INDIANAPOLIS — As a show of bipartisanship, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, announced a bipartisan effort to help match the workforce of Indiana with the skills needed to fill vacant jobs.

The bill would establish the Indiana Career Council, a 15-member panel bringing together members of various career and workforce development departments throughout the state to coordinate efforts.

A number of departments exist in Indiana to help connect employers with potential employees, but they act as “silos,” working separately from one another. “We must make every effort to align our job training and educational efforts to available and prospective Hoosier jobs,” Bosma said Thursday. “The ICC will bring the key players together to unite a fragmented system, share data and coordinate all elements of the state’s workforce development efforts.”

Pelath agreed both parties want to make lowering the state’s unemployment rate the top goal during the legislative session.

“While we may disagree at times on the methods used to reach the goal,” he said, “legislators on both sides of the aisle are fully committed to the efforts to help Hoosiers workers find and retain good-paying jobs.”

The council will consist of the governor and lieutenant governor, the superintendent of public instruction, the secretary of commerce, and the president of Ivy Tech, as well as senators and representatives and other economic and workforce development leaders.

The bill’s first hearing is Tuesday in the House Committee of Government and Regulatory Reform.