A projected 175 well-paying, medical-related service jobs for LaPorte are being secured by county government absorbing the cost of job training.
The LaPorte County Commissioners on Wednesday approved $175,000 for CareEnroll.
Approval is still needed from the LaPorte County Council, though, for the money to be released.
Mike Seitz, director of economic development for LaPorte County, said the move is a first of its kind.
Only one other Indiana county, to his knowledge, has offered job training grants, he said.
CareEnroll, which primarily does invoicing for managed care organizations and helps people through financial consulting secure and maintain health coverage, is expanding its operation at 1900 W. Severs Rd. just north of the LaPorte city limits.
The grant will be for upgrading the skills of the 40 or so existing staff members and training for the 175 new employees projected by 2023.
Seitz said the new workers will earn more than $20 per hour on average.
His office became involved when contacted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce last fall about helping the company.
In exchange for the grant, LaPorte County attorney Doug Biege said the company must stay for no less than two years and pay a refund if new job projections fall short.
The refund would be determined by actual jobs created.
"We put some guarantees in that what they say is going to happen will have actually happened," Biege said.
The company has one other office in Fishers, outside Indianapolis.
Phil Woods, part owner of CareEnroll, said the grant was among the factors in deciding to expand in LaPorte.
He said the grant will offset the higher expense of training for positions in an industry that can be very complex, especially in what’s historically been a blue collar area.
"It takes quite a bit of time to get people up to speed," Woods said.
Woods attributed much of the growth in the company to the rapid expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan.
The state-run program provides affordable coverage to people who don’t qualify for Medicaid.