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KOKOMO, Ind.—Have you thought about going back to school so you can upgrade your pay? Indiana is in need of skilled workers because of companies like Stellantis locating here. Their new plant in Kokomo needs 1,400 people who have up-to-date certifications and degrees and Indiana’s colleges are trying to provide that.

“Workforce is the number one concern of those employers looking at Indiana,” said Ivy Tech Pres. Sue Ellspermann, on Inside Indiana Business. “They know we’re a great place to be, to have their business. But, they want to be assured we will provide the work force.”

She said she believes Indiana will step up and provide those workers.

Ellspermann said part of the workforce of the future will include people who have already gotten degrees or certifications and need to upgrade, and people who want to improve their income by going for their first degree or certification.

“Those that have maybe been left behind that haven’t had those opportunities in the past, bring them in and skill them up and make sure that we’re putting Indiana in the right place for the economy of the future,” she said.

Ellspermann said part of that is on the colleges, like Ivy Tech, being flexible and matching what the companies need.

“Everything we do is stackable. So, we can stack from that first certification that allows that employee to come in and take that first level job, up to advanced technicians that will be working closely with the engineers.”

She said Ivy Tech, like many other schools in Indiana, will evolve with the needs of the manufacturers and tech companies that choose to locate here.

Indiana is still having a worker shortage, with two jobs available for every one person looking, according to Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar.