As we move through the second half of session, the House will continue to discuss and pass Senate Bills. Education initiatives continue to be a priority for House Republicans, and I am proud to sponsor Senate Bill (SB) 356, which is a work ethic certification measure for students. Our children are our future and so providing them with skills that will help them succeed professionally will allow Indiana to continue with economic growth.
The bill encourages employers to work with schools to create a program in which students develop work ethic skills necessary for success in higher education or employment. Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a work ethic certificate. I believe the requirements for the programs are comprehensive, and take into account not only school performance but work away from the classroom. The Senate approved the bill 37-13, and it has been referred to the House Education Committee.
The certification program will facilitate young Hoosiers in gaining skills that employers are looking for when they are hiring and will enhance their ability to be hired in the future while learning values that are necessary for a work environment. It is important that children learn these skills early so that before they get out into their higher-education or professional environment they understand what is expected of them.
Under this bill, school corporations who wish to participate would develop a program in which students develop work ethic skills necessary in higher education corporations and the workplace. The school corporations would work with local employers or the local Workforce Board, or both, to develop the program. Some of the suggested skills could include: attendance and punctuality, academic success, organization and efficiency, initiative, teamwork and dependability. Schools would be encouraged to create this program and award the students who exemplify these attributes to receive the Work Ethic Certificate at graduation.
The Center of Workforce Innovations was selected by Indiana Workforce Development in 2005 to pilot the Work Ethic Certification program for high school students. In fact, 10 schools in Northwest and Southeast Indiana award Work Ethic Certificates to students who have near-perfect attendance in school, perform community service and demonstrate other workforce attitudes like initiative and responsibility.
As we work through session, I will continue to keep Indiana’s budget, education, ethics and public safety at the forefront of my decisions. I encourage you to continue tracking legislation using http://iga.in.gov and please feel free to contact my office at 1-800-382-9841. Thank you for allowing me to serve you, and I am eager to continue to facilitate with the legislative process.