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May 2020

IndianaVoters.com Offers Election Day Info

Nearly 4.5 million Hoosiers are registered to cast their votes this Tuesday in Indiana’s Primary Election. Whether voting in person or by mail, IndianaVoters.com offers important information for the election on June 2.

Those who requested absentee ballots must return them to the county clerk’s office no later than noon on Tuesday. Completed ballots should be addressed to the local election board listed on IndianaVoters.com or within the ballot.

Early voting ends noon on Monday, June 1. To vote early, Hoosiers must go to locations listed at IndianaVoters.in.gov/countycontact. There, Hoosiers can find hours and contact information for local county clerks’ offices.

On Election Day, voting centers are designated by county, township and precinct. To find your local polling center and hours, visit IndianaVoters.com and click on “Find Your Polling Place.” Voters must bring an accepted photo ID with them, like an Indiana driver’s license or photo ID card, Military ID or U.S. Passport. If there are questions about what type of ID to bring, more information is available through the Indiana Secretary of State at www.in.gov/sos.

When voting, be sure to follow social distancing protocols and minimize direct contact between other voters and workers. Poll centers are equipped with protective gear, cleaning products, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant to wipe down voting machines.

While Indiana is addressing the health and economic effects of the virus, protective measures are in place for Hoosiers to participate this election safely and securely.

Free job training, skilling-up opportunities amid COVID-19

Hoosiers whose jobs were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can take advantage of tuition-free training grants offered through Indiana’s Next Level Jobs program.

Established in 2017, the program provides Workforce Ready Grants to help Indiana residents who have a high school diploma or equivalent but less than a college degree receive training in high-demand job fields. With more than 500,000 Hoosiers filing for unemployment since March, grants could help those who are laid off or furloughed to build on their skills and get a better paying job.

Hoosiers can visit NextLevelJobs.org to apply for training grants, which cover the cost of tuition and fees for working adults to earn a high-value certificate at Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University. Job seekers can connect to local training and resources to find jobs in high-demand industries, including advanced manufacturing, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics.

IvyTech campuses offer students the opportunity to earn a certificate or technical certificate as a building construction management specialist, carpentry specialist, electrical specialist and more. For information, visit IvyTech.edu.

Businesses in high-demand industries can apply for Employer Training Grants, which provide $5,000 for each employee who is trained, hired and retained for six months.

Students interested in attending Ivy Tech have until June 8 to enroll in summer courses, and its summer session will run through Aug. 1. Anyone interested in opportunities through Vincennes University have until May 26 to register for the first round of summer courses and the second round of enrollment is open until July 2. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all courses will be offered online.

Hoosiers can learn more about eligibility requirements and apply for a Workforce Ready Grant or Employer Training Grant at NextLevelJobs.org. Anyone who needs help with the application process can call 317-715-9007 to speak one-on-one with a financial aid expert for free through INvestEd.

State expands COVID-19 testing locations

As Indiana eases restrictions on residents and businesses, testing for the coronavirus is key to getting the state back on track. A new large-scale COVID-19 testing effort is underway for symptomatic Hoosiers, with more than 150 testing sites statewide.

Tests are available to those who are experiencing symptoms, close contacts of positive cases and residents of congregate living settings. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. This list is not inclusive, so be sure to consult a medical professional with questions and concerns related to the coronavirus.

Through the Indiana State Department of Health, tests are available Monday through Friday at 50 locations across the state. Appointments can be made online or by calling 888-634-1123. Those tested will not be charged and do not need insurance, but individuals with private insurance are asked to bring their information with them.

Test results are typically available within 48 hours. Hoosiers who test positive will receive a phone call, and those who test negative will be notified via email or text.

These free sites are in addition to testing offered by local hospitals and clinics. Criteria to be tested and costs vary at these locations, so check online before going to a site or making an appointment. Click here for an interactive map with a list of open sites near you.

For the latest information on the state’s COVID-19 efforts, visit in.gov/coronavirus.

Thanking Our Teachers, Public Service Workers

Hoosiers work hard every day to support and strengthen their communities. During these unprecedented times, several groups of individuals are going above and beyond to ensure those in need have access to critical services like education, health care and more.

Each year, the first full week of May is recognized as both Teacher Appreciation Week and Public Service Recognition Week.

A good educator can have a lasting and positive impact on the development and success of a child and instill a life-long love of learning. Teachers work tirelessly to give their students the quality education they need to move on to their next phase in life.

It is also important to recognize all the public servants who have been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of Indiana health care workers, emergency responders, law enforcement, correctional professionals, and so many other critical state employees have supported Indiana’s response to this public health emergency. We are grateful for their commitment, bravery and sacrifice during these trying times.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we give thanks and share our support for these Hoosier heroes.

Even while social distancing, there are plenty of ways to show gratitude for our state’s educators and public service workers. From sharing a photo with an influential teacher, health care or government worker on social media, to putting a thank you sign in the yard, a simple gesture of gratitude can go a long way.

Please take a moment this week to thank your local educators and public service workers, and let them know they are valued.

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