‘Career Council’ bill passed House; moves on to Senate
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org February 12, 2013 2:20PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:30AM
INDIANAPOLIS — The high profile “Indiana Career Council” bill authored by Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, passed the House unanimously Tuesday.
The bill would create a council designed to match education and training provided by the state to match the needs of employers looking to fill job positions. The council will also submit recommendations to the General Assembly to help match workers to jobs.
Sixty-seven percent of manufacturing companies report a shortage of qualified workers. Fifty-six percent of those expect the shortage to increase in the next three years. At the same time, the state continues to have an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, above the national average of 7.8 percent.
Bosma said the bill tries to address two issues, one known as the “skills gap,” where some workers don’t have the skills needed in the new job market, and the other is a lack of communication between the many different state departments charged with improving economic and workforce development.
Members would include the governor and lieutenant governor serving as chairman and vice chairman of the council, and representatives from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration, the superintendent of public instruction, the president of Ivy Tech Community College, two senators, two representatives, and representatives appointed by the governor from business, manufacturing and labor communities.
By serving on the council, the departments and industry leaders can brainstorm and coordinate efforts.
Bosma said their is more work that needs to be done to address the issue, but the council would be a good first start.
“Silver bullet? Definitely not,” Bosma said. “Is it bringing the right people to the table to break down the silos? Definitely. We’re breaking down those barriers.”
The bill heads to the Senate chambers, and will be sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson.