workforce development

Senate Approves Workforce Development Legislation

Feb 6, 2018

Tuesday was the last day for lawmakers in the Senate to pass bills through the chamber, and their agenda included legislation to amp up workforce development in schools.

Highlights of the workforce development bill include the creation of a new role, the Secretary of Workforce Training, appointed by the governor. The secretary would also head a new State Board for Technical Education, which will work in addition to the State Department of Education, and existing Board of Education.

Gov. Eric Holcomb sought in his State of the State to reassure Hoosiers his administration will do “whatever it takes” to fix problems at the Department of Child Services.

But Democratic legislative leaders say Holcomb’s address lacked boldness and leadership, particularly when it comes to the ongoing DCS crisis.

Indiana manufacturers hope the 2018 legislative session will hone in on workforce and education reforms to help fill jobs.

The state’s top business sector wants lawmakers to realign $1 billion in existing workforce spending and create incentives to attract new workers.

UPDATE: Indianapolis officials have since announced their plans to formally bid for the Amazon project. Read the story here

State officials won’t say if Indianapolis will join the race to house Amazon’s next headquarters. And despite the Hoosier capital’s push to become a tech hub, analysts say the it may face an uphill battle if it opts to bid on the massive project.

 

The latest federal employment numbers show jobs growing more quickly in urban areas than rural ones across the country – despite low unemployment across all regions.

Seventy percent of job growth from 2016 to 2017 was in places with more than a million residents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, rural places still struggled to create new jobs and maintain their workforces.

In Indiana, data shows 29 counties gaining jobs more slowly than the national rate in the past year, and another 23 losing jobs overall.

Purdue University will help train thousands of new Infosys employees in Indiana and nationwide.

The five-year agreement comes as the technology and consulting company readies a new hub in Indianapolis.

For years, Infosys hired mainly visa workers from overseas. The company said in May it’s shifting course, hiring 10,000 American employees – including 2,000 in Indiana.

Indiana says it wants to help train train more Hoosier workers for in-demand jobs. Two grant programs will help cover tuition for career certificates and training costs for employers in what the state calls “high-demand” areas.

The legislature approved $10 million apiece over two years for the two programs – the Workforce Ready Grant and the Employer Training Grant.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton is focusing a lot these days on fostering cooperation.

He’s hosted the first of what he hopes will be a series of meetings with business leaders, he’s brought together multiple parties to complete a long-stalled road project and he’s working with the state on Stellar Communities projects.

Indiana workforce officials are convening dozens of groups of local education and business leaders across the state to improve training efforts for new workers.

It’s the next phase of the Indiana’s SkillUp program, which aims to help localize training efforts for the state’s estimated million job openings in the next decade.

State Exec. Branch To Stop Asking For Criminal History On Job Apps

Jun 29, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb says a range of state agencies will no longer ask job applicants if they have been arrested or convicted of a crime.

The executive order, issued Thursday, aims to give Hoosiers with criminal records more chances to become state employees.

Right now, applicants for state job openings have to self-report any criminal history.

Holcomb’s order says this can make it hard for people with records to “have productive lives because of the stigma of their past.”

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