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Indiana Offering Free Virtual Career Counseling For 5,000 Hoosiers

Screenshot of YourNextStepIN website.

As thousands of Hoosiers still struggle with unemployment in the wake of  COVID-19, the state is offering free online career counseling funded by the federal CARES Act.

The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and Ivy Tech are spending $1.2 million dollars from their CARES Act allocation for up to 5,000 Hoosiers to receive virtual job counseling. Participants will have access to coaching via online video calls, phone calls, or texts and can receive help for up to four months. State officials hope the counseling will guide displaced workers to training in a new career path or provide career advancement for those still employed.

Caroline Dowd-Higgins, vice president of career coaching and employer connections at Ivy Tech, says this approach is geared towards getting people into long-term careers, not a patchwork of part-time jobs.

“At the end of the day, people want livelihoods,” she said. “They want a career that they’re excited about going to work and one that honors them financially.”

Participation in the counseling sessions does count towards work search requirements to receive unemployment benefits.

Contact reporter Justin at or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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Justin Hicks has joined the reporting team for Indiana Public Broadcasting News (IPB News) through funding made available by (IPBS) Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. Justin will be based out of WVPE in his new role as a Workforce Development Reporter for IPB News. Justin comes to Indiana by way of New York. He has a Master's Degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He previously earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Appalachian State University where he played trumpet. He first learned about Elkhart, Indiana, because of the stamp on his brass instrument indicating where it was produced.