The city of South Bend has launched a new workforce development program to help job seekers earn industry-level job certifications. Certifications and other industry-level credentials often give workers more specific education and training than traditional college degrees. The Department of Community Investment says Upskill SB will offer a wide range of training options.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, South Bend Director of Civic Innovation Madi Rogers said Upskill SB aims to develop skilled workers and retain high quality jobs in the region.
“The city of South Bend… has been talking for a few years about putting out a pilot program that could upskill our local residents,” said Rogers. “And now just seems like a really good time as we are seeing trends and workforce being more remote being online, demanding higher skilled jobs, especially in the tech area.”
Rogers says the program is targeted job seekers, professionals and recent high school or college graduates to earn certifications.
The program will accept 10-15 South Bend residents and will assist in identifying training and certifications that best fit each participant’s career interests and goals.
“This could be somebody who is looking for a particular promotion within their company, it could also be somebody who is looking for a job change, whether that be horizontal or more vertical promotion,” said Rogers.
Through the program, the city will reimburse 100% of exam costs and at least 50% of any training costs for qualifying participants.
“Certifications drive economic development,” said Angelina Billo, South Bend director of business development. “They provide industry-standard credentials for employees to advance and allow our local businesses to stay competitive in a global marketplace.”
Rogers says while the city is actively trying to attract highly skilled workers to the city, it also wants to support residents who are there and help them reach career goals.
“We hope that this program is another avenue for our local residents to become higher skilled in this particular tech industry, so that we can build up the economic future of South Bend,” said Rogers. “We are excited to launch this program that will create economic opportunity for residents while also fostering a sense of community through collaborative studying and training.”
The application process is now open. It will remain open until June 3, unless it fills the open positions before then. Click here to learn more and apply.