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Indiana college work study program is set to pilot the approach with high school students

Justin Hicks / IPB News

An Indiana work study program for college students will pilot an initiative to include next year's high school seniors. It will support schools that want to find new ways to get students into the workforce, starting next summer. 

The program is called the Employment Aid Readiness Network, or EARN Indiana. For nearly a decade, it has subsidized up to half the costs for employers wanting to give internships to lower-income college students.

Two years ago, state lawmakers passed legislation to expand that same approach with high school seniors. 

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Work and Learn Indiana – a branch of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce – is charged with administering the high school expansion.

It’s looking for up to 10 school districts to apply by December to pilot it for three semesters. The work study program is available for rising high school seniors eligible for free or reduced lunch. For employers partnered with schools, priority is given to internships in career fields the state deems to be in high-demand, like IT or advanced manufacturing.

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

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.