Justin Hicks

Workforce Development Reporter

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. 

Not long ago, Justin started a branch of Young Eisner Scholars to work with intellectually curious students in Appalachia. He traveled through rural counties to start a dialogue about math, computer programming, writing, science and philosophy. 

Justin was born and raised in Mt. Olive, North Carolina. He currently lives in South Bend with his dog, Charlotte. 

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana’s unemployment rate for September was 4 percent, dropping very slightly from the month before. Meanwhile, the head of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimated at a cabinet meeting Thursday there’s still nearly 140,000 unfilled jobs.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

An interest-free loan program called "Accelerate Indiana" launches Wednesday to aid Hoosiers taking quick job certification programs. Some workers could have the loans entirely forgiven.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

An Indiana court said this week the state did have the authority to end federal unemployment benefits before an end date set by Congress. But it’s too late to affect unemployed Hoosiers, coming nearly a month after benefits ended nationwide.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Employers are waiting for details on President Joe Biden’s promised rule making employers with more than 100 workers require vaccinations or testing. Businesses and workers have questions on how Indiana’s government will respond when the rule comes.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Lawmakers are discussing ways to make it easier for those with out-of-state professional licenses to transfer credentials into Indiana. A summer study committee produced a report Tuesday, but didn’t get enough votes to pass a draft of future legislation.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

The Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is sharing student contact information, on a voluntary basis, with companies looking to hire. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Employer Connector tool launched at the start of the school year.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is temporarily closing eight offices around the state starting Oct. 4, and lasting through the end of the month. It’s due to an ongoing staffing shortage at local branches.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

For the month of September, we're bringing you stories of workers across Indiana, about what they do and how they find meaning in their jobs. This week, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Justin Hicks profiles Ramiro Delgado. He’s a junior in high school in the Modern Apprenticeship Program. The day we caught up with him, he trained with Keith Fondaw, a steamfitter with Indianapolis Public Schools.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

For the month of September, we're bringing you stories of workers across Indiana, about what they do and how they find meaning in their jobs. This week, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Justin Hicks profiles Dexter Loftin, a friction welder at Manufacturing Technology Inc. in South Bend. Dexter started working there through a prison re-entry program. 

Justin Hicks / IPB News

For the month of September, we're bringing you stories of workers across Indiana, about what they do and how they find meaning in their jobs. This week, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Justin Hicks profiles Ciin Mang. She’s a refugee from Myanmar and was recently promoted to production line manager at Master Spas in Fort Wayne. 

Joe Hren/WFIU, WTIU

A nonprofit in Columbus, Indiana focused on civic collaboration is looking for a handful of rural communities that want to improve their education and workforce training systems. It comes out of a newly awarded grant of $750,000 from a national education philanthropy named Ascendium.

Indiana's August unemployment rate remained stuck at 4.1 percent for the third month in a row. The state lost both employed and unemployed workers from the total labor force as thousands of jobs remain unfilled.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

 

For the month of September, we're bringing you stories of workers across Indiana, about what they do and how they find meaning in their jobs. This week, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Justin Hicks profiles Jamie Beck, a housekeeper at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. She’s an alumni of the Erskine Green Training Institute, a program that provides job training for people with disabilities.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Hoosiers appealing issues with their unemployment benefits may still have to wait about six or seven months before they can get a hearing. Before the pandemic, that process took about 12 weeks.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Every September opens with Labor Day  a celebration of those who work in America. All this month, we're bringing you stories of workers across Indiana, about what they do and how they find meaning in their jobs. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Beginning Tuesday, almost a dozen Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices throughout the state will be closed until Oct. 2 due to staffing shortages. 

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Federal unemployment benefit programs, designed to help workers financially survive the pandemic, are now over. While states can use CARES Act money to extend them, Indiana – like most states – has no plans to do so. 

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Most industries in Indiana have continued to see job recovery in 2021. But, despite a brief recovery, the finance industry has shed thousands of workers since March 2021.

All IN: Unemployment / Rural Vaccinations / Art Fair

Sep 1, 2021
Richard Bell/Unsplash

Today we talk about efforts to get farmers to promote the COVID-19 vaccine in their communities.

We also learn about a new fine arts fair coming to Indianapolis featuring the work of Black artists across the country, and get the latest news around unemployment in the state.

Produced by Micah Yason.

Guests:

Justin Hicks
Workforce Development Reporter, Indiana Public Broadcasting

Christine Herman
Reporter, Side Effects Public Media and Illinois Public Media

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana’s unemployment rate remained unchanged between June and July, standing at 4.1 percent, but some areas are seeing job recovery faster than others.

File Photo: WFIU/WTIU

Following President Joe Biden’s announcement that nursing home workers will be required to get vaccinated, some fear it will cause staff to leave the already understaffed industry. According to the state's vaccine dashboard, only about half of Indiana’s long-term care workers are currently vaccinated.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

The trend towards youth apprenticeships in Indiana is continuing despite challenges from the pandemic as a program in northern Indiana recently received $500,000 to continue paid career training for high schoolers. 

Screenshot of Indiana General Assembly

Legislators are looking for ways for more out-of-state professional licenses to transfer easily to Indiana. It comes as a variety of industries say they’re having a hard time getting skilled workers to take jobs in the state.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

More than 100 drivers at a Pepsi bottling facility in northwest Indiana have been on strike for over two weeks now, fighting against a proposed increase in health care costs. 

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Unions across Indiana rallied Friday to pressure Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun into voting for pro-union legislation. The Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act has already passed a House vote, but doesn’t have enough support in the Senate.

Erik Anderson / Wikimedia Commons

A federal labor board sided with an Indiana union Wednesday in a dispute over a display outside of a trade show in Elkhart. It signals government support for a classic labor protest symbol, known by many as Scabby the Rat.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Unionized health care workers in northwest Indiana demanded better pay and pushed lawmakers to mandate a $15 an hour minimum wage as they rallied outside their union hall in Merrillville.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Democrats in Indiana have hit the road to rally support for President Joe Biden’s more than $2.2 trillion American Jobs Plan. The politicians say they’d like – but don't need – bipartisan support in Congress where it’s expected to get a vote soon.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Some Hoosiers received the first monthly installment of a child tax credit Thursday. It’s a one-year-only program from the American Rescue Plan designed to help families emerge from the pandemic.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Federal unemployment benefits are back on in Indiana. State officials said they’ve already paid 25,000 people on the first day while they also gave updates on unemployment fraud and overpayments at a press conference.

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