State OKs $1.4M for workforce education center
12 Jun 2023
An initiative to provide workforce education in Hancock County is getting a $1.4 million boost from the State.
The funds are going toward Amplify Hancock, an innovation and education facility planned at CR 300N and CR 200W in Hancock County. The vision behind the endeavor is to create an integrated 9-16+ workforce development ecosystem at a world-class, multi-use learning and innovation center fusing education, private industry and the community.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has obligated $1.4 million in Regional Economic Acceleration & Development Initiative (READI) funds for the project. Those funds are part of the $5 million awarded to the 70-40 Greater Mt. Comfort Corridor READI Region, made up of representatives and projects in Hancock and Marion Counties.
Phase 1 of Amplify Hancock is planned to be a 90,000-100,000-square-foot facility owned by the County opening in 2026. The facility will be designed to be expandable in the future as well.
Working on the initiative are County and State leaders, all four of Hancock County’s school corporations, Ivy Tech Community College, and multiple companies.
Currently, students in Hancock County have to travel to facilities outside of the County for career and technical education. The partners behind Amplify Hancock are motivated to fill that void locally as well as provide workforce education to accommodate the County’s recent and continuing economic growth.
“Hancock County represents 4% of the population in the Indy Region, and has seen high population growth and job growth over the last 10 years,” according to an analysis from Indy Partnership, an arm of the Indy Chamber. “Growth in population is projected to outpace the State, and jobs growth is projected to continue in the County at an even higher rate than the region and the State.”
Programs being considered for Amplify Hancock include:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- Criminal justice
- Medical assisting
- Certified nursing assistant
- Dental careers
- Emergency medical services
- Advanced manufacturing
- Fork truck operating
- Construction and building trades
- Dementia care
- Information technology
- Career development
- Leadership development
The READI approval is one of multiple funding sources committed to and eyed for the project. The Hancock County Commissioners support committing $40 million in tax increment financing funds, which come from new commercial and industrial development in the County. Contributions have been approved by the Hancock County Council and Redevelopment Commission as well as companies and nonprofit organizations.
Efforts continue to determine what the exact size of the building will need to be in phase 1 to accommodate the planned programming. That will determine a more precise cost and remaining funding gap, which efforts are also underway to close. Efforts for creating a nonprofit board to oversee the facility are ongoing as well. Additionally, preparations are progressing toward agreements with those that will provide education at Amplify Hancock, the funds from which going toward operational costs at the facility. Next steps also include schematic design for the facility, determining a project delivery method, and bonding.