Business briefs: Unemployment rises slightly, still low

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HANCOCK COUNTY — The county’s estimated unemployment rate for February is 2.1%, according to information from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, up from January’s 1.8% but down from February 2021’s 3.5%.

It’s tied for the sixth lowest February jobless rate out of Indiana’s 92 counties. LaGrange County has the lowest, at 1.6%, while Lake County has the highest, at 5%.

Indiana’s estimated unemployment rate for February is 2.7%, up from January’s 2.4% and down from February 2021’s 4.7%

The nation’s estimated February rate is 4.1%, down from January’s 4.4% and February 2021’s 6.6%.

State, partners get $750,000 grant

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Workforce Development along with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and Indiana Business Research Center together have received a $750,000 grant as a first-round winner of the Democratizing our Data Challenge.

The data challenge is a program from the Coleridge Initiative and is an opportunity to build on the progress made by state and federal governments to better connect education and workforce data systems and support more equitable outcomes, according to a news release from the department of workforce development.

The initiative aims to help employers, students and parents, job-seekers, and people who want to change careers and develop a career pathway plan.

The challenge was created so that government agencies can collaborate, develop and scale tools and practices — such as dashboards, reemployment portals, training programs and data models — with the goal of improving access to timely, local and useful data to inform education and workforce policy.

New mental health support for workplaces

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Wellness Council of Indiana has launched a new mental health support for Hoosier employers called the Mental Health First Aid training series.

Wellness Council of Indiana staff members are certified mental health first aid instructors; they are teaching how to identify the risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, as well as how to connect individuals to the appropriate care.

Participants can engage in mental health first aid training two ways. The first is by attending one of three virtual group sessions scheduled on April 13, July 21 or Nov. 9. A two-hour, self-paced online module must be completed before taking part in one of the live Zoom instructions in order to receive certification.

Employers can also bring mental health first aid instruction directly on site to their workplace for a more individualized and private training.

For complete details on mental health first aid and to take part in training, visit the Wellness Council of Indiana web site at www.wellnessindiana.org/programs/mhfa. Wellness Council member organizations receive registration discounts.

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