Indiana creates $1 million fund for high-tech training

Indiana will award $1 million in grants to state companies to help train information technology workers, Gov. Frank O'Bannon recently announced.

The grants will be available for any company in the state that needs to train IT workers. The maximum grant will be $50,000, but they will be awarded in smaller denominations as requested by the company.

The grants are in response to requests by electronic commerce companies and others in the state that said they need state help to maintain IT workers, said Amy Warner, e-commerce director.

The grants will help workers, too, she said. "A lot of people in the Midwest chose careers here or came here for the lifestyle but now want to go into information technology," she said.

Companies can fill out a request for consideration for the TECH Fund at the state World Wide Web site. A four- to six- member panel of IT workers will review the applications. Then, the departments of Commerce and Workforce Development, which each contributed $500,000 to the fund, and the state's IT division will make the final call.

Applicants will be judged on the need for IT training and readiness to expand IT capacity to meet corporate goals.

Requests are currently being accepted. Warner said she expects all the money to be awarded in the next six to eight months and the training to be finished within two years.

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