Workforce development and job training are some of the most critical issues before the General Assembly this legislative session. Sixty-seven percent of manufacturing companies are reporting a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers and they expect the shortage only to worsen. A highly educated workforce is a key factor to Indiana’s future success.
Indiana has been widely recognized for creating one of the most job-friendly business environments in the country. We have employers across the state that are starving for highly skilled and motivated workers. Economic experts agree that workforce quality is a top factor that determines where a business will locate or expand.
Last week, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Minority Leader Scott Pelath made a joint announcement regarding House Bill 1002. This particular piece of legislation creates an Indiana Career Council (ICC) designed to coordinate between multiple participants in the state’s educational, job skills and career training systems. The ICC will consist of a 15 member panel designed to unite the principal stakeholders in the state’s workforce development efforts. Gov. Pence will be the Chair and Lt. Gov. Ellspermann will serve as Vice Chair.
Bridging the skills gap is of upmost importance. Nearly one-third of Indiana’s workforce lacks even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy. Indiana needs a highly educated workforce in order to continue attracting high paying jobs.
Members of the ICC will be charged with aligning the education skills and training provided by Indiana’s educational, job skills and career training systems with the existing and projected needs of the state’s job market. The ICC will also submit recommendations to the General Assembly concerning proposed changes to the state's educational, job skills, and career training system in an effort to increase coordination and information sharing.
The bill also establishes the Indiana Workforce Intelligence System, a statewide data system that contains educational and workforce information. The system is designed to improve the effect of the state’s educational delivery system on the economic opportunities of individuals and the state’s workforce. It will also serve as a guide for state and local decision makers. The bill requires the Departments of Education and Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education, and other state agencies to submit data to the system.
Our goal is to make success possible for every Hoosier. We must organize the state’s resources in a way that best works for its people. The ICC would provide any Hoosier participating in the state’s educational, job skills and career training system with the opportunity to connect with a fitting educational program. The bill is currently being discussed in the Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform.
What do you think of the proposal for the Indiana Career Council? I appreciate hearing your feedback on important issues affecting our state. Feel free to contact me by phone at 317-232-9619 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.