Around the House


December 2020

Preparing For The Next Step

Hoosiers with education beyond high school, whether a college degree or other form of credential, are best positioned to secure high-demand, high-wage jobs. In fact, those with additional education in Indiana earn up to $1 million more than those with only a high school diploma over their lifetime.

Our state is a popular destination for businesses to open up, bringing with them job opportunities and economic development. Your Next Step, a new program launched by the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, is a one-stop-shop for resources in Indiana, helping Hoosiers take advantage of these opportunities and take the next step in their career, education and life.

Your Next Step offers support for Hoosiers at any stage of employment and education level to find a job in today’s market, like resume building, job referrals and placement assistance, and insight on local demand in certain fields. Experts are also available to help determine what education and training options are best for jobseekers and could be available for little to no cost.

Need some more help before you can focus on pursuing education and training? Connections to other support like health care, childcare and local resources are also just a few clicks away.

To get started connecting to resources and see if you qualify to earn your credentials for free, visit

Nominate Local, Longstanding Businesses

Many Indiana companies have been contributing to the economy for more than 50 years, and some have been in operation for a century or longer. These local businesses provide much-needed jobs to Hoosiers, attracting top talent to communities and making our state one of the nation’s top places for business. Indiana honors these longstanding businesses through the Governor’s Century and Half Century Business Awards

These awards recognize Indiana businesses that have remained in operation for at least 100 or 50 years, respectively, and are committed to serving the community. Business owners can read through the program criteria here, and submit an online application here.

While applications are currently being accepted, processing and reviewing each submission begins in January 2021. At this time, awards are being assigned on a rolling basis, and applicants should not delay in submitting an application. The winners will be recognized for their accomplishments later in 2021.

The challenges businesses have weathered over decades, including during the past year, is an achievement worth celebrating. For more information about the program, qualifying criteria and to start an application, visit the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s website.

Numerous Resources Offer Heating Assistance

Steadily dropping temperatures signal Old Man Winter will soon take up residence in the Hoosier state for the next several months. This means rising heating and electric bills could put some families in the position of making tough financial choices. Thankfully, Hoosiers needing assistance can obtain benefits through the Energy Assistance Program.

This one-time benefit, federally funded program can help with the high cost of home energy, and offers support to those about to be disconnected. The benefit does not cover all heating and electric costs, so those planning to take advantage of this assistance should continue paying their bills regularly. If all utility bills are paid on time, an additional benefit may be available.

Now through May 1, Hoosiers may apply for heating benefits. Click here for eligibility requirements and more information.

Many Indiana utility companies also offer additional resources to assist low-income customers. Click here to learn more about these companies and other organizations assisting Hoosiers with their heating bills like Duke Energy’s Helping Hand program, South Central REMC’s Operation Roundup program and Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s Winter Warmth Program.

Hoosiers unsure who to contact about heating assistance or in need of other resources should call 2-1-1, a free and confidential service available 24/7. Several statewide organizations also provide additional help.

Cost-saving energy tips like letting natural light in to help heat the house, covering drafty windows and keeping the fireplace damper closed when a fire is not burning can also trim costs.

Empowering The Next Generation Of Hoosier Workers

Many dependents from low-income families find themselves in a tough spot because income earned while developing their skillset for the workforce, like participating in an internship, could count against their families’ benefits.

Starting Jan. 1, income earned through an internship or work-based program will no longer impact a family’s eligibility for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This new law, authored by State Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville), is meant to empower the next generation of Hoosier workers by removing this barrier to opportunity. Students should feel confident to pursue opportunities and challenges that will prepare them for a good-paying job without worrying about whether their families’ benefits would be negatively impacted.

This comes as Indiana continues to skill-up its workforce through the Next Level Jobs Initiative, which offers Workforce Ready Grants covering tuition for Hoosiers wanting to earn a high-value certificate for an in-demand job. According to, more than 45,000 jobs are open in a variety fields including health care and advanced manufacturing.

For more information about this new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, click here.

Passionate about teaching?

Apply for Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship today!

In Indiana, we value hardworking teachers who impact young Hoosiers. To ensure the best and the brightest are guiding our students as they learn and grow, the state offers top-performing Indiana high school seniors and college students a scholarship in exchange for teaching in Hoosier classrooms.

If you’re an aspiring educator, don’t miss out on this opportunity to save on college costs, and apply for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship today.

Established through legislation, this renewable scholarship of up to $7,500 for four academic years – totaling $30,000 – is awarded to 200 students each year. Eligible students must be Indiana residents, and current high school seniors or enrolled at a college or university in the state, and be in the top 20% of their class or have an ACT or SAT score in the top 20%.

Scholarship recipients need to attend college in Indiana, maintain a 3.0/4.0 GPA and complete 30 credit hours per year to renew the scholarship. After earning their degrees, they will teach in a Hoosier classroom for five consecutive years, and hopefully beyond.

Teaching is a very rewarding career, and we know there are many talented high school seniors and college students who are passionate about instilling the love of learning in others. For more information about the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship and to apply before Jan. 31, 2021, click here. Finalists will be selected by March 19, 2021.

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