Manufacturers, State Lawmakers Set Sights On Workforce Development

Jan 12, 2017


Gov. Eric Holcomb told Indiana factory owners Wednesday that he and the state legislature will do more this year to help find and train new workers.

At the Indiana Manufacturers Association’s annual legislative briefing, Holcomb said he knows factories are struggling to find enough qualified employees.

“So there will be a lot of not just attention or lip service, but a lot of energy spent making sure we come out of this session best equipping our Hoosier workforce for this 21st-century economy,” Holcomb says.

The manufacturing lobbying group’s members also heard from House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis). He acknowledged Indiana’s $1 billion investment in workforce development hasn’t had the impact of other pro-business reforms.

“Everybody agrees – Republicans, Democrats, governor, legislature,” Bosma says. “We agree that this is one of the top issues that we have not gotten right in this state.”

Manufacturers say the state needs to make current programs more effective and tie in the school system, not just add funding.

They also want to see environmental regulations, business taxes and health care costs reduced.

And they’re monitoring legislative talks about roads funding and other infrastructure plans, which they say could help new workers and products move more quickly.