In my last column, I focused on kids going back to school – how parents and teachers can work together to create an atmosphere conducive to learning and personal growth. Going beyond that, how do we help kids – and adults – when they’re older and ready to join the workforce? This transition to the “real world,” can be a scary, exciting and stressful time.
To help Hoosiers gain employment that matches their skill set and expertise, the Legislature created the Indiana Career Council (ICC). Governor Pence said that the ICC’s first and foremost goal is to evaluate workforce development in Indiana and look for ways to make it better serve Hoosiers. I think this is a goal worth pursuing, and I am excited to see what ideas the ICC brings to the General Assembly.
Recently, the ICC had their first meeting where they discussed the training inventory, reviewed the existing skills gap analyses and discussed additional needs in Indiana. Keeping with the goal of aligning education and job training with the projected needs of Indiana’s job market, the ICC will look at ways to ensure that people coming out of Indiana’s education and workforce development programs have the necessary skills to fill open positions.
The ICC is charged with having a strategic plan submitted to the General Assembly by July 1, 2014 with a progress report by Dec. 1, 2013. The plan will consist of several parts including proposed changes to improve communication, education and job opportunities around the state.
Sixteen members make up the ICC, including people from across the state who represent the interests of Hoosiers and can share their knowledge and experience to help ensure that the issues are discussed from many different points of view.
Who’s on the ICC?
• Governor (Chair); Mike Pence
• Lieutenant Governor (Vice Chair); Sue Ellspermann
• Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development; Scott Sanders
• Secretary of Commerce for the Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Victor Smith
• State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Glenda Ritz
• Commissioner of the Commission for Higher Education; Teresa Lubbers
• Secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration; Debra Minott
• President of Ivy Tech College; Thomas Snyder
• Representing manufacturing; Joseph Loughrey – Cummins Inc.
• Representing the business community; Gary Hobbs – BWi Contracting
• Representing the life sciences industry; Neil Pickett – IU Health
• Representing labor; Dan Waldrop
• One member from each caucus (advisory only); Reps. Steve Braun, Christina Hale
These people each have skills and life experience that together will benefit all Hoosiers. With input from them and other advisors, a plan will be devised to truly bring Indiana into the next stage of economic prosperity. Employers recognize that Indiana is open for business and a great place to call home; it is important that Hoosiers have the skills to fill current and future job opportunities being created by these companies.
My hope is that the ICC prepares Indiana for generations of young people who are prepared to go out own their own with the confidence and ability to pursue and achieve their dreams.
Rep. Ziemke represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.