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Government / IPBS

Indiana Senate approves bills to attract, retain skilled workers

Remote workers tour the Purdue University campus for a talent attraction program that awards them co-working space and a stipend for relocating. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

A bill that would create local workforce recruitment and retention funds across Indiana survived the Senate and is awaiting House approval. It’s aimed at reversing the so-called "brain drain" by funneling incentives toward educated and typically higher-income workers.

If passed, Senate Bill 4 would let counties, towns, and even school corporations start a workforce fund with a five-person panel of managers. It could be privately funded or use public money left over from other projects.

Local fund managers can use the money for most anything to attract workers including advertisements, grants or co-working space.

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Bill author Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) said the spending should be focused towards efforts to keep college graduates from leaving the state or for attracting out-of-state workers.

“It really responds to the workforce shortage that we have, to get folks to stay in Indiana or to come to Indiana,” he said.

A similar bill – Senate Bill 361 – also passed the Senate which would establish a statewide program to grant up to $15,000 to remote workers who relocate to Indiana.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.