Behning: Aligning Indiana’s workforce efforts

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Monday, February 17, 2020 3:27 pm

Nearly half of Hoosier employers have unfilled positions due to not having enough qualified applicants. In just two years, it is expected the state will need to fill approximately 1 million jobs. As Indiana continues to skill up its workforce, our efforts at every level must be aligned.

The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet works to ensure the learning happening in our schools prepares students appropriately for life after high school, whether they attend college or technical school, or immediately enter the workforce. The cabinet of more than 20 members includes commissioners of government agencies, governor-appointed business owners and university leaders. Already, this group has awarded numerous grants and developed a strategic plan to grow Indiana’s workforce. 

However, to fully align our workforce efforts, we must include the voice of K-12 educators, who are instrumental in preparing young Hoosiers to enter the workforce, and Indiana employers. I authored legislation that would expand the cabinet’s membership to include leaders and experts from the education and manufacturing fields.

It is my hope added cabinet members with experience in these areas could help improve and streamline the critical work being done to skill up Hoosiers and connect them with high-paying jobs. My proposal would also require the cabinet to collaborate with the Early Learning Advisory Committee, State Board of Education, Commission for Higher Education and Department of Workforce Development to ensure workforce policies are aligned.

After advancing out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, my proposal is currently up for consideration in the Senate. Learn more and follow the process of this bill and others at iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.