[r85] Pond Report: Bridging the skills gap (10/10/2012)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Start Date: 10/10/2012 Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 10/10/2012 End Time: 8:00 AM
August marked the 10th consecutive month Hoosier employers expanded their workforce with 7,200 private sector jobs being created, putting this year’s total at 47,200 – seventh in the nation. Indiana is growing at nearly twice the rate of the nation, but too many Hoosier are still unemployed.

To get people back to work, the legislature will continue to focus on economic development and education opportunities for Hoosiers. Narrowing the skills gap is a focus of mine as we look at ways to match unemployed Hoosiers with current job openings.

A recent study revealed that 67 percent of manufacturing companies are reporting a shortage of qualified, available workers. Fifty-six percent of those companies expect the shortage to increase the next three years. What does that mean? It means that there are quality jobs available right now, but there are not enough people with the right qualifications to fill them.

My agenda for the 2013 legislative session focuses on the need to make opportunities available to people who want to step into those roles. By improving career and technical education in high schools, increasing and supporting dual credit programs and strengthening partnerships between industry and higher education, Hoosiers will fill jobs, and Indiana will continue to lead in the nation’s economic recovery.

Indiana has been labeled as one of the most pro-business and tax-friendly states in the nation by Site Selection magazine, Chief Executive magazine and others. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said that leaders from almost every other state ask him how Indiana has been able to accomplish so much. The answer is simple. Hoosiers are determined to make their lives and the lives of others better. We believe in a common sense approach where our Hoosier values are never compromised.

My focus this session will be to restore Hoosier’s faith in the American Dream, so they can own a piece of the pie. The key word there is own. We want to give Hoosiers the tools to reach out and grab their idea of the American Dream, whether it is a white picket fence or simply a better life for future generations of your family.

We have come a long way toward making our state better, more financially secure and full of personal opportunity, but there is always room for improvement. I am dedicated to making Indiana a stronger state for future generations, and I will continue to work toward that goal in the upcoming session.

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Pond Report agenda phase 2.docx