employer Training Grants can be found online at nextleveljobs.org. This new website is an additional feature of the Next Level Jobs initiative, offering training resources and information about current and projected job openings.Whether a job seeker or employer, resources provided under the Next Level Jobs initiative can help you succeed in today’s competitive economy. Please visit nextleveljobs.org to explore what the state offers to support training efforts and learn more about the tools available to better prepare Hoosiers to fill the jobs available today and in the years to come.