DOLLAR BILL: Heuer initiates bill for job training dollars

COLUMBIA CITY — Indiana State Rep. Kathy Heuer manifested a bill which could provide funding to Indiana businesses looking to further train employees.Training 2000 is a piece of legislation that has passed the Statehouse.Funding already exists for companies wanting to move into Indiana and bring on new employees. But Heuer’s bill would expand those dollars to existing companies and their current employees.The need for such funding came to light after Heuer met with several companies.“I had businesses tell me that although there was money for new businesses, there wasn’t anything for companies already existing in Indiana,” Heuer said.Offering funding for education and training means employees can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and advancements in certain industries.“I would think this bill would be especially beneficial to manufacturing companies,” Heuer said. “For employees who are looking to upgrade their skills or earn certifications, this bill will be very helpful.”By allowing current businesses and employees to access government funds for training, Heuer hopes the bill propels support for economic and job growth.“We’re already telling businesses we support them coming into Indiana,” Heuer said.“Now we can show them that we will continue to support them as they stay and grow here.” Currently the bill is waiting to be approved by the senate, but if all goes according to plan, Heuer estimates the bill could be implemented in July. However, qualifications and guidelines for receiving the funds are yet to be determined.“I am excited for this bill,” Heuer said. “It addresses job skills for employees. It will help fill in the gap and in the end I think it will help retain jobs.”There were many organizations that stood behind the bill including the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Manufacturing Association and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.“No one spoke against it,” Heuer said. The bill solicits the state to double the budget already set aside for training funding to an estimated $36 million.“Having this bill will set Indiana up for continued success,” Heuer said. “Businesses will be able to stay competitive and be on the cutting edge.”Heuer expects no opposition from the s­­enate, but should changes be proposed, the bill would return to the House.Heuer said, “This will be an exciting bill to watch for.”