“The passage of this legislation is crucial for our state as it addresses both present and future workforce development needs,” said Rep. Braun. “It facilitates partnerships between the education community and private employers to train students with skills that will fill immediate job openings. It will also create a data capability which will allow us to identify the current and future job market skill needs and use that data to inform skills development in the education and workforce systems. This legislation will have a significant impact on bridging the skills gap now and in the future resulting in great economic benefit for Hoosiers.”
Specifically, this legislation will allow the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to utilize the Training 2000 Fund to allow grants to schools that choose to develop and implement partnerships with businesses. Schools, in conjunction with private sector businesses, will offer internships and apprenticeships to train students with real-world skills. The IEDC will work with the Indiana Works Councils to develop the application and eligibility requirements for these grants.
In addition, the IEDC will be able to award an Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit to businesses that hire students who have gone through this cooperative program between the business and college/university. The aggregate amount of EDGE tax credits awarded for this purpose is capped at $2.5 million annually for a total of four years.
This bill will introduce students to the advanced manufacturing field in a career-based atmosphere on a step-by-step basis. The intent of this bill is to allow students who are interested in this high performance and high demand profession to gain experience and even certification by the time they have graduated high school.
“We have focused over the past decade on creating the best business environment in the Midwest through policies that encourage and incentivize companies from all over the world to relocate and grow in Indiana,” said Speaker Bosma. “We must continue to focus on ensuring we have a workforce that will meet the needs of a globally dynamic marketplace.”
This legislation will also repurpose the current Indiana Workforce Intelligence System (IWIS) to the Indiana Network of Knowledge (INK) to reflect its more strategic position. This system will provide a data framework to support identifying current job market skill needs and using that data to train the unemployed and, as importantly, to identify future job market skill needs in order to inform the education community as to what skills should be taught to meet employers’ future needs.
Administration and oversight of INK will be assigned to the INK governance committee which will consist of six members, including but not limited to the commissioner for the Department of Workforce Development, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and members representing private colleges and universities as well as the business community. Under suggestion by the INK governance committee, the governor will also appoint an executive director to advise the committee. The governor may appoint additional committee members as necessary.
“I am proud of the work that we were able to do this session in our continued efforts to make Indiana the most business-friendly state in the country,” said Rep. Braun. “Indiana is a leader in job creation, however there is always more that we can do. This legislation is another step in the right direction for our state.”
HEA 1003 will now head to the governor to be signed into law.