STATEHOUSE —House Bill 1002, the Indiana Career Council (ICC), passed out of the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee today.
House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) presented an amendment that creates a strategic plan to improve Indiana’s education, job skills development and career training system to the list of directives required of the ICC. It requires the ICC to create an inventory of the current job and career training programs. The amendment additionally adds another member to the ICC from the life sciences industry. One other major component of the amendment is to require the data system to generate reports to be made available to the public about the effectiveness of the state’s job training programs.
“The amendment offered today will help match education and skills with the current and future needs of the state’s job market. We have not only a skills gap in Indiana, we have an opportunity gap. We must make every effort to align our job training and educational efforts with available and prospective Hoosier jobs. The ICC will bring the key players together to unite a fragmented system, share data and coordinate the elements of the state’s workforce development efforts,” said Speaker Bosma.
More than 930,000 Hoosiers – nearly one-third of Indiana’s workforce – lack even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy. Members of the ICC will be charged with aligning the education skills and training provided by Indiana’s educational, job skills and career training systems with the existing and projected needs of the state’s job market. The ICC will also be charged with submitting recommendations to the General Assembly on necessary improvements to Indiana’s job skills training system.
Part of the strategic plan proposed in this amendment will require the ICC to propose changes to make Indiana a leader in STEM employment opportunities. Currently, there are 2.4 STEM jobs for every unemployed person. Because the rate of unemployment is so high among returning servicemen and women, the amendment also requires the ICC to get input from military and veterans organizations.
“I’m glad that we were able to amend the bill to incorporate veterans. While our stubborn unemployment rate hovers around 8 percent, the unemployment rate from veterans is nearly double that amount. We must address this issue, and giving them a seat at the table will help fix this problem,” said Speaker Bosma.