[r75]Bridging The Skills Gap (11/1/2012)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Start Date: 11/1/2012 All Day

Bridging the Skills Gap

As Indiana moves onwards and upwards toward our overarching goals during the interim, we will begin to focus on three specific areas as we inch closer to the 2013 Legislative session. As a continuation on my recent article “Own Your American Dream”, I’d like to focus on one of the key points of the Republican agenda: bridging the skills gap.

The skills gap is a critical part of Indiana’s success. Here in southwest Indiana, the topic of jobs is a main concern, as it is all around the state. Empowering Hoosiers to become successful in their own right is what will bring (and keep) Indiana on track. This can be done not only through furthering education, but also by equipping Hoosiers with the right training for the areas where jobs are continuing to prove abundant. By increasing the support of industry programs and partnerships, the skills gap will begin to narrow with each improved system that centralizes on these efforts. 

Our energies are now being put towards the following initiatives to bridge the skills gap:
Improving career and technical education in high schools
Increase and support dual credit programs
Strengthen partnerships between industry and higher education
Target investments on training programs with high potential

The combination of enhancements on the education and training sector in combination with creating strong ties within industries will undoubtedly have a positive effect. As a result of some of the initiatives put in place by legislature, Indiana has become an environment that has become attractive for businesses to come plant themselves in new ground to grow. The tie between education and the growing business industry creates a large need for qualified workers. 

One of the critical points we can look to for an example of this process can be found in manufacturing. According to a report on talent in the manufacturing industry by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 67 percent of manufacturing companies reported having a moderate to severe shortage of available and qualified workers. 56 percent anticipate that the shortage will continue to become worse in the next three years. As one of the key industries in southwest Indiana, it has become a main focus of mine to center on bringing more opportunities to our region in order to bridge that gap. 

Each day brings us closer to the 2013 Legislative session, where new bills will be introduced to execute these exact motions. Words will be put into action, and as your state representative I will do everything in my power to bring more opportunities to District 75.  I’ve spoken with many of you and heard your thoughts. I will continue to listen to the constituents of District 75 and work to make the best decisions for southwest Indiana and the state as a whole.