More than 200,000 service men and women leave the military each year, and more than half of them face a period of unemployment. Currently, there are about 85,000 unfilled jobs in Indiana. To fill these positions, employers need skilled workers with strong commitment and work ethic. Next Level Veterans focuses on connecting military personnel, who have honed their skills during their service, with these career opportunities.
“Indiana wants veterans from out of state to know they are welcome here and that Indiana is a prosperous place, where employers are eager for their skills and talent,” Lt. Gov. Crouch said. “I am inspired by the work our state agencies and partners have done to create a positive future for veterans.”
Under Crouch’s leadership, Next Level Veterans will provide veteran incentives, support personnel and provide marketing assistance. The Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Indiana National Guard, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority are partnering with Conexus Indiana, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership initiative focused on advanced manufacturing and logistics, and the Indiana Economic Development Association to support the program and the veterans who relocate to Indiana.
The Next Level Veterans website at in.gov/veterans, includes information about available jobs in Indiana through Conexus Indiana, education and training opportunities, quality of life and community aspects. It also provides information on a new veterans-based mortgage program, which helps veterans find affordable housing and gets them into their own home. This new incentive is provided by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
The Conexus Indiana INvets program is featured prominently on the Next Level Veterans website. INvets connects discharging veterans around the country with jobs at Indiana manufacturing and logistics companies. This program was initially created in partnership with Allison Transmission, Faurecia, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
INvets staff will regularly visit major military installations in coordination with a multi-channel marketing campaign. These efforts are supported by a web platform that serves to both educate service members and connect them with employers. This platform will grow to include detailed career path information as well as education and training opportunities. Employers throughout Indiana can leverage this platform to connect with service members prior to their separation from service.
“Conexus Indiana launched INvets as an evolution of our work to bolster the advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors by specifically attracting veterans to high-wage, high demand careers,” said Wes Wood, INvets’ Program Director at Conexus Indiana and U.S. Army veteran. “We are thrilled to partner with the state to attract more veterans and expand the pool of employers to other industry sectors, all offering great opportunities for current and future Hoosiers.”
The Indiana Economic Development Association will also assist communities in partnering with the initiative both in advertising their communities and in helping to welcome incoming service members.
“It is vital we are making sure there is a focus on attracting those outside of the state to come here. Through IEDA we are going to attract people not only to Hoosier jobs but to Hoosier communities,” Lee Lewellen, Indiana Economic Development Association President/CEO. “We will help veterans and their families integrate and thrive in all Hoosier communities have to offer.”
Crouch said that by bringing the different agencies and organizations that can help veterans, we are opening ourselves to the chance to have more veterans relocate or stay in Indiana, which will keep Indiana’s economy growing.
Visit in.gov/veterans for more information.