The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced a partnership with Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) to distribute $3 million to increase the recruitment and retention of engineering and nursing graduates across Indiana. The two organizations launched two new initiatives that will sustainably distribute the grant funding to graduates of engineering programs and nursing students at 29 public and private institutions.
“Indiana, like all states, is facing a critical shortage of skilled labor – including engineers and nurses,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “The entire health profession experienced enormous stress on their workforce during COVID, and since we have some of the best programs for both engineering and health care in the nation, we want to increase the number of graduates who choose to stay in Indiana after graduation. This program aims to do just that by supporting these young professionals and letting them know that the state has incredible opportunities for them right here.”
Each of the 29 identified nursing programs will be offered an initial number of $3,000 scholarships that may be included in aid packages for the 2023–2024 academic year. Similarly, 29 identified engineering programs will be offered a minimum of two $7,000 grants. These grants are to be offered to engineering students upon graduation whose permanent residence at the time of graduation is outside the state of Indiana, but have accepted employment in an engineering-related field in Indiana. A minimum of one and a maximum of 50 grants will be allocated to each eligible institution.
Throughout the pandemic, nursing positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher were consistently ranked among the most in-demand positions in the state. At the beginning of 2022, five of the 16 most in-demand (“Five Flame”) jobs reported on the Department of Workforce Development INDemand Jobs database required a nursing degree, underscoring the need for an increased number of nursing program graduates.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, more than half of the students currently studying engineering at Hoosier colleges are from outside of Indiana, presenting a significant opportunity to retain an increasing number of students post-graduation and grow Indiana’s population.
“Independent Colleges of Indiana is pleased to support the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in this project to address Indiana’s nursing and engineering shortages,” said Jodie Ferise, JD, vice president and general counsel of ICI. “Serving students at both public and private institutions in this important initiative will help hundreds of out-of-state students pursue meaningful careers right here in Indiana. We want to help draw students to these communities and showcase all our state has to offer.”
Students interested in applying for either the nursing scholarship or engineering grant should contact the director or dean of their institution’s program. For more information about the nursing funds, click here. For more information about the engineering funds, click here.
About Independent Colleges of Indiana
Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the State economy, driving economic development, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Led by Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, @SecChambersIN, and governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, @GovHolcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit iedc.in.gov.
Erin Sweitzer, IEDC
Jen Zentz, ICI