[r63] Linking Education and Jobs

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The 2013 legislative session is in full swing.  There are many issues that I will be working on this session. However, there are three priorities that will be my main focus, promoting bills that focus on jobs, education, and a balanced budget.  House Bill (HB) 1002 focuses on both the jobs and educational areas.

HB 1002 establishes the Indiana Career Council, providing greater coordination among the various participants in the state’s educational, job skills, and career training systems. The council would develop a process to match education and skills training with the needs of the state’s job market, both now and into the future.  

Companies around Indiana have job openings – especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) industries – but there are not enough skilled workers to fill the available positions.  The council will work to match qualified Hoosiers with jobs openings, in addition to identifying Hoosiers who are just short of the needed training or certification to fill high-demand jobs opportunities.

There will be 15 members on the council, including: the governor (chair), lieutenant governor (vice chair), commissioner of theIndiana Department of Workforce Development, secretary of commerce for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the state superintendent of public instruction for the Department for Education. 

Other members on the council will be appointed by the governor who represents manufacturing, the business community, labor, as well as two members from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House and two members from the Senate appointed by the Pro Tem. These members cannot be from the same political party. 

The council will submit recommendations concerning proposed changes to the state’s educational and job training systems to increase coordination and information sharing. This will make everyone more aware of the changes that should be made to Indiana’s educational system in a continual effort to improve Indiana’s educational and economic climate.  

As a Purdue graduate, I fully understand the importance of how a good education can lead to a good career. I support House Bill 1002 because I believe that it will bring positive changes to Indiana’s educational system and link more people with job opportunities. The fact that HB 1002 is receiving bi-partisan support speaks for itself as we work together this session to address the most important issues facing you and your family.